Book Review: Kim’s Thoughts on One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us is Lying
Series: Book one of One of Us is Lying series

Author: Karen M. McManus
Published: May 30, 2017
360 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

**Kim has FINALLY read One of Us is Lying!  Jessica has previously read it and loved it.  In fact she gave it 5 stars. Jessica’s review is here.

Kim’s Review:

Jessica has been after me for months to read this book. She was definitely right! My neighborhood book club picked this book so I finally sat down to read it. Thankfully it was much better than 13 Reasons Why. It seemed to accomplish what 13 Reasons was trying to do, but failed because we were all too pissed off with what’s-her-booty who left the tapes. The mystery was looping and kept me guessing. My gut was wrong once again, but I enjoyed trying to work everything out. Apparently finally watching Saw didn’t help my behavioral analysis at all.

I liked all the characters and enjoyed watching them grow and learn. Everything was going really well, until the mystery was solved . . . and guess what. Teenagers are stupid. And that’s literally what the entire driving force of the book was. Teenagers are stupid and they do stupid things and then they have to deal with the stupid things that they do and they respond with more stupid things. The end was so anti-climactic and it dropped my rating to 4 stars.

I don’t want to give anything else away but I do recommend this book, but far more for the reading and the journey and less for the resolution. Great story, great characters, great mystery, sucky ending. But I still want to continue with the series, so that should tell you something too!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Birthday Blitz: Book Review: Solo by Aaron Hodges

Today I am helping to celebrate the book birthday of SOLO by Aaron Hodges.  If you are debating on traveling  the world solo, this is the book for you! 

Book Description:

Feeling alone? Trapped? Lost?
Time for an adventure!

The bad times won’t last forever, and for more than five years, Aaron Hodges has journeyed the globe alone, visiting everywhere from Istanbul to Argentina. Honest and insightful, SOLO is packed with his personal travel tips and humorous stories. Learn about the ups and downs, the triumphs and the pitfalls of venturing off the beaten path. Follow his guidelines for exploring the world alone and be inspired to take the trip you’ve always dreamed of.

Discover the world of solo travel.
Go Solo!

SOLO: A Down to Earth Guide to Travelling the World Alone
Aaron Hodges

Published:  December 11, 2019
129 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 15-16,2020
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Jessica’s Review:

This is an A+, 5 star memoir by Aaron Hodges about traveling solo.  He has traveled solo for over 5 years and gives many pointers for the new and yet-to-travel solo traveler. Hodges talks directly to the reader and yes, DO heed his plethora of advice! If I was still at this part of my life to travel solo, I would have been taking notes! Yes, I would have taken Hodges advice as he makes solo travel seem possible for everyone. I also looked back at my time when I turned 30 and traveled the Northern US and Canada with a tour group. In some ways I was solo, and in some ways I wasn’t. Traveling solo does NOT mean you are always alone! But I was solo in New York City alone for several days and had a great time! 

Hodges talks directly to the reader giving his first hand insight and experience. He comes off like a really good friend conversing with you.  He gives you a starting point to plan your solo trip.   He gives suggestions on where to go (or not go) for some countries and a variety of traveling tips including where to sleep which tends to be hostels for a variety of reasons that he goes into.

This is a very entertaining and informative memoir definitely recommended for the solo traveler of the past, present and future.  Take a chance and travel solo! 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author:

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelors of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job in 2014 and see the world. One year later, he published his first novel – Stormwielder – while in Guatemala. Since then, he has honed his skills while travelling through parts of SE Asia, India, North and South America, Turkey and Europe, and now has over a dozen works to his name. Today, his adventures continue…

Contact Aaron:


Book Review: Munich by Robert Harris

Robert Harris

Published: September 21, 2017
352 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Guy Legat is a rising star of the British diplomatic service, serving in 10 Downing Street as a private secretary to the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain. Rikard von Holz is on the staff of the German Foreign Office–and secretly a member of the anti-Hitler resistance. The two men were friends at Oxford in the 1920s, but have not been in contact since. Now, when Guy flies with Chamberlain from London to Munich, and Rikard travels on Hitler’s train overnight from Berlin, their paths are set on a disastrous collision course. And once again, Robert Harris gives us actual events of historical importance–here are Hitler, Chamberlain, Mussolini, Daladier–at the heart of an electrifying, un-put-downable novel.

Kim’s Review:

I found this randomly in the bargain books at Books-a-Million and it sounded interesting, so I bought it. Strangely enough, I picked it up soon after I bought it. I can’t say everyone is going to like it. It’s a micro history of a 3-day period that ended with PM Chamberlain declaring that he had achieved “peace for our time”. I was worried that it would get tedious with all those little details, but I found myself drawn into those little details and I kept going back to it in my mind, wondering what was going to happen next.

I’ve always been critical of Chamberlain’s appeasement policy with Hitler; however, hindsight is 20/20 and Harris did a great job of breaking down Chamberlain’s reasoning for why he pursued that policy. While I still disagree with him, he has gained a little respect in my mind. Add a little bit of intrigue between Legat and Hartmann and you have a complete, fictional yet still historical look at the 3 days in September 1938. I enjoyed it so much that I bought 4 more of Harris’s books to add to my TBR!

Great book, but I’d really only recommend it to those who have an active interest in micro history.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK