Berls Reviews January #COYER Book Club Reads

Posted February 12, 2021 by Berls in Review / 3 Comments

I decided to review the #COYER book club reads together in one post. These were our January picks and I think we chose very well. I enjoyed Ruth Ware’s One by One the most, making it my first 5 star read of 2021, but both were very good.

Berls Reviews January #COYER Book Club ReadsOne of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Narrator: Kim Mai Guest, MacLeod Andrews, Shannon McManus, Robbie Daymond
Series: One of Us Is Lying #1
Published by Penguin Random House Audio on May 30, 2017
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Length: 10 hours 43 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide. 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."

My top thoughts:

For my first read of 2021, One of Us Is Lying is a good start!

What I liked/didn’t like:

In terms of the mystery, while I did have numerous suspicions throughout by about chapter 8 my top suspect was the right one. There were a couple moments that threw me off and made me doubt my suspicions. I wouldn’t say it was obvious, but the hints are definitely there. I don’t think I’d really classify it as thriller.

I enjoyed the premise quite a lot and I think this could really appeal to a teenage audience. I was most struck by how different high school is from when I was a teen – not that long ago LOL! – because of the prevalence of social media. The characters have all the stressors most generations have experienced, but under a constant microscope.

The characters were pretty distinct, which I enjoyed. They were facing some very different family dynamics and pressures, not to mention internal battles. I enjoyed the bit of diversity that sprung up too and how that changed those students’ experiences. Each of the 4 students – Bronwyn, Addy, Nate, and Cooper – had a secret that makes them suspects in Simon’s death. It was powerful to see how releasing themselves from those secrets in various ways actually freed them in other ways too. Despite the horrible experience, they grow so much and learn a lot about themselves, their peers, and their families.

I’m struck by the fact that this is a series – because it ends very resolved in my opinion. But I enjoyed this one and will likely try to continue the series soon.

Narrator thoughts:

I chose to listen to listen to this after hearing that the audio was good and noticing that there were 4 narrators. Sometimes multiple narrators can create a jarring effect, but normally it enriches my experience of each character. In this case, it definitely enriched. Kim Mai Guest, MacLeod Andrews, Shannon McManus, and Robbie Daymond each brought their characters to life, while blending well with the other narrators representations of each character’s voice. The point of view changes frequently in this book, and the narrators took over the narration for 1 character’s point of view. I would definitely recommend listening.
4 stars Pretty Great

Berls Reviews January #COYER Book Club ReadsOne by One by Ruth Ware
Narrator: Imogen Church
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on September 8, 2020
Genres: Mystery
Length: 12 hours
Format: Audiobook
Source: Scribd

“The Agatha Christie of our generation.” —David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author “Diabolically clever.” —Riley Sager, author of Final Girls
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Turn of the Key and In a Dark Dark Wood returns with another suspenseful thriller set on a snow-covered mountain.
Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?
An off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?

My top thoughts:

Wow! Ruth Ware has a perfect score for me – all her books (that I’ve read) are 4 stars or higher. This is my first 5 star read of 2021 and MAY be taking the place of The Woman In Cabin 10 as my favorite Ruth Ware. It is yet another Ruth Ware read where I figured it out mere moments before the reveal. And then I look back and realize it was starring at me, screaming the answer from the get-go. So incredibly clever!

What I liked/didn’t like:

It’s the little details that you almost overlook that always matter. I want to talk about the brilliance of some of the little details, but to do so might alert you to them and ruin it for you. So I’ll leave it at that. The characters are marvelously full and developed.

The setting played such an important part. Ruth Ware has done a fantastic job of using the deadly beauty of this remote mountain-side ski chalet as yet another character for the story. Either she’s an experienced skier or did a great deal of research to bring that element to life. The thrill and the terror both shine through.

And where did she get the idea for Snoop? Does something like it exist and I don’t know about it? Snoop allows you to listen WITH someone you follow. When they hit pause, your music pauses. When they switch to something else, so do you.Because it’s brilliant and I can absolutely see people using it. I don’t do music that much, so I wouldn’t use it, but yeah I can see people loving it. It has a voyeuristic aspect I think people would enjoy.

Narrator thoughts:

I cannot stress enough the incredible narration of Imogen Church either. I always make a point of listening to Ruth Ware because Imogen Church does an amazing job of bringing the story to life.

5 stars Flipping Fantastic

Berls is reviewing the January #COYER book club reads. Have you read them? Share on X

About Berls

Michelle adopted me as part of her blog when I decided to close down my blog, Fantasy is More Fun. The blog was dying, but my love of reading and the blogosphere was still strong as ever - so I found my new home here at Because Reading!

I'm not just a book lover, but a one time author (that hopes to be more in the future), wife, mom to the cutest, happiest, best 2 year old and step-mom to the craziest, sweetest 22 year old on the planet. My family mean everything to me and they appear frequently in the Sunday Post with Berls. So grab a glass of wine and chat books, blogging, and family with me!



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3 responses to “Berls Reviews January #COYER Book Club Reads

  1. One by One is one of those that I think people either hate or love, though most the people I have seen review it on booktube hated it…lol. I have been wanting to try this author again but I didn’t like Woman in Cabin 10 so been leery…lol. Glad you really enjoyed it. 🙂 I need to try One of Us is Lying! 🙂

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