‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays 2016 With Karen McManus

‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays is a special seasonal feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which some of my favourite authors help me to celebrate the spirit of the season and spread a little holiday cheer. So, pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate and snuggle in by the fireside as they answer the question: “What does the holiday season mean to you?” You can find a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!


About Karen McManus

Karen M. McManus earned her BA in English from the College of the Holy Cross and her MA in journalism from Northeastern University. When she isn’t working or writing in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she loves to travel with her son. Her debut YA novel, One of Us Is Lying, will be published by Delacorte Press/Random House in May 2017, and followed by a second book in 2018.

Find Karen on: WebsiteTwitterInstagramGoodreads

When my son was five, the holiday season felt like a long, painful slog to be endured instead of celebrated. We’d lost his dad the year before, and it was hard to summon the energy to be even minimally festive. On the day before Christmas Eve, as we packed to stay with my sister’s family, I felt a stab of guilt that I hadn’t done more to make the season special.

“We should celebrate Christmas Eve Eve tonight,” I told my son.

“Celebrate what?” he asked

“You know. The night before Christmas Eve. We can make it a holiday, for just us.”

He was doubtful. “What would we do?”

Of course he’d ask that. It’s not like I had an actual plan or anything. “You get to choose what we have for dinner,” I improvised. “You can play the Chipmunks Christmas album as many times as you want, open one present, and you don’t have to go to bed if you’re not tired.”

Even as I said it I thought, What a sad little idea. You suck at impromptu celebrations, Karen. But my son loved it. We had cranberry sauce and bacon for dinner and listened to “Christmas Don’t Be Late” approximately sixty times. He opened a Lego set and fell asleep on the floor with it half-built at ten-thirty. A week later, even after visiting Santa’s Village, skating and skiing with his cousins, and opening a pile of gifts, the highlight of his holiday season was still Christmas Eve Eve.

Five years later, it remains his favorite tradition. He starts planning dinner around Thanksgiving and changes his mind at least a dozen times before settling on a menu. Choosing which present to open is an agonizing thrill. His friends all lobby their parents to celebrate Christmas Eve Eve (so far, no takers).

I think that’s what I like most about the holidays: That even when you’re dealing with loneliness and loss, you have a chance to create something new. That you never know when a spur-of-the-moment idea will turn into a cherished memory. That simple things sometimes have the most impact.

And in case you were wondering: This year, we’re having hot fudge sundaes.

Title One Of Us Is Lying
Author Karen McManus
Pages N/A
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
To Be Published 2017 by Delacorte Press/Random House
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

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 alive. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. He died on a Monday. But that Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates. Now, all four of them are suspects in his murder. Are they guilty? Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

They all have a motive. They all have something to hide. They all have a history with Simon. And one of them is definitely lying.

One response to “‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays 2016 With Karen McManus”

  1. Alexa S. says:

    I was incredibly moved by your post, Karen! I love that you guys created your own tradition <3
    Alexa S. recently posted…Alexa’s Best of 2016: Young Adult & Middle Grade BooksMy Profile

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