One Of Us Is Lying is an eerie and eye opening novel

This novel will make you wonder what secrets the people around you keep


Blake Kline

One Of Us Is Lying takes place in Bayview, California

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus is a novel about a homicide that takes place in a high school. 

At Bayview High on Sept. 24, five students are in detention: Simon, Brownyn, Nate, Cooper, and Addy. They are put in detention because their phones ring during class, even though they don’t claim the phones as their own. 

At some point, Simon drinks water from a water fountain with a plastic cup and suffers a fatal allergic reaction due his peanut allergy. The other students try to help him, but they find out later that Simon died at the hospital. 

Shocked about the event, Simon’s parents ask the police to find the killer. The police believe the other students in the room with him are involved in Simon’s murder but all the teenagers claim to be uninvolved in his death.

It remains a mystery, and the police can’t figure it out who could be the murderer. Who would have motive?

Simon wasn’t the most popular person in the school. He created an app called “About That” where he would write the school’s gossip, those exposed through the app typically weren’t happy with him. Other than that, students generally had mixed feelings about Simon. He was an outcast.

This book is one of McManus’s YA suspense and mystery novels. McManus is an American author born in Massachusetts in 1969, who is most known for this book. One Of Us Is Lying spent 130 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. It was published on May 29, 2017 by Delacorte Press. It was so successful that it had a sequel (One Of Us Is Next), published January 7, 2020, and a TV adaptation released on October 7, 2021.

McManus got nominated for “Edgar Award for Best Young Adult” and for “Goodreads Choice Awards Best Young Adult Fiction”. Her books have had so much success that they have been translated into more than 40 languages.

McManus’ writing is easy to understand but not banal. While reading the book you won’t notice the time passing. The way she describes characters, their behavior, and their story is really clear and simple. Even a person that doesn’t know the language as well can read it in English and understand it. 

The growth of the characters and what you discover will keep you hooked — the book has a lot of twists and surprises. What I liked the most is how it’s written. The story is interesting and will make you keep reading without end.

This novel opens your eyes to the fact that everyone has secrets, even if it may not seem like it — some are just better at hiding it. This book is really interesting and I highly recommend it for an easy but exciting read.