• sujata chaudhury

One of Us is Lying

One of Us is Lying is a mystery novel by Karen M. McManus and published by Penguin Books in the year 2017. The story is set in Bayview Hugh high school. It's a normal day at the school except five students walk into detention but only four come out alive.


We have Bronwyn, a geek always tops the class, Cooper a baseball prodigy, Addy the prom queen and her life revolves around her boyfriend and Nate, on probation for selling drugs. The story begins when Bronwyn, Cooper, Addy, Nate, and Simon the creator of a gossip app go to detention. Simon dies right in front of the other four of an allergic reaction. Simon was about to post their secrets online the next day. Anyone can say it's a poorly staged murder. Who has a secret so dark that she/he can commit murder?


Though all the character descriptions make it look like it's an average high school drama it's absolutely not. How Karen has taken such cliched characters and turned the whole story into an intriguing mystery is brilliant. The book starts off well but when the investigation of the murder starts I found my interest slacking off a bit. I get the author was trying to throw the readers off the track but it gets annoying when no one is asking the right question you can clearly see lying around. But there are a lot of things that make this book a good read. I liked how the relationships among the main characters developed. Though they are bonding because they are outcasts now, there is always a nagging thought in the mind that one of them is the criminal.


This novel provides us with a great mystery but also says that there is always more to a person than what meets the eyes. Everyone has their complexities, ambitions, worries, and secrets. This book subtly hints at the problems teenagers face, like pressure from family, depression, low self-confidence, acceptance from family, drug abuse which were nice to read about. For me, the best part of the book is its ending. One might think that they have found out who the killer is but the story has something more to offer. I can't end my review without mentioning the best thing about this book, the paperback version has colored edges which is very rare. If not for the story I would have got the book only for the colored edges 😂. Happy reading!

“You find out who your real friends are when stuff like this happens. Turns out I didn’t have any…”

~ Karen M. McManus, One of Us Is Lying

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