One Of Us Is Lying
By Karen McManus
A cross between 'The Breakfast Club' and 'Desperate Housewives.'
A high school student's mysterious death during detention put four of his classmates in the spotlight. Each one has something to hide and a reason to have wished him dead.
One Of Us Is Lying is an enticing cross between The Breakfast Club and Desperate Housewives.
“A sex tape. A pregnancy scare. Two cheating scandals. And that’s just this week’s update. If all you knew of Bayview High was Simon Kelleher’s gossip app, you’d wonder how anyone found the time to go to class.”
Simon’s app ‘About That’ is well known in the school for causing trouble for the subjects of the gossip. It has made him a figure of hate because he carefully chooses his sources to ensure that only the truth is repeated.
In Simon’s own words the people involved ‘bring it on themselves.’ He argues that if people didn’t do these things then there would be no app.
The book begins with five teenagers saying in detention, all of whom claim to have been set up. Each person in the room had their phone confiscated by their teacher Mr Avery and each one claims the phone is not their own.
Each one of the people in the class falls into a classic stereotype and had me feeling a bit dubious initially that the rest of the book would share the predictability. Thankfully I was wrong.
‘She’s a princess and you’re a jock,’ he says. He thrusts his chin toward Bromwyn, then at Nate. ‘And you’re a brain. And you’re a criminal. You’re all walking teen movie stereotypes…I’m the omniscient narrator.”
At one point Mr Avery has to leave the room and whilst he is gone Simon takes a sip of water from a cup and falls to the floor choking. The children and the teachers try to help but Simon dies.
The story alternates between the point of view of Bromwyn, Addy, Cooper and Nate.
Each of the characters has more to them then their stereotype thankfully and each one is a massive part of what made this such a good book to read.
Nate McCaulay has been in trouble on and off since he was in fifth grade. He has recently been on probation for DUI and drug dealing among other things. Nate's home life is unstable, his father is an alcoholic and his mother was an addict and died.
Addy Prentiss is one of the popular crowd, the princess. She and her boyfriend Jake are one of the power couples of the school. Addy’s mum thinks she is not good enough for Jake and is constantly telling her so.
Homecoming princess, not queen. Not bad, but not good enough to attract and keep the kind of man who can take care of you for life.
Cooper Clay is also a member of the popular group at school. He is a successful member of the baseball team and good looking, both of which ensure he remains part of the group. Cooper’s dad is his biggest fan and is always pushing him to better himself in the sport, to the point where he has become controlling and wants him to succeed even if it means sacrificing other aspects of his life.
During the resulting police investigation, it comes out that each of the teenagers had things to hide, secrets that they wouldn’t want to be on the app and thus a motive. As the investigation escalates so does the media circus surrounding the case and the teenagers become known as ‘The Bayview Four.’
As the story progresses, the teenagers find themselves increasingly ostracised by their so-called friends. Each one of them has a reason for not being able to fully confide in their parents or the police and so in desperation they turn to each other to discover who killed Simon and why.
Their task is not an easy one though because as the killer explains,
everyone at Bayview High hated Simon. I was just the only one with enough guts to do something about it.
This book was suspenseful and entertaining. I would definitely recommend it.
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