One Of Us Is Lying Book Review

Copy by Isabella Shotwell

Karen M. McManus’s One Of Us Is Lying is a teen murder mystery set in Bayview, California. It follows four teenagers; Bronwyn, Nate, Cooper, and Addy. The story starts off with the four of them, along with another student named Simon, heading to detention. During this fateful detention, a car crash occurs in the school parking lot, causing the teacher to leave the room. When he comes back, Simon is on the floor having an allergic reaction and the others are panicking around him. They call 911, but it’s too late, Simon is dead. After further investigation, the police discover that Simon’s death was not an accident, but intentional. Now Bronwyn, Cooper, Nate, and Addy are suspects in Simon’s murder. The question is, who dunnit?


The characters in One Of Us Is Lying are very layered and interesting. Bronwyn is a no-nonsense student who was getting ready to head off to Yale. But by the end of the story, she developed into someone who deeply cares about those around her and has loosened up a bit from her former demeanor. Nate is a drug seller and has an alcoholic dad who is never around to help. He is presented as a douchebag of sorts who doesn’t care at all. But you soon discover that he does care about people, particularly Bronwyn, and truly wants to be a better person. Addy is introduced as a popular girl at Bayview High, who only cares about her boyfriend. She develops into an independent person, who doesn’t need anyone else’s approval for the things she does. And finally Cooper, Cooper is a jock and part of Addy’s friend group. You discover that he has a complicated background, and is a very protective person. Overall, the main characters are very detailed and complex.


One Of Us Is Lying has a great concept, and carries it out beautifully. You are constantly rethinking who the killer might be. You start to really feel for the characters and what they’re going through during this traumatic journey. And at some point in the story, you think it’s a different character who did it, and that is great storytelling. You will not see the twist at the end coming, which is pretty rare for a mystery. One Of Us Is Lying connects the teen drama and murder mystery genres beautifully. I really recommend this book to everyone, even non-readers.

Isabella Shotwell