The Book Corner: “One of Us is Lying” by Karen M. McManus

“One of Us is Lying” is a fast-paced, exciting thriller with serious undertones touching on cyberbullying and being there for one another.

The Book Corner: “One of Us is Lying” by Karen M. McManus

Colleen Leidner, Contributing Writer

“One of Us is Lying” cover, published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

In this time of unrelenting crisis, there are a lot of things college-age people are worried about. The stigma around certain groups of people and what to do while locked down are among the worries that young adults face now. “One of Us is Lying” by Karen M. McManus addresses both.

The story centers around four high school kids stuck in detention at Bayview Highschool: Bronwyn, the scholar; Simon, the outcast; Nate, the juvenile delinquent; Addy, the beauty queen; and Cooper, the athlete.

I know what you’re thinking. This sounds like a rewrite of “The Breakfast Club.” Oh, but there’s so much more to it than that.

The story itself is a thriller, a fast-paced novel that holds a lot of mystery and intrigue. It also holds an important lesson showing that no one knows what goes on in someone else’s life.

While in detention, Simon dies. The other four kids are now framed for his murder, and have to prove that they are innocent despite all the indications that one of them is indeed lying. Despite how different they all are, they come to be known as the “Bayview Four” because the school is named Bayview and all four of them are suspects in the murder.

The fact is, none of the Bayview Four ever really knew Simon. All anyone knew of him was that he held a gossip page that everyone in the school read, and somehow everything he posted was always right. Sure a lot of people would be out to get him, but why would they go so far as to kill him?

The Bayview Four find themselves unified with one objective: to find out who really killed Simon.

There are undertones of growing up, the pressures of senior year, abusive parents, the stress of being an overachiever, cyberbullying, and for one of the characters, the fear of coming out.

For me, this story was an incredible read for a quarantine day. It reads like a sitcom drama, as though “Fuller House” and “Law and Order” had a baby.

The part of this book that I most enjoyed was how love can come from the most unexpected places. Sometimes it takes a crazy situation to form an allegiance, but an allegiance does happen.

With a TV series from “Peacock” in the works, I would highly recommend this read. It gave me a solid afternoon of entertainment and grabbed my thoughts for weeks after I put it down.

I think it’s important to realize that there’s so much more to our interactions than we realize. Especially now that most of our social interaction is online.

There’s a powerful message to remember the validity of another person’s life and the way they see things. To ask questions when someone seems off, and to be there for our fellow people.

After all, it’s not until the Bayview Four ask themselves the only question left—what if none of them are lying—that the truth comes out.

Colleen Leidner is a contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her @silver_tragedy.