Who’s lying, if they say ‘One of Us is Lying’?
Secrets. They can be so romantic when shared with your other half. But once in the envious hands, they could destroy and uproot one’s life. They could make or break a person. They could change the course of someone’s life. They could transform relationships.
And Karen Mc Manus let her thoughts run wild and free when she wrote her debut novel, One of Us is Lying, published in the year 2017. Since then, it has successfully captured the minds of the varied spectrum of readers. Written through first-person narrative of multiple characters, four to be exact, the book vividly draws upon on the realistic nature and depth of human relationships. Having had a successful 129-week on the New York Times bestsellers, this young adult, suspense/thriller book revolves around the death and supposed murder of Simon Kelleher. Four prime suspects come up. Needless to say, they are the same ones who were with Simon in detention.
Simon says, “She’s a princess and you’re a jock. And you’re a brain. And you’re a criminal. You’re all walking teen-movie stereotypes.” To be clear, Adelaide, or Addy, is the princess, Cooper is the jock, Bronwyn is the brain, and Nate is the criminal. And Simon is the omniscient narrator. Well, he probably goes to be omniscient since all except him make out of the detention on Monday ALIVE.
And now someone’s on the prowl to smear the names and lives of the four students using Simon’s brainchild- About That, an absolutely vile, gossip app where Simon discloses others’ secrets keeping their names subtly anonymous. And on Tuesday, he had planned to reveal secrets of four high profile students. Who are they? Did they plan to kill him?
Between all this, the four suspects bond together and form relationships and play a part in each other’s transformation.
A bright career and a spotless past, making a full trip to Yale- at least that was all what Bronwyn thought it took to get into an Ivy League institution. Brought up in a family that cared too much for her, she thought getting all A grades, working studiously, would solidify her life. Eventually, life caught up with her. And she got tangled. And she thought her secret getting out would end her life. Until she met Nate.
Abandoned at a young age by his junkie mother and living with an estranged and alcoholic father teared a big hole in Nate’s life. But that was the best part, you know. He never lied about what he was. A drug dealer and a juvie. And alone, most of all. Emotionally so hollow, he couldn’t fathom how to feel whatever his heart felt. When Bronwyn came into his life, followed by his mother.
Addy has never loved herself; or at least she was never given the chance to hold the reigns of her own life. Her mother never let her be comfortable in her own skin and Jake always demanded too much of her. An indifferent mother and a controlling-turned-abusive sweet boyfriend is all that Addy needed to reconcile with her own self and her sister, Ashton.
Cooper loved baseball. Or at least he learned to, when his dad forced all his hopes on the shoulders of Cooperstown. An excessively clingy girlfriend, Keely, at least that’s what Cooper thought of her, and a delightfully loving and adoring grandmother, made him realise how much Kris means to him and his passion to play.
So what happened when someone else spilled Simon’s guts, digitally. Will Bronwyn, Nate, Addy, and Cooper stand the tests of time? Will Bronwyn’s and Nate’s new love blossom into something more? Can Addy be reborn as her own self? How will Cooper face his dad’s expectations and learn to love Kris the way he should?
Or all their secrets are a premonition of what happened to Simon?