The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.
Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.
Beware spoilers ahead!
Trigger warning: Suicide, mention of cheating, physical violence, blackmail using a character’s sexual orientation, homophobia, drug addiction, slut shaming, bullying, controlling relationship, and bad representation of mental illness.
I read One of Us Is Lying a little over a year ago. In that time I’ve been thinking a lot about this book. I’ve come to realize that all those problems other people had with it, I did as well. I guess writing trigger warning’s in my reviews has been a part of it as well. Also I think some of the charm has worn off and I’ve managed to forget quite a bit. That’s not really helpful for mysteries let alone this review.
Anyways let’s get to it! This follows four first person point of views. There’s a full cast for the audiobook. There are tumblr and blog posts. During detention the main characters are with Simon, the school’s resident Gossip Girl. Simon has a severe peanut allergy. While their teacher is off to do something, Simon starts to have convulsions. Unable to find an epipen Simon is rushed to the hospital. It is revealed the next day that Simon died.
The four main characters are now suspects in the murder. On Simon’s blog there are posts outing each of the main character’s secrets come out to the whole school. The four face isolation and bullying once each of their secrets are out in the open. After all of this they all decide to team up. Thinking the real killer is still out there to get them.
The title is actually wrong as every character in this book are hiding something. I found most of the story to be enjoyable! I liked the character’s growth and relationships to one-another. My favourite was definitely Addy! Her character growth was amazing. Below I’ll detail each of the character’s secrets, family, and such.
Bronwyn: Half Mexican is the ‘Smart One’. She’s a hard worker. And does well in all her studies. Well except for the one time she cheated of course. Voila big secret! Due to stress, wanting to live up to her families expectations, and being half POC. She’s got a good relationship with her family. Romantic love interest is Nate.
Nate: His mother abandoned him, his father is an alcoholic, and on the side he’s a drug dealer. Earning him his reputation at school. He’s the biggest suspect due to this. Of course his big secret is his family life and that he still deals. Romantic love interest is Bronwyn. They were surprisingly cute together!
Cooper: Extremely popular, good looking, and an athlete. Has a beautiful girlfriend. Best friend is Addy’s boyfriend Jake. Secretly he’s gay and doesn’t want people to know. The town is quite homophobic and so is his father. Unfortunately this is outed too. Note that he wasn’t out of the closet. He has a boyfriend whose a model.
Addy: Pretty, popular, and is Jake’s girlfriend. Although she hasn’t always been faithful. She cheated on Jake with Ty. Who she gets along with better. Her mother has made her believe that Addy needs a man in her life. Otherwise she’s useless. Her sister believes otherwise and is in the middle of a divorce. Once she gets outed she get’s bullied and slut shamed. Addy remains single in the end. And she and her sister move in together. Her character development was suburb!
The author really excels at contemporary! I really liked all the characters and their friendship. It takes a really long time for the mystery to come in. The characters kept me engaged! Good job on the author’s part.
The mystery part is a bit lacking. As it was Simon who had depression, and committed suicide. Simon had Jake and another girl (whose name I’ve forgotten) frame the four main characters for his death. Simon started to get badly influenced by forums that liked school shooters. He became obsessed and apparently thought it would a fantastic idea to frame some people for his ‘Murder’. Nate’s mother is also bipolar and comes back after taking medication that works for her.
I do feel that the author doesn’t handle mental illness well. At the time I felt Simon’s motivations made sense. It fit his character. He was really dramatic. And it is completely possible to get bad influences. But as I’ve found out this year this is a common trope in thrillers. And that’s just awful. If it weren’t for those things I probably would’ve rated it higher.
Overall I did still enjoyed a majority of this book! I would still recommend but please read trigger warning’s first.