Book Review: One of Us is Lying


If you’ve seen the musical Truman High School performed last year, you may be aware of high school stereotypes. Specifically those regarding types of people. The athletes, the geeks, the class clowns, the bad ones. One of my favorite books, “One of Us is Lying,” sheds light on said stereotypes. But it also shows how no one is perfect, regardless of their status. More accurately, the message is, “Anyone, if given the cause, can commit murder.”

The book is about five students, each of which are in detention for having a phone in class. These students consist of: Cooper Clay, the jock, Nate McAuley, the criminal, Bronwyn Roja, the brains, Addy Prentiss, the princess, and Simon Kelleher, who’s famous for, uh, other reasons. Things take a turn for the worst when Simon suddenly suffers a severe allergic reaction that he wouldn’t survive (do I really have to give this kind of spoiler alert for a murder mystery?)

Oh, did I forget to mention that Simon ran a gossip page? Well, it’s soon revealed he had reputation ruining gossip of the other four students in that room. This makes all four of them suspect to what is revealed to be a murder. They all have secrets that incriminate them, but they claim to be innocent. And that my friends is why the book is called, “One of Us is Lying.”

A great thing about the book is that not only does it show off the classic cliches of high schoolers, but it shows the background of them all to show how all of them secretly have something going on behind the scenes. In the case of the suspects, it shows their issues, and the evidence slowly reveals how they all feel. It also shows how a single secret can change everything about their overall appearance. The question is, are these secrets so worth keeping that someone had to die?

I got the book in 8th grade, and it continues to be one of my favorite books. My favorite aspect of the book is how all the characters interact with each other. As all the characters developed, so did their relations with the other suspects and their families. That is, all but the one who committed the murder. I’m not giving out spoilers, but even knowing one of them’s a murderer, you really empathize with each of them, regardless of your standing or “role” in high school. So if you’re looking for a high school classic as well as an intriguing mystery, I highly recommend this book.

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