Summary of the Book "One of Us is Lying" by Karen M. Mcmanus

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Summary Of The Book “One Of Us Is Lying” By Karen M. McManus

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The Key Incident in One of Us Is Lying
  • Conclusion


The book “One of us is Lying” opens with the four main characters, Bronwyn, headed to detention alongside Simon, a social outcast of the school who came up with a gossip app that he uses to spread gossip and negative chit chat about the other students of the school. On the way there Simon comments to Bronwyn about how them plus the other three students that will be at detention seem like a scene that was ripped right from a movie, as each of them fills a common movie teen role, Bronwyn the nerd, Cooper, the jock, Nate, the criminal, Simon, the weirdo and Addy, the cheerleader. As they enter the classroom each of them takes a seat and teacher hands them instruction to write and essay and explains why they were all there as they were caught with phones in his class when they were not allowed, each of them starts complaining that they were all set up as the phones confiscated that were attributed to them were not theirs. While this happens Simon starts looking for his water bottle and seems he can’t find it, he decides to just get water from the tap with the cup.

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The Key Incident in One of Us Is Lying

While heading over to the sink a loud sound is heard outside as a minor accident went off outside in the parking lot so the teacher leaves to check. Simon then goes to get some water and takes a sip, after taking a sip he starts seizing and hits the floor. The other four gather around him and try to help. Nate takes charge but they can’t seem to find EpiPens in either the clinic or Simon’s bag so they look for help from one of the teachers. Once they do find help and get an ambulance they then get Simon onto an ambulance and they are all let home. A few hours later they all get word that Simon had died from his reaction. The next few chapters focus on the aftermath of these events, it shows how they each dealt with the stress of the matter, Bronwyn becoming friendly with Nate after years of little to no communication, Cooper and Addy falling back on their family and relationships to support themselves.

Over the next period of time the police start to get involved believing that Simon was murdered and investigate each of the four trying to extract possibly incriminating evidence around each of them. Around this same time Tumblr posts start coming up that seem to know something about the four of them leading the police to investigate them. This continues as more posts are released that reveal some dirt about each of them as well as their own narration implying that they were hiding something as well. The Tumblr post that came up next suggested that Bronwyn, who had a clear record had cheated last year to get her perfect grades, the poster thinks that due to his massive jump in ability that Cooper has been on roids, that Addy cheated on her boyfriend and that Nate was still dealing despite being on parole. This post was found by the police first and so they called each of them to the station as well and investigated them with interrogations. Each of them dealt with it a different way but it shows that each of them trying to find legal help of some kind whilst the police are most inclined to believe it was Nate due to his criminal record despite all four of them having probable cause, believing that one of them had planted the peanut oil that killed simon in the cup.


As time goes on more posts and more gossip starts to go around but eventually the police come circle back to Nate claiming that they had found Simon’s EpiPen in his locker and arrest him. Bronwyn isn’t convinced and tries to reveal the truth through her own investigations and by trying to get the help of Nate’s estranged mother. It’s eventually revealed through Simon’s friend Janae that his death was a meticulously planned suicide to spite the four of them that were present that day in detention as he had believed they had wronged him in the past. It closes with Nate’s release and all of them dealing with the final aftermath of the situation.

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