One of Us is Lying (One of Us Is Lying #1)

Overall Content



Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking


Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty


Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood


Potentially Intense Themes


One of Us Is Lying (One of Us Is Lying #1)

Karen McManus

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 just the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Excerpt taken from book flap.


F***- 24

D***- 20

H***- 40

S***- 28

A**- 21

B****- 6

WTF -1 (written down, not spoken)

Religious cursing-

G**- 66

J*****- 9

Chr***- 3

Derogatory terms-




Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking

One student is called, “a perpetual stoner.”

Another student possibly has a DUI, or deals drugs.

A teen boy has a flask in his jacket and goes to take a swig before getting on his motorcycle. He offers some to a girl and she takes a swig. They take multiple swigs.

A teen is referred to as a “stoner drummer.”

A boy’s dad is passed out on the couch with a bottle of alcohol nearby. This is common.  To make up for it, the boy delivers painkillers around town for cash. He got picked up for selling weed once and is on probation.

A teen wears a Guinness t-shirt.

A mom drinks wine.

A girl gets “blind drunk.”

A teen hides all of his unsold drugs and burner phones before his probation officer comes over.

A teen boy debates on taking Vicodin but doesn’t.

Gossip states a teen boy is keeping the school high, against his probation. Also that another teen boy is on steroids.

A dad opens another bottle of alcohol after he’s told it is killing him.

An adult sister drinks a beer while hanging out with her teen sister.

There’s a high school party where a lot of teens get drunk. One is puking in the bushes, a few are ‘hooking up’ in the couch. Multiple teens are openly drinking and very drunk.

A mom watches TV with a large glass of wine.

A scenic area is most common for drinking and drugs among teens.

Gossip states one girl drinking too much beer and puking in the host’s washing machine.

A mom is a cocaine addict that abandoned her family.

A teen boy drinks a beer at a party. A drunk girl brings out a bag of drugs and asks if he wants to trip.

A teen boy admits to selling another weed.

Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty

A sex tape, two cheaters, and pregnancy scare are gossip at a high school.

One high schooler “hooked up” with his girlfriend’s cousin.

A teen boy checks out a girl’s upper thigh a few times when her skirt rides high.

A warning goes out to girls that a guy has placed a camera in his light (vaguely indicating that he would record sex) one girl has already been filmed.

A couple were said to be getting “hot and heavy” under the bleachers while the girl’s boyfriend was watching the game above them.

One guy is referred to as a “man-whore” and “walking STD.”

A bunch of football players were harassing a group of girls with sexting messages.

A teen couple kiss and he puts his hand up her shirt. He slowly goes lower, asking if it’s ok. The girl’s mom instructed her to always say yes so he doesn’t find someone else. She’s up for it and she pulls him onto her. No more details.

A couple planned to sleep together for the first  after junior prom where he rented a hotel room and bought her sexy lingerie.

While drunk, a girl sleeps with a guy even though he’s not her boyfriend.

A girl kisses a guy who isn’t her boyfriend.

Gossip states a girl cheated on her boyfriend.

A teen boy cheats on his girlfriend. A girl tries to give a guy who’s not her boyfriend, a hand job.

A teen boy has frequent booty calls.

A wife finds her husband in bed with someone else.

A teen boy wants to kiss a teen girl but they’re interrupted before he can. The girl later kisses him on the cheek.

A scenic area is common for hooking up. Two teens passionately kiss here. He kisses her along her jawline and neck.

Two teen guys meet secretly and kiss. One is in love with the other.

A teen boy and girl kiss. She moans as his tongue slides into her mouth. Their limbs get tangled as their kisses get more passionate. He slides his hand up the back of her shirt, and into the waistband of her shorts but no further. She vaguely references that she feels him physically turned on. He then states he needs a break to calm down.

A teen boy realizes he’s gay and feels he has to hide it from everyone.  When it does get out, people throw condoms at him, yell that he’s gay in a high voice, tell him, “Doin’ the butt, hey pretty,” and generally make his life miserable by laughing and pointing in front of a crowd.

One guy intervened and tells a girl that’s laughing that she tried to stick her hand down his pants at a party and that he’d be surprised if there was a guy there that she hadn’t tried to be with.

A girl grabs her boyfriend and kisses him very publicly.  They later kiss, him backing her against a wall and touching her face. She wraps her arms around his neck and sighs. He finds bare skin below her shirt and rubs it.

A teen girl was kicked out when her parents find she’s pregnant.

A male gay couple kiss passionately, one pushing the other against a wall, digging hands into his hair and sliding his tongue into his mouth.

A teen girl and boy kiss.

A young girl’s mom keeps taking younger and younger men and the daughter doesn’t like it.

Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood

A teen boy has an allergic reaction and starts choking, wheezing and his eyes are bugging out of his head. His eyes roll back in his head. He is rushed out by ambulance and dies at the hospital. Murder is suspected.

A Tumblr post admits to killing the boy. It was premeditated. It stated that everyone hated the kid and that he did everyone a favor.

Another Tumblr post states trying to find ways to give him some peanut oil. It said they would’ve stopped him from dying once he turned colors but they’d already stolen all the EpiPens.

A teen boy punches the wall leaving the wall bloody.

One teen boy punches another teen boy. His nose is bloody and probably broken.

A story on TV shows a boy who took a gun to school and opened fire. Seven students and a teacher died before he killed himself. The comments section is full of people celebrating him.

A teen gets arrested for murder.

A girl wonders if another girl is going to get a gun to shoot her or slit her own wrists. She does neither.

A teen boy considers getting a gun, barring school doors and shooting everyone, including himself. Instead he decides to be more sinister, hoping others will imitate him.

A teen boy chases a teen girl, grabs her arm and covers the mouth. She bites him and he slaps her. She knees his groin and scrapes at his eyes. He shoves her to ground and slams her head on a rock (this gives her a concussion and fractured skull). She starts to black out then he chokes her. When another tries to intervene the hurt girl hears a thud (this causes a broken jaw in this person). He chokes her again. Another teen comes and punches him, knocking him out.

A teen boy gets arrested.

Potentially Intense Themes

The sound of tires squealing and cars crashing is heard.

A boy remembers his bipolar mom who would drop plates and sit and cry on the pieces, throw their belongings out the window or curl up in her bed and not move for days. Once at parent-teacher conferences, she screamed at the teacher and ripped art off the wall. She also would cry at the curb while picking him up. She later got into “mind-altering substances.”

A girl was diagnosed with leukemia at 7 and fought it for 7 years. There were a few times her parents were asked to make her funeral arrangements.

Last year a girl tried to kill herself when a guy said she had slept with a bunch of freshmen. She was harassed on social media for months and slit her wrists.

A teen boy’s grandma has a heart attack and is in the hospital.

Gossip gets intense about a boy cross-dressing, so much so that he transfers schools.

A teen boy finds his dad not breathing. He calls an ambulance and the man spends a few days in the hospital. His liver is so damaged they tell him he coul go at any time. When they get home he opens another bottle of alcohol and drinks.

Normal guys shouldn’t have to deal with that crap (gay players) in the locker room.”

A teen boy realizes he’s gay and feels he has to hide it from everyone.

Gossip gives a guy a hard time and compares him to a school shooter, telling him to “raise the stakes” and “be more original.” Then suggests a grenade or swords.

A father and son fight about whether being gay is a choice.

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