One of Us is Lying: book turned binge-worthy TV series

One of my favorite books from 2017 is the New York Times bestselling young adult mystery novel One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus. It was recently adapted into an eight-episode TV show on the streaming service Peacock. If you are looking for a new show to binge, this is the one. It’s comedic, mysterious, suspenseful, has great character development, and even a little teen romance. 

It all starts on the first day of school at Bayview High School. Five seemingly random students all get detention because their phones go off in class. Bronwyn Rojas (played by Marianly Tejada), the smart, school-obsessed valedictorian. Cooper Clay (Chibuikem Uche), the popular Texan baseball pitcher. Simon Kelleher (Mark McKenna), the sarcastic know-it-all with a page dedicated to exposing his fellow students. Addy Prentiss (Annalisa Cochran), the popular princess who’s dating the football captain. And Nate Macaulay (Cooper van Grootel), the “bad boy” who has a record. 

In detention Simon has an allergic reaction while drinking his water. The only people who see how it happened are the other kids in the room, now known as the Bayview Four. When Simon does not survive his allergic reaction, the police start to look into the mysterious circumstances. They find that there were traces of peanut oil in his cup, so he was apparently poisoned. The only ones who could have done it were the four other students in the room, but they all claim to be innocent. Which one is lying? Simon knew everyone’s secrets, but whose secret was worth killing for?

The full season 1 of the show came out on Peacock on October 21. I have since finished watching the show, and I really enjoyed it. At first I was a little surprised at the casting choices, because as a lover of the book, I never imagine the characters as they are cast. After finishing the whole season, however, I now really like the cast and think they were all perfect for their respective roles. 

The basic plot is the same in the book and TV show. There were just a few minor changes, and honestly a lot of them, I like better than the original parts from the book. In the books, there is a sequel, One of Us is Next, which centers around Bronwyn’s younger sister Maeve. However, with the ending of season 1, I think that a second season with the original Bayview Four could definitely be in the cards. 

One thing that stayed the same throughout both the book and the show was the constant suspense. Even knowing what had happened from reading the book, I was always on the edge of my seat. I watched each episode the day it was released and would count down the days until the next episode came out. You want to trust the characters, but you never know who you can trust right up until the end. One of them is lying, but which one?

Image sources: IMDB and Karen McManus’s website.

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