One of Us is Lying

by

Karen McManus

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One of Us is Lying: Chapter 17 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Monday afternoon, Addy muses about how she and Bronwyn are essentially pariahs both at school and in the media coverage of the Bayview Four—meanwhile, everyone on the internet is swooning over Cooper and Nate, and the boys aren’t being ostracized at school, either. During lunch, Addy scrolls obsessively on her phone, reading coverage of the investigation and trying to share it with Bronwyn and Janae, who have both been trying to avoid the coverage.
Though Addy has turned over a new leaf, she’s still preoccupied with what others think of her. She’s distressed that she’s not getting the right kind of attention in the media, and longs to be seen as she once was, despite the changes she’s made.
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Related Quotes
In science class, Addy’s teacher switches up everyone’s lab partners; Addy winds up with TJ, and though things are awkward at first, they quickly get down to work. TJ compliments Addy’s dramatic haircut and remarks upon how funny she is—Addy ignores his compliments, though, and focuses on the assignment. After class, Jake follows her out of the classroom. He asks her if she’s all right, and she says she isn’t. He offers to “talk sometime” if she wants to, and she breathlessly agrees.
This passage furthers the emotional quandary set up in the last; Addy, despite how far she’s come in just a couple short weeks, still longs for things to go back to “normal”—even if that means bending once again to the controlling, unpredictable Jake.
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That afternoon, Nate and Bronwyn head to a small rocky outcrop in the woods near Nate’s house—though it’s a destination for drinking, drugs, and hookups, Nate knows that Bronwyn can’t be aware of the spot’s bad reputation. Bronwyn reveals that she spoke to Eli Kleinfelter. She didn’t tell him anything about herself, but got him to agree to look into Simon’s strange internet presence more. Kleinfelter also mentioned that the timing of the car accident during detention was suspect—he thinks the accident was planned as a distraction so that someone could slip into the room and frame the four students.
Bronwyn, ever the overachiever, has been digging into every possible nook and cranny in order to try and gather up support for her and the rest of the Bayview Four. She has sparked the interest of Eli Kleinfelter, who shares her suspicions that there’s more to the story than what the investigators have unearthed.
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Nate doesn’t buy Eli’s theories, but Bronwyn really doesn’t believe that anyone in the room murdered Simon. She has gotten to know Addy better, and doesn’t think she seems capable of violence—Cooper doesn’t, either. Nate points out that anyone could be capable of anything; the two jokingly promise “not to murder” one another, and then Nate roughly kisses Bronwyn. The two make out for a little while until Bronwyn pulls away—Maeve is texting her repeatedly. When Bronwyn looks at her phone, she sees that her lawyer has told her mother that the police want her to come to the station for further questioning.
Bronwyn has reached a point where she trusts in Addy, Cooper, and Nate almost completely—she certainly is comfortable enough with Nate to take the next step in their relationship, kissing him passionately despite having been told not to forge a connection with him at all. Just as Bronwyn’s confidence in her peers’ innocence peaks, her own culpability is called into question once again.
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Bronwyn texts Maeve to pick her up at Nate’s house, and she and Nate make their way through the woods back to Nate’s. As they walk through Nate’s yard, Bronwyn observes that someone is at the front door—Nate worries briefly that it is a reporter, but a closer look reveals that it’s Nate’s mother.
Just when Bronwyn had confirmed her trust in Nate, a startling truth comes to light: Nate’s mother isn’t dead, and he has been lying to Bronwyn—and many others—all along.
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