The Medieval Times

The student news site of Cabell Midland High School

The student news site of Cabell Midland High School

The Medieval Times

The student news site of Cabell Midland High School

The Medieval Times

One of Us Is Lying book vs Peacock Show


One of Us Is Lying is a gripping young adult novel written by Karen M. McManus, which has recently been adapted into a television series on Peacock. Both the book and the show delve into the mysterious death of Simon Kelleher, a high school student who dies during detention. This article aims to compare the portrayal of characters and explore how Simon’s death is depicted in both mediums.

In both the book and the show, there are four main characters: Nate, Bronwyn, Cooper, and Addy – all students who find themselves implicated in Simon’s death during detention. Despite the differences in presentation style across mediums, there are consistent similarities when it comes to characterization between the book and show adaptations.

For instance, Nate (far left) remains portrayed as rebellious, yet vulnerable, regardless of whether one reads about him or watches him on screen. In the book he is described as tall, lean, extremely pale, having dirty black hair and bright blue eyes. He always wore a black leather jacket with dirty t-shirt underneath. In the show he has long blonde hair, bright blue eyes, fair skin tone, a brown jacket, with clean/decent clothing, which in the book Nate was not able to afford at all because of his terrible home life.

Similarly consistent is Bronwyn’s (far right) depiction as an intelligent overachiever burdened by her reputation for perfectionism. In the book Bronwyn has dark brown wavy hair, big gray eyes, glasses, a serious face with a toned facial structure. She is short and has a curvy body. In the show, her facial features and hair is almost on point, but her eyes are dark brown, and her body is shown as tall, and skinny.

Addy’s (sitting next to Bronwyn) was casted perfectly for the role. Her character is described exactly how she looks, with long blonde hair (which later in the series she cuts), big bright eyes, petite body, average “popular” girl in books/movies/shows.

Cooper (sitting next to Nate) is the opposite of how he was described to be, he was described as having a fair skin complexion, dirty blonde hair, being big, tall and muscular, and having bright blue eyes. While the actor for Cooper did an excellent job at playing him, it would have been nice to see such an amazing character come to life as described.

Simon (in the middle), is exactly how described, he wasn’t in the story for much time, so we didn’t get much of an in-depth description of him.

Simon’s death plays a crucial role in both versions; however, there are distinct differences in how this event unfolds between the book and show adaptations. In the book, Simon orchestrates his own suicide with Jake’s assistance as part of an elaborate plan aimed at exposing secrets concealed within his classmates’ lives. The motivations behind Jake aiding Simon differ greatly between formats – ranging from personal gain to maintaining power dynamics.

On TV screens via Peacock’s adaptation of One of Us Is Lying portrays Simon planning a prank using peanut oil that causes severe allergic reactions among his classmates. However, the TV adaptation diverges from the book by introducing Jake as an accomplice in this prank. This change adds a new layer of complexity to Jake’s character, showcasing his internal struggle and moral conflict when faced with harming others for Simon’s entertainment.

The consequences resulting from these actions also differ between mediums. In the book adaptation, Simon’s fatal allergic reaction occurs due to a mishap involving EpiPens hidden by Jake – an event that leads to severe guilt and remorse felt by those involved. On the other hand, the show adaptation focuses on the immediate fallout of Simon’s death within the school community and explores how it affects each character emotionally.

While both One of Us Is Lying and its Peacock show adaptation revolve around Simon’s death during detention, there are notable differences in character portrayals and storylines between these two mediums. Despite these variations, both adaptations successfully captivate audiences through their portrayal of complex characters navigating secrets and betrayal within a high school setting.

These differences have significant implications for audience interpretation and engagement with the narrative. The medium through which a story is presented influences how audiences connect with characters’ emotions, motivations, and experiences. Therefore, readers may find themselves more immersed in nuanced character developments found within novel adaptations like One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus, while television viewers may be drawn to visual representations that bring characters to life on screen via shows such as Peacock’s adaptation.

Ultimately, however one chooses to engage with this thrilling tale – whether through reading or watching – they are sure to be captivated by its exploration of secrets lurking beneath seemingly ordinary facades in high school settings.

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    Main Office MichelleOct 12, 2023 at 10:21 am

    Well written article that makes me really want to watch the show and if I had the time, read the book!