One of Us is Next – Book Review

4.5/5 – an amazing cast of new characters (with appearances from some old favourites), a thrilling plot and one of the most satisfying endings I’ve read in the genre, McManus’ sequel to One of Us is Lying is absolutely binge-worthy

Title: One of Us is Next

Author: Karen M. McManus

Publisher: Delacorte Press  

Year: 2020

Genre: YA Myster/Thriller

Pages: 377

Synopsis: “Come on, Bayview, you know you’ve missed this.

A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one’s been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts.

Until now.

This time it’s not an app, though—it’s a game.

Truth or Dare.

Phoebe’s the first target. If you choose not to play, it’s a truth. And hers is dark.

Then comes Maeve and she should know better—always choose the dare.

But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it’s that they can’t count on the police for help. Or protection.

Simon’s gone, but someone’s determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there’s a whole new set of rules.”

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44654627-one-of-us-is-next

“Who do you want to be? The guy who goes along or the guy who stands up? This is the time to decide”

Karen M. McManus, One of Us is Next

What. A. Ride. I was a little skeptical going into this sequel because I loved the cast of characters from One of Us is Lying and this one was to have a set of new characters as the focus but set in the same town. After reading it, I think I actually ended up preferring the characters in this one! 

The writing style was the same as the first book: first person/present time, and shifted between three perspectives (Maeve, Knox and Phoebe). I think having only three main characters instead of four telling the story in this one worked a bit better for me. The info-dumping for each character’s back story was less extreme and I felt like I got to know each one a little better (and more naturally). Their voices were also easier to distinguish between than the characters of the first book and that makes me so happy!! I feel like you can see McManus just delving that little bit further into her characters and making them feel that much more real!

Speaking of the characters, I adored them!!! I loved all three of the protagonists equally (which I didn’t really in the first one – Bronwyn and Nate were my favourites). They felt well developed, each with their own distinct voice. I also loved the way their lives ended up entwined at the end. I thought it was really well done!

The romantic relationships in this one made me swoon with how cute they were, but they weren’t as forefront as the ones in One of Us is Lying, and it worked really well. I also love the way McManus included the characters from the first book and we got to learn a bit more about them in the background and watch their relationships continue to unfold. 

I devoured this one nearly as quickly as the first book!! It was fast-paced, action packed and the plot was really well executed. I had my suspicions about how it would end and was so satisfied with the reveal. And the plot twist!! Omg, didn’t see that coming on like the second last page. And that ending. It was so good! Well done to the author!! She really stepped up the game with this one. It had all the best features of a YA thriller with so much extra goodness.

If you love YA thrillers and putting on your detective cap, I would definitely recommend these books. They’re intense, dramatic and have just the right amount of cute swoon-worthy romance!!

Links for the book and author:

Karen M. McManus on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15127507.Karen_M_McManus

One of Us is Next on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44654627-one-of-us-is-next

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