Book Review: One of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManus

Title: One of Us Is Next
Series: One of Us Is Lying #2
Author: Karen M. McManus 
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Mystery, Crime
Rating: ★★★★

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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.


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It’s been years since I’ve read One Of Us Is Next, but I remember being on the edge of my seat trying to figure out just who had killed Simon. Everyone in detention that day had a motive. One Of Us Is Next picks up a year and a half after the events of that book and follows a new cast of characters with appearances from the Bayview four. 

➽ Maeve – Bronwyn’s little sister who helped crack the case last time

➽ Knox – A transfer student from Kentucky who is Maeve’s best friend and her ex

➽ Phoebe – A junior, like Maeve and Knox, who works at Cafe Contigo 

➽ Bayview Four (in case you forgot) – Bronwyn the brainiac , Nate the troubled dealer, Addy the homecoming queen and Cooper the baseball prodigy

Everyone has finally moved on from Simon and viscous gossip he served. While others have tried to take his place, no one lasts or comes close to Simon’s level of gossip. Until one day a game of truth or dare is announced. Someone receives a text and they have 24 hrs to decide if they want a secret truth revealed or to take a “harmless” dare. Bayview students eat it up after the drama and publicity of last year. But then a Bayview student dies. Is it related to the game or just a coincidence?

So not only did we get to see how the Bayview four had moved on from the trauma of what Simon had done from them, we got this amazing new generation of characters that I loved. Maeve and Phoebe were such kick ass females! Phoebe owned her sexuality and she was empowering about it. She was bold in her fashion and her encounters with the opposite gender, but was also a good friend to Maeve and Knox when they each needed her. Maeve was just so nice and never used her cancer as an excuse for her actions. Cancer had ruled her life for so long and it’s understandable that she’d be a tad aloof in her relationships but even so she tried hard to be there for everyone that needed her. Knox was a sweet baby angel and a total dork. Out of the three MCs I connect with him the least, but he was a guy and had some issues I couldn’t relate to. He really stepped up at the end though and redeemed himself.

There were so many plot strings and pieces to the puzzle happening in this story. Details that I didn’t think mattered actually did and ended up connecting all together later on.  I connected some things right away, like who at Bayview was behind the game, but there was so much more to it than that this time. The who mattered, but it wasn’t as important as the why. The why blew my mind. And just when I thought I understood it all and was finishing the last chapter, we were hit with a final twist. Karen M. McManus strikes again and left me in disbelief all over again. 

Even if you haven’t read the first book, it’s possible to pick this book up and be able to understand and catch up with what happened and what’s happening now. But I definitely recommend the first book which was a roller coaster of emotions from start to finish. One Of Us Is Next was full of apprehension and a sense of impending doom. We know someone dies, just not how or the circumstances behind it. Would one of the characters I already loved be behind it? Read it to find out. 

2 thoughts on “Book Review: One of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManus

  1. I’m so torn as to whether to read this or not?! I read One of Us Is Lying and I think I enjoyed it? But it wasn’t my fave because I don’t usually like thrillers all that much. We’ll see though because I love the truth or dare concept!
    Great review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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