Review: One of Us Is Next

Review One of Us Is Next

One of Us Is Next was one of the books I chose as Most Anticipated YA Books of 2020. It’s the thrilling sequel to Karen M. McManus‘s breakout debut One of Us Is Lying.

Caution: spoilers ahead if you haven’t read One of Us Is Lying.

From the publisher:

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. 

McManus faced a difficult challenge when coming up with the story idea for One of Us Is Next: how do you write a sequel when your entire cast has graduated high school? In her latest book, she does a fantastic job of introducing us to a mostly-new cast of characters, while sprinkling in appearances by the familiar characters from One of Us Is Lying.

The central conflict is a Truth-or-Dare game, launched by parties unknown in homage to Simon’s revenge-seeking from the first book. The stakes rise as the book progresses, with a major development midway through that really kicks the action into high gear.

The twists intensify through the second half of One of Us Is Next, with an investigation – and lots of speculation – about who is behind Truth or Dare.

There are a couple of really big twists toward the end of the book, with one coming in the final few pages, in what has become a Karen M. McManus signature move.

One of Us Is Next is a thrilling and satisfying return to Bayview.

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