Review: One of Us is Next by Karen McManus

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One of Us is Next is the highly anticipated sequel to one of our fave YA murder mysteries, One of Us Is Lying. It’s eighteen months after Simon’s death and the students of Bayview High are finally getting back to normal. Students have tried and failed to re-create Simon’s gossip app, but none have had quite the same wow-factor as About That. That is, until students get texts from Unknown announcing a new game, Truth or Dare. 

One by one, the students of Bayview High are selected. First up? Phoebe, who learns the hard way that you always take the dare. Maeve thinks she has nothing to hide, but Unknown knew that what would hurt her most was going after her best friend. Before Knox can be tapped, tragedy strikes again at Bayview High. Can Phoebe, Knox, and Maeve (with some help from familiar faces!) defeat Unknown’s game before more people get hurt? 

In typical McManus style, this book had us on the edge of our seats! The first chapter summarizes what happened since we last saw the Bayview Four. We admit, it took about forty pages to pick up, but once it did we were hooked.  

McManus introduced us to two new players in the second installment, Knox and Phoebe. Both had distinct personalities and we enjoyed getting to know them. Maeve, Bronwyn’s sister, was as clever as ever in this book. Her romance with Luis was swoon-worthy, and we’re glad she made it to main character status. We appreciated that McManus made Phoebe and Knox’s relationship more of a slow burn. It felt more realistic that way! We also loved that our favorite Bayview Four made multiple appearances. We still get giddy over Nate and ship him with Bronwyn forever and ever! 

The plot felt fast-paced and McManus did an excellent job of weaving a very detailed story together. Seeing all the plot points come together over the course of the book was exciting. The ending left us *shocked*!!! We admit that we thought the mystery was over and McManus tied up every loose end…then we read the last chapter. We need another book— and fast! We’re not sure if McManus intentionally left the ending this way to set up another book, or if this really is the end for our favorite Bayview High students. 

Overall, this book does not disappoint! It was enjoyable, captivated our attention, and didn’t suffer from second-book-syndrome. Though we did not love it as much as the first book (it is incredibly hard to beat it in our hearts!) we did enjoy the second installment immensely and recommend it to all YA mystery/thriller fans. 

Let us know what you thought of the book in the comments below! Luckily, McManus has another book, The Cousins, hitting bookshelves on December 1, 2020! We can’t wait to pick it up. 

Also, if you see that McManus is coming to an event near you, please attend! We’ve met her and she’s incredibly nice and modest!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

18 thoughts on “Review: One of Us is Next by Karen McManus

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