Sarah Reviews… One Of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManus

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Title: One Of Us Is Next

Author: Karen M. McManus

Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: 7th January 2020

Format: Paperback

About the book:

It is a year after the action of One of Us Is Lying, and someone has started playing a game of Truth or Dare.

But this is no ordinary Truth or Dare. This game is lethal. Choosing the truth may reveal your darkest secrets, accepting the dare could be dangerous, even deadly.

The teenagers of Bayview must work together once again to find the culprit, before it’s too late . . .

What I Thought:

Back in 2017 Karen McManus released her debut YA novel, One Of Us Is Lying and I fell in love with it. We can deal with the fact that’s already three years ago later (though seriously how is it already that long ago?!). I preordered one Of Us Is Next and once it arrived I reread OOUIL in preparation and then dived into the follow up! You can find my review of the first book featuring the Bayview Four here, my review of the follow up won’t contain spoilers for this book but will discuss something’s from the original. So if you’ve not read it yet back away now and go pick up a copy…

It’s been over a year since the events of the infamous detention at Bayview High and the original foursome have now graduated and moved on to the next stages of their lives. Bronwyn’s younger sister Maeve is still at Bayview though and it’s her turn to take centre stage as one of the trio this book focuses on. I’d been equally excited and nervous for this book from the moment I read the initial announcement. I loved the idea of revisiting these characters I’d grown to love so much, but at the same time I was questioning what could happen in a second book that fit in with the events of the first book without feeling contrived and forced. I was delighted to discover that Karen managed it!

As I said no spoilers on the plot but she had me hooked from the beginning. Split into two parts each chapter is from the viewpoint of one of our central trio, Maeve, Phoebe and Knox. Ever since the Simon incident the staff at Bayview have really attempted to crackdown on gossiping and bullying, introducing a no tolerance policy and threatening to ban mobile phones from school should another copycat gossip site appear, but when Unknown sends out a group text inviting the Bayview students to play a game of truth or dare they keep in from the teachers, after all its just an innocent game isn’t it… Karen those a phenomenal job raising the tension, with our trio having to deal with gossip and trying to discover who Unknown is. Once tragedy strikes the tension jumps another notch and builds until the final reveal. I won’t lie, I convinced myself I’d worked it out but I didn’t see that ending coming!

Karen does a wonderful job basing the book around our new trio, but Maeve’s connection to the original four means we get plenty of ‘guest’ appearances from characters from the original book. It was lovely to find out what happened with Bronwyn, Addy, Cooper and Nate after the original drama ended. It was also nice to to Luis take a bit off a larger role in this story, if I was still high school age I think I might have developed a bit of a thing for Luis, he seems cute and he can cook! My love of Nate still remains though, in fact after this book it may have grown even more, you’ll know why when you read it!

From OOUIL we know Maeve has been through a lot, having lived with cancer, in this book we get an idea of just how much it has affected her mentally, god I wanted to give her a hug at so many points throughout this book! I was also a big fan of her friendship with Knox, proof that a relationship ending doesn’t mean you have to cut all ties. Also Maeve and Addy short story from South America? Yes please!

Knox was a lovely character, the youngest of five with his four sisters all being considerably older than him. I enjoyed the hints of their relationship that we got. I also appreciated the struggle that was shown in his relationship with his father, the idea they were quite different and that he didn’t quite get him, that he wished he was someone else. I think that’s something a lot of people can relate to!

The final part of our new trio is Phoebe. Phoebe is the first victim of the Truth or Dare gossip mill and Maeve reaches out to her having a bit of an understanding of what she’s going through after Bronwyn. Phoebe has a bit of a tragic backstory and I must confess it was sad to see a family still trying to deal with the loss of such a central part of it. She rounds off a strong trio of characters though!

Final Thoughts

What a story! After rereading and remembering how much I loved One Of Us Is Lying I was worried this follow up wouldn’t manage to live up to the hype in my head. I needn’t have worried! It was great to see Maeve take centre stage with Phoebe and Knox, but I love that we caught up with the original Bayview Four. That ending too! Just when I thought I’d worked it out… I’m not sure how a third book would work but I’m not ready to say goodbye to these characters just yet either!

One Of Us Is Lying on Goodreads

More Karen McManus on SWB

About The Author

Karen M. McManus is the author of the New York Times and international bestselling young adult novels One of Us Is Lying and Two Can Keep a Secret. Her work has been translated into 40 languages worldwide. Karen lives in Massachusetts and holds a master’s degree in Journalism from Northeastern University, which she mostly uses to draft fake news stories for her novels.

Connect With Karen

Website // Twitter // Instagram

Want to buy it?

As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?

4 thoughts on “Sarah Reviews… One Of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManus

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