One of Us Is Next – Karen M. McManus

Title: One of Us Is Next
Series: One of Us Is Lying #2
: Karen M. McManus
Genre: YA, Mystery
: January 7th, 2020 (Delacorte Press for Young Readers)

: 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.

Eighteen months have passed since the events of One of Us Is Lying, and the shock of things is only just starting to die down when a new game begins – Truth or Dare. Many laugh it off as yet another of the copycat gossip apps that popped up in the wake of Simon’s death, but Bayview High’s thirst for gossip has not abated, and when the first truths are revealed, and the dares quickly turn dangerous, things begin to get out of hand. Maeve Rojas, Phoebe Lawton and Knox Meyers are targeted one after another as devastating secrets are revealed and the chain of events once more leaves murder in its wake.

It’s not entirely necessary to have read the first book, but the main characters, known as the Bayview Four, do make brief appearances throughout, so knowing that story would certainly enhance the reading experience. While I usually don’t enjoy multiple POVs in mysteries, the three POVs in this book were excellently done and seeing different angles to the story was really enjoyable. Character development for all three was great and it was very easy to connect to these characters. Phoebe and Knox were my favourites, mainly because they weren’t involved in the events the previous time around, and theirs’ was a completely fresh perspective. Maeve, we know from the first book, and it was interesting to follow her POV as she handles upheavals in her personal life along with trying to get to the bottom of this latest set of events.

This was definitely a more layered mystery than the previous two books, and every time, just as I thought I had it figured out, something else would pop up and change my theories completely. The brief interludes from reporters certainly added to the excitement. I liked that we saw the Bayview Four multiple times throughout the book, particularly Bronwyn and Nate, and that they were actually involved in the plot beyond cameos. All in all, another marvellous whodunnit that will keep you engrossed right until the end.

I know my rating for both books is the same, but for some reason, and I can’t quite put my finger on it, I enjoyed One of Us Is Lying more. Maybe because the tension was more and we couldn’t even trust the narrators themselves? The main thing I found to be rather unbelievable is how odd it was that despite the shocking events of the previous year, not one student reports this new game, or to even be more cautious? It takes quite a while before even the three main characters become wary. Somehow, I find that losing phone privileges in school is a very weak excuse and clearly, these students need to sort out their priorities.

The villain behind the game was fairly predictable by around the 80% mark, but the real shocker was the plot twist right at the end. I love how the book just ended with that reveal. At this point, it has become almost routine for me to start off the year with a mystery novel from Karen McManus, and I’m really excited to read her next novel, The Cousins. Overall, this was a fast paced mystery and a fun read that fans of One of Us Is Lying are sure to enjoy. Definitely recommended!

Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series:
Book 1: One of Us Is Lying


8 thoughts on “One of Us Is Next – Karen M. McManus

  1. Susan January 14, 2020 / 8:31 pm

    The characters seemed much more real to me in this book than the first but than to your point, I agree that they should have been quicker to pick up and report this much quicker. I either didnt think of it when I reviewed it or chalked it up to the story being the story.

    I still think Bay View should be a direct link to Grey Sloan Memorial.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bossylibrarian January 15, 2020 / 8:50 am

    It’s so interesting when a sequel doesn’t entirely follow the same characters. It’s a risky choice, but when it works, it works very well. Thanks for the review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • journeyintofantasy January 18, 2020 / 4:43 pm

      It definitely worked in this case, and it was great to see the characters from the first book again, even if the story wasn’t focused on them entirely. Thanks for reading!


    • journeyintofantasy January 18, 2020 / 4:30 pm

      Definitely a great read! Personally, I haven’t come across all that many YA mystery novels in recent years, so these are always fun to read.


  3. I'm All Booked Up YA January 15, 2020 / 9:20 pm

    Great review! We also rated this 4 stars and enjoyed One of Us is Lying a bit more. Maybe there will be a third book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • journeyintofantasy January 18, 2020 / 4:29 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it too! I’d be curious to see what a third book would be like!


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