Title: One Of Us Is Next
Author: Karen M. McManus
Genre: Young Adult/Thriller
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.
This is the companion novel to ‘One Of Us Is Lying’, which I have a review up for as well. In this book, we are following a new group of teens, one of whom is Maeve Rojas (Bronwyn’s sister, that we saw in book one), as well as appearances from characters in the previous book. A few characters had already been introduced in ‘One Of Us Is Lying’, which was a nice bonus. The plot walked the line between mystery and thriller. We follow this group of teens as they deal with a dangerous game of Truth and Dare. It was engaging, but then again I find that many Karen M. McManus books are (at least to me).
I enjoyed each character, and not one perspective bored me. There were a few parts that felt like unnecessary filler, and didn’t add anything to the story. However, it wasn’t common enough to be a problem for me. Overall, the story unfolded at a nice pace. I was happy to see that there wasn’t a best friends to lovers story in play. I am not opposed to that all, but it was nice to see the author go a different, less cliche route.
One of my favorite characters was Phoebe. She had a lot going on, and made some stupid choices, but was unapologetically herself. She didn’t hide her faults, and tried her best to own up to her mistakes throughout the book. Maeve was a solid character, and mini Nancy Drew, which is always fun to read about. Knox (Maeve’s best friend/ex-boyfriend) was the nice guy, but out of all of them, he was the least fleshed out. I didn’t feel like I got a true sense of his personality.
“I don’t understand why the world insists on stuffing kids into boxes we never asked for, and then gets mad when we won’t stay there.”
There was a bit of romance in this book, and I adored it. Maeve and Luis had great chemistry, and it was nice to watch their relationship unfold. But the pairing that I shipped most of all was Phoebe and Knox. They had some great moments together, so I could see them having real couple potential. Also, I liked that they were different, but grew closer as the book went on.
I am pretty bad at mysteries, but I did have my suspicions on where the plot was going. And, while I was sort of right, the ending shocked me. It was such a good twist, and the last chapter was amazing. I truly wanted to know what was going to happen next. I think a good book keeps you wanting more, which is exactly what Karen M. McManus achieved with ‘One Of Us Is Next’.
I would say that if you are in between fantasy books, you should give this one a read. It’s a good novel to pick up when you need a break from reading big, plot-heavy books. It’s an easy one to follow, and a fairly quick read. Don’t worry if thriller isn’t your preferred genre, it leans more towards the mystery side.
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Until The Next Chapter,