One of Us Is Next
Author Karen M. McManus
Publisher Delacorte Press YA | 2020
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. (from Goodreads)
This review is spoiler-freeeeeee! 🙂
I’ve been super looking forward to this book since it was announced, because One of Us Is Lying was one of my FAVORITE books of 2018 (listen to the audio- it’s GREAT)! Even after learning that it would be told from new perspectives, I was excited because 1) one was Maeve, who I loved in OOUIL and 2) Karen had said that the Bayview 4 were still present in the book. And though that was true, they were featured less than I expected, and neither the plot nor the new perspectives had the same magic and intrigue that I got from the first book.
Before I continue, don’t get me wrong: I still really enjoyed this sequel. I finished it in a day and the mystery plot was still interesting and entertaining (though I could guess most of the major reveals). It just wasn’t as captivating as OOUIL and felt more like a spinoff than a sequel (which I guess it is, but still). I still really liked Maeve. I knew she would be my main link to Bronwyn and Nate, and therefore the rest of the og gang, so I always looked forward to her chapters. I enjoyed Phoebe and Knox, too. I think one of the main detriments to this book was the fact that Maeve, Phoebe and Knox were already kinda friends before the book started. In OOUIL, the buildup to the moment when Nate, Bronwyn, Addy and Cooper finally started working together was EVERYTHING to me. Every little interaction between indiviual pairings or the group were SO REWARDING to me because these people rarely interacted in daily life, and you knew that they needed to eventually come together in order to solve the mystery. In this book, the main three were together for a majority, if not all, of the book, so that factor was taken away.
(Slight spoilers in this section! Barely, but just a warning) Speaking of the Bayview 4, their presence in this book was definitely underwhelming for me. It was surprising that Bronwyn was one of the most absent members considering Maeve is her frickin’ sister, but alas, she was off at school for most of this book. Cooper was nearly nonexistent. Addy was around a bit more, but I didn’t get nearly as much of her as I wanted (I LOVE YOU ADDY AND I’M HAPPY FOR YOU!!!). Nate was surprisingly (is it surprising? Maybe not) the most present of the four, but STILL, considering they were all pretty background, that’s not saying much. I expected them to at least be involved in the main mystery a bit more, but they didn’t even know about it for almost all of the book. In the end, I’m happy with where they all ended up and if this was the last book in this universe, I could be satisfied with all of their endgames.
Overall, still a pretty enjoyable book. I’d recommend it to any OOUIL fans that would like to know where the OG gang ended up; but it’s definitely not necessary to read the whole book if that’s all you care about- I’m sure you could look it up in a summary or something. I still really like McManus’ writing, so I’ll probably pick up the next mystery that she has coming out this year!