ARC Review: ONE OF US IS NEXT by Karen M. McManus

I swapped ARCs with a friend. This has not affected my opinions.

One of us is Next.png
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 5 stars
Series: yes - sequel
CW: Alcohol abuse, bullying/harassment over social media, death



one of us is next.jpg

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.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


This is an amazing follow up. For such a popular, highly rated book to have a sequel not feel like a let down is a tall order, but it’s been done.

Yes, I still think ONE OF US IS LYING is my favourite of her books – but a big bit of that is the feelings bound up with it being my first YA thriller and how it made me fall in love with the genre.

There’s a less intense start to this book, which helps separate it from the first book. None of the characters are suspected of murder, and the tension and unease slowly builds as the game unfolds. I liked the dare aspect and the active participation it created, and how it muddied the waters.

It’s a little more multimedia, with a few snippets from the internet forum and TV interviews at the beginning of the two sections. They really helped build anticipation, as the TV interview was about a death and set three weeks after the story starts.

I worked out one of the perpetrators as soon as suspicion fell on a central character, and I’m quite pleased with myself about that. I’ve been so clueless before, so I must be picking up the tricks of the genre! It didn’t feel “obvious” until one piece of information fell into place. The information had been perfectly parcelled out to have that big “oh” moment, where everything fell into place.

There’s also a lot of personal stuff the characters are working about, which is the heart of the book. The emotional journeys the characters go on, their attempts at love and their family dynamics. There were some really lovely moments of hope in the midst of the mystery.

The Bayview Four return, but they don’t steal the book from the new cast. They’re integrated into the story so naturally, following on from where they were. I liked that they were part of the background, and watching the cute scenes between the two couples (yes, for more Nate/Browyn and Cooper/Kris – Kris being the sweetest character in the book). It’s the perfect balance of including previous characters and focusing on the next set.

Read my reviews of other books by Karen M. McManus:

One of us is Lying (this series):


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