Title: One of Us is Next
Author: Karen M. McManus
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: Teen/young adult fiction, Thriller, Mystery
Book format: Pre-publication proof copy (arc)
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Description: Welcome back to Bayview High . . .
It’s been a year since the events of One Of Us Is Lying.
But nothing has settled for the residents of Bayview. Not now someone has started playing a sinister game of Truth or Dare.
Choose truth? You must reveal your darkest secret.
Choose dare? Well, that could be even more dangerous. Even deadly.
When the game takes an even darker turn, suddenly no one at Bayview High knows who to trust.
But they need to find out who is behind the game, before it’s too late.

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review: Wow, wow WOW!  This book has been so amazing and I’ve been on the edge of my seat the whole time I’ve been reading!  ‘One of Us is Next’ is the amazing sequel to the already brilliant ‘One of Us is Lying’ and is every bit as thrilling and tense as the previous book!  A year after the dramatic events at Bayview High, the school and the students have struggled to get back to normal, but just when things feel like they’re finally settling down somebody begins a game of truth or dare with the entire school.  When it’s your turn to play you have to pick either truth or dare, but when the truths being revealed are terrible, personal ones that nobody should know about, picking dare becomes a better option…until someone gets hurt.

I’m writing this review not long after reading the book and I still feel like I’m reeling from what happened!  Just like in the previous book One of Us is Lying, the action follows a few different characters, switching between them in different chapters and all written in the first person view point.  When I first started reading this I did remember some of the main plot points from the previous book but I didn’t remember everything and I did wonder if that would spoil my enjoyment of this story, but I didn’t have to worry as anything relevant that I needed to know from the previous book was included in snippets of information in this one, making this a brilliant stand-alone novel for anyone who hasn’t read the first book.

It was easy to get into this right away and although the characters from the original story are mentioned and still appear to varying degrees, the action focuses on Bronwyn’s sister Maeve and a couple of other teens who are at the school switching viewpoints between the three.  I don’t want to give away the plot but it is very exciting with some of the teens having secrets revealed that I just didn’t expect.  I kept trying to guess what was happening and who was behind the truth or dare game, and some of the other things that are happening, but McManus writes so well that my guesses were always wrong and in the end I gave up guessing and just kept on reading – every time I finished a chapter, I just had to start the next, it really was unputdownable!

As the action intensifies towards the end and comes to a conclusion I have to say that just a couple of pages away from the main plot ending I did manage to work out who was behind things before it was revealed, although I still didn’t know how everything would all go.  I did think that I had managed to work out the main mystery but just when I thought everything was finished and the ending was a wrap up of events, there is one last plot twist, literally on the last page, which I really wasn’t expecting.  I was completely shocked after I read it and it’s so brilliant, that I couldn’t speak for several minutes (I think I had my mouth gaping open and was just sitting there for a while after I finished reading –  it was that good an ending!).

The ending really is a very satisfying one, as is the entire book!  There’s never a dull moment when you don’t feel like turning the page and I just couldn’t put this down it was that intense and thrilling to read.  I even stayed up into the night reading this, it was that amazing!  There are some uses of the f and s swear words, although it isn’t too often, and there’s some references to sex though nothing extreme or anything.  The book is set in an American high school, which I’m used to reading about, but which some readers might not be so just be aware of that when you think of the setting and how the characters act and the situations they deal with.

This really has been an amazing book to read and I can’t wait to read more from the author!  It’s just as good as the first book, sucking me in from the start, and keeping the tension and action going from start to finish.  And with that last unexpected twist just making this possibly better than the previous novel.  I’d recommend both this and One of Us is Lying for anyone who’s into mysteries and thrillers.  It’s a very teenage setting so it might not suit everyone, but I’d still recommend this and ask everyone who likes thrillers or mysteries (or both) to give it a read, you won’t be disappointed!

-One of Us is Next will be published and available in the UK on 9th January 2020!

Read review of book 1 – One of Us is Lying by clicking here.

Have you read One of Us is Lying?  What mystery or thrillers do you enjoy reading?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂