One of Us is Next - Karen McManus

My most anticipated release of 2020 (even though it is only January) takes us back to Bayview High eighteen months on from the events following Simon's death. Everything appears to be going well for the next generation of Bayview students until someone decides to play a dark and twisted version of Truth or Dare. Most of the students think it is a sick attempt to spread rumours around the school, that is until the truths come out as dark secrets and the dares put people's lives at risk. Is it really a game?

I was so excited for this release and be aware that this review may contain spoilers to not only this book but One of Us is Lying (the first book in the series). McManus's previous two novels were both got five-star ratings from me so I had high hopes for this. Initially I panicked thinking I wouldn't be able to remember everyone's names from the first book but luckily McManus seems to have catered to this and placed a roster of important characters in the front of the book. Our story follows Maeve Rojas much like the first book followed partly her sister, Bronwyn. Maeve quickly became my favourite character much like Bronwyn, I'm not sure how McManus managed to achieve it but they both seem instantly likeable and I knew I would root for them until the end.

The story itself was really well planned out especially with the changing narratives. I often didn't know who had received the Truth or Dare question until the 24 hours had already ran out because the narrative changed to a character who wasn't participating, this kept me on edge and desperate to find out what was going to happen.

The side characters became a little annoying at times, especially when I could tell they wouldn't play a massive part to the story. The progression through the book of the severity of the consequences made me anticipate a climatic ending and I was not disappointed. My only complaint is that the one of the perpetrators is not someone we expect or even know about and it made the progression and links between the characters seem a bit null and void to that point.

McManus continues to produce captivating stories that I cannot put down. Although this one was amazing I don't think I can give it five stars due to the stranger being behind the mystery, it seems like a small cope out as to making it connected to the main characters. I did thoroughly enjoy the story and the very end reveal pulled it all together for me. A super strong four stars.

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