Sunday, April 19, 2020

YA Review: One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus

Title: One of Us is Next
Author: Karen M. McManus
Year Published: 2020


Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 384
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2019 Google Reading map)USA (CA)

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): 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.


Review: I read McManus' first book, One of Us is Lying and rated it a 4.5 so I was pleased to see another installment in the series. I liked this one, but feel like it was a bit more of the same. However, I did stay up past my bedtime to finish it so that tells you something. I read Lying 2 years ago so couldn't quite remember the details, which meant a bit of a slow start to this one, but McManus does a good job of reminding the reader of the main plot points so I soon caught up.

The characters in this book are related to the ones in the earlier book through family or friendship so we get to see and hear from the first book's characters, which I liked. This storyline follows a few characters--all of whom I liked despite their flaws--and I am a sucker for multiple narratives, especially when the same event is not rehashed by each of them. McManus shows the characters flaws as well as their attributes and does a great job capturing 17 year olds.

The storyline is similar to that of the first book: someone anonymously controlling gossip and the actions of their classmates. The big question is: who is it and why are they doing it? And, why do all the other students go along with it?! Because most people love tantalizing gossip, seeing a story unfold, and living a bit on the edge, especially when it isn't affecting them directly. This book shows that well.

During this pandemic, if you want a quick and fun read, this could be it.

Challenges for which this counts: 
This book counts for the Popsugar challenge because it is about or involves social media (I am counting texting and online chat rooms)

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