Synopsis: 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.
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. (Amazon)
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Genre: Mystery / YA
Rating: 4 stars
***BEWARE POSSIBLE SPOILERS***
Bayview! Oh it is so rare to enjoy returning to such a toxic place, but I am addicted now to this school and the terrible people at fault for its wickedly deadly games.
Reading One of Us is Lying was a treat back in 2018, but coming back to this world with One of Us is Next was doubly rewarding. Not only was the story interesting, but I've come to realize that I absolutely adore this cast, both old and new. It made me so happy to visit the fave couple of Nate and Bronwyn and follow through with their relationship, it was great to see Cooper again and witness how well he's doing despite the hurdles he had to go through, and Luis... Well, Luis was just a treat all on his own. Thank you, Karen McManus, for Luis Santos.
Our leading three—Maeve, Knox and Phoebe—hold their own stars. They are so different in personality and yet they bond so beautifully, but Knox stole center stage for me. He's sweet, he's so much braver than he thinks, he's smart, and he has a great deal of self-deprecating humor that I think is completely lost on him. One of the things I like about this series—duology?—is that we follow the leads on their own personal struggles and growths alongside the main mystery. And the three portray that so well, their friendship going through hurdles before ultimately coming back together just when things begin to get dicey.
I wasn't surprised by who the big reveal behind the whole plot to bring others down with the Truth or Dare game was. At least, at first. Because I was right, in a way. But the huge unveiling of the ultimate culprit during the last chapter, closing in on just a few pages, left me slack-jawed. Despite it being right in front of me the whole time—and Knox even foreshadows it as he remembers bits and pieces while playing the Bounty Wars video game—I still missed it. I'm delighted by that, however, because it means that the novel still managed to surprise me, which, let's face it, is one of the things that I hope for with a good murder mystery.
The mystery itself, I will say, was slightly on the slow side as far as build up. Normally, I would find that annoying, and it would make it seem as if the rest of the book were moving at a slower pace. But, again, the cast of this story makes you forget all that. I was so enamored with almost all of the characters, that I had no problem following the progress at whatever momentum it decided to take. Not once did I find myself bored or wanting for things to just get to the point.
One of Us is Next is a cozy and delightful book to curl up. It's a comfort read, and I'm almost sorry that I've finished it. I can say with all certainty that I cannot wait to pick up McManus' upcoming book.