One of Us Is Next

Discover the suspenseful world of "One of Us Is Next" by Karen M. McManus. This riveting sequel to the bestselling novel keeps readers on the edge with its unpredictable twists. Uncover dark secrets, face high school dilemmas, and explore the gripping narrative that captivates from beginning to end.
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Published in 2020, “One of Us Is Next” is the highly anticipated sequel to Karen M. McManus’s bestselling novel, “One of Us Is Lying.” McManus once again delivers a gripping YA thriller that seamlessly weaves together mystery, suspense, and the complexities of high school life. Set in the same fictional Bayview High School, the story takes unexpected turns, introducing readers to a new cast of characters while revisiting some familiar faces. With its clever plot twists, well-drawn characters, and social commentary, “One of Us Is Next” is a must-read for fans of the genre and newcomers alike.


The narrative unfolds in the aftermath of the events of “One of Us Is Lying,” where the students of Bayview High are trying to move on from the secrets and scandals that rocked their community. However, a mysterious game called “Truth or Dare” emerges, forcing students to confront their darkest secrets or face severe consequences. The game quickly spirals out of control, and as tensions rise, the lives of the students become increasingly intertwined.

The story primarily follows three main characters: Maeve Rojas, the brainy overachiever; Knox Mitchell, the laid-back baseball player; and Phoebe Lawton, a girl with a troubled past. As they navigate the treacherous game and its consequences, they uncover hidden connections between the players and the motives behind the escalating dares. The stakes get higher as the game’s mastermind reveals a personal vendetta against the students of Bayview High.

As the tension builds, the characters find themselves questioning loyalties, facing their fears, and unearthing long-buried secrets. The novel masterfully explores themes of friendship, betrayal, and the consequences of choices while keeping readers on the edge of their seats with its unpredictable twists and turns.


“One of Us Is Next” has received widespread acclaim for its engaging narrative and well-developed characters. Readers and critics alike have praised McManus for her ability to create a suspenseful atmosphere and keep the mystery alive until the very end. The novel has been commended for addressing relevant social issues, including the impact of rumors, societal expectations, and the consequences of online actions.

Kirkus Reviews hails the novel as a “clever, twisty thriller” that will keep readers guessing until the final pages. The Guardian describes it as a “riveting sequel” that lives up to the high expectations set by its predecessor.

The character development in the novel has also been a point of praise, with many readers expressing a strong connection to the diverse cast. McManus’s exploration of the characters’ vulnerabilities and growth adds depth to the story and resonates with young adult readers.


“In a game like this, the only winning move is not to play.” – Karen M. McManus, “One of Us Is Next”

“Secrets are currency in a small town, where everyone knows your business, but no one knows the truth.” – Karen M. McManus, “One of Us Is Next”

“The game was supposed to be fun, but it’s turning into something else. Something dangerous.” – Karen M. McManus, “One of Us Is Next”

“High school was a war, and the battlefield was Bayview.” – Karen M. McManus, “One of Us Is Next”


Q: Do I need to read “One of Us Is Lying” before picking up “One of Us Is Next”?
A: While “One of Us Is Next” is a sequel, it can be enjoyed as a standalone novel. However, reading the first book provides additional context and enhances the overall experience.

Q: Is the “Truth or Dare” game at the center of the plot a real-life game?
A: No, the “Truth or Dare” game in the novel is a fictional creation by the author. It serves as a catalyst for the unfolding events and adds a thrilling element to the story.

Q: How does “One of Us Is Next” tackle contemporary issues faced by teenagers?
A: The novel addresses various issues such as cyberbullying, societal expectations, and the impact of rumors on individuals. Through its characters, the book explores the challenges faced by teenagers in the age of social media.

In conclusion, “One of Us Is Next” is a thrilling and thought-provoking novel that delivers on the expectations set by its predecessor. Karen M. McManus’s storytelling prowess shines as she explores the complexities of high school life while weaving a compelling mystery. With its relatable characters, social commentary, and unexpected twists, this sequel is a must-read for fans of YA fiction and mystery enthusiasts alike. As we celebrate the one-year anniversary of its release, “One of Us Is Next” continues to captivate readers with its timeless exploration of secrets, consequences, and the intricacies of teenage relationships.