This review is spoiler free.
“I don’t understand why the world insists on stuffing kids into boxes we never asked for, and then gets mad when we won’t stay there.”
Series: One of Us is Lying
Published: 2020, by Penguin.
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary, Thriller, Romance, Crime, Suspense, Fiction
Contains: Sexual Content, Death, Violence, Strong Language, Injury, Alcohol, Hospitals, Anger, Crude Humour
‘One of Us Is Next’ is the highly anticipated sequel to One of Us Is Lying, set one year after the events of the Bayview Four. Someone has started playing a lethal game of Truth or Dare, where choosing the truth may reveal your darkest secrets, but accepting the dare could be dangerous. Once again, the teenagers of Bayview must work together to find the culprit, before it’s too late.
So, I adored One of Us Is Lying, yet I was anxious about how well a sequel would go down considering the original went down so well. I wasn’t sure the characters had enough energy for a sequel, having felt their story had been told. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The main aspect of why ‘One of Us Is Next’ works so well is because there was a alteration with the characters. Nate, Bronwyn, Addy and Cooper aren’t the main focus in the story, passing their tales down to younger students, Maeve, Knox and Phoebe. This worked brilliantly, continuing the story in a unique way where we have a copycat-killer-esque plot line.
Maeve, more famously known as Bronwyn’s younger sister, made for a brilliant protagonist, being the determined, intelligent type. Although, she had her struggles, her perseverance to discover who was leading the Truth or Dare game shined through the pages. It was deeply inspiring to read, finding her determination fascinating and moved the story forward beautifully.
Knox was another fascinating character, being Maeve’s best friend. He was more timid than most, yet continued to push through his anxieties for the sake of his friend, which was wonderful. Their relationship was beautiful to read, loving their care for another and interactions.
However, Phoebe was a more difficult character to love. She made mistakes, yet owned up to them and continued to be there for her new friends. Although, that made for wonderful storytelling, I was a little less gripped by her narrative in comparison to the other protagonists. However, that may be down to personal preference of the secrets the narrative held.
The writing itself flows wonderfully, making the story all round entertaining and gripping. McManus delved us head first into the story through these three separate narratives and guided us through the story from their points of view. It was fascinating to read about the same tale from three different perspectives, each with their own individual struggles and secrets which gradually made their way out into the open.
Overall, I deeply enjoyed this anticipated sequel, returning to the world and loving the new characters that inhabit there. I can’t help but wonder whether this would work as a possible trilogy?