Karen McManus delivers worthy sequel

Haniyah Imran, Staff Reporter

“Phoebe wouldn’t do that to her sister. Right? I mean, I don’t know her well, but there are rules. My sisters would draw blood over something like that. More texts appear, one right after the other. What’s that, Bayview? You didn’t know? Shame. You’re behind on your gossip. Here’s a little advice for the next time we play: Always take the Dare.” 

Karen McManus earned her BA in English from the College of the Holy Cross and her MA in journalism from Northeastern University. The Lincoln Award-winning One of Us Is Lying was her first book. One of Us Is Next is the sequel, and its new release on January 7 this year had many readers thrilled. McManus has also written the highly acclaimed Two Can Keep a Secret

In One of Us Is Next, Simon’s gone and Bayview goes back to normal--at least for a while. Soon, however, someone wants to stir up trouble again and keep Simon’s legacy alive. A game created by Unknown, Truth or Dare picks someone and gives them two options: reveal a degrading secret to the entire school or do an unthinkable Dare. 

Phoebe Lawton’s the first target. Her truth is a dark one. Maeve Rojas should know better and choose the dare. When Knox Myers is chosen, things have gotten dangerous, and there’s no one but themselves to save them and the rest of Bayview High.

Each of these characters has their internal conflicts, with Phoebe regretting her past, and Maeve and Knox’s past haunting them. Unknown–or so they’ve begun to call whoever started Truth or Dare–is having a blast at everyone else’s expense. McManus crafts One of Us Is Next to hook the reader from the first page and leave much to be desired until the end.

However, unlike the first book One of Us Is Lying, the sequel has characters that aren’t relatable. The story gives readers a more fantasy feel for the plot. Some moments are less realistic and the abilities of the characters are slightly intensified. The feelings of the characters, however, are the same as feelings any person would have in the given situations. They help the readers share the same joy or empathy with the characters, and give them a more real existence. 

The ending gives the reader a satisfying feeling of another McManus mystery solved. It doesn’t particularly have a traditional happy-ever-after ending but instead completes the mystery of the Truth or Dare game. However, the ending has a plot twist that is unimaginable to the reader–and makes the story only more rewarding. A recommended story for all mystery readers, One of Us Is Lying has all the right plot twists and turns–and the right answers–to the Bayview mystery.