Spoiler free review of One of us is Lying and One of Us is Next, both YA books by author Karen McManus. One of Us is Lying came out in 2017 and One of Us is Next came out early 2020. Both follow the stories of characters in an American High School and you ideally need to read the first one to know what is going on in the second. I absolutely loved the first book when I read it so I couldn’t wait for book number two to come out. Here’s my review of them both.
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One of Us is Lying Book Review
One of Us is Lying is about what happens when five students at Bayview High, who don’t know each other, walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide. When I read One of Us is Lying I could not put it down – I was hooked from the first chapter and I loved the characters. I devoured it in it’s entirety over one weekend as I couldn’t stop thinking about the story!
The five main characters are:
- Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule
- Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess
- Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing
- Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher
- Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app
The book is a good mix of building up the characters background stories as well as telling the main story, flitting between each character, and you really grow to like the characters as more is revealed about their personal lives and circumstances. The story is suspenseful and it keeps you hooked with brilliant twists. There’s also a bit of a love story entwined into the tragedy and I found myself really rooting for the couple!
I’d give this 5/5, one of my favourite reads ever! You can buy this book, here* on a 2 for £7 offer.
One of Us is Next Book Review
One of Us is Next is a the follow up story to One of Us is Lying, focusing on a younger generation of characters, still at Bayview High, with hints of the main five characters from the first one intertwined into the story.
The story is set one year after the events of One Of Us Is Lying and Bayview now finds itself with someone playing a sinister game of Truth or Dare with the school. If they choose truth then the player reveals your darkest secret or if you choose dare then the player is forced to do something dangerous and potentially deadly. When the game takes an even darker turn, suddenly no one at Bayview High knows who to trust but they need to find out who is behind the game, before it’s too late.
Like the first one, the book flits between the main characters of Meave, who is Bronwyn’s sister from the first one, Phoebe and Knox. Whilst there is a bit of character background and building, I didn’t warm to these characters as much as the first one. I found the story hard to get into and a bit slow going, but once it got into Part 2 about half way through it really ramped up and I was hooked. There were a couple of twists, one of which I half guessed just before it was revealed and one I did not see coming!
So whilst I wasn’t as gripped by this one as I was the first, I still really enjoyed it and would recommend it! I’d give it 3/5 stars. You can get this here* in the 2 for £7 offer, so if you haven’t already read both, you can get them together!
I really enjoy Karen McManus’ writing style and although I am 28, I like reading YA (Young Adult) novels. I find myself comparing other YA novels of a similar nature to One of Us is Lying and pick up any books that are described as being similar to it. Definitely recommend them both if you enjoy murder mystery type stories!
Karen also has another book about a different set of characters and a different place called Two Can Keep a Secret which is just as well written as One of Us is Lying, which you can also buy in the 2 for £7 offer, here.*
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