Book Review: One of Us is Next


Author Karen M. McManus poses with her novel One of Us is Next to celebrate it’s advancement in the Goodreads Choice Awards. The book had not been out for a year and made it to the finals for the award in fiction.

Marlee Sorrells, Editor-in-Chief

In light of the announcement of the third installment in the Bayview trilogy set to come out in 2022, I decided to reread the second book that came out in January 2020. One of Us is Next was released three years after the first installment in the series and was a shock to the community of readers that supported Karen M. McManus’ writing career.

It’s no secret that Karen M. McManus is one of my favorite authors, because of her twists and turns. When I say I thought I had this one figured out, I will have to admit that I was completely wrong, and chances are that you will be too. While the twist isn’t near as believable as the first twist in her debut novel, One of Us is Lying, I really enjoyed the almost absurdity that she allowed herself to have with it. The book was still a wild ride to go on and kept the essence of its predecessor. It even had the Bayview Four come back for a small portion of the book and take in the new insanity with the other characters.

The book mainly follows the younger sister of Bronwyn, Maeve, and introduces a few new characters to the story to develop the town of Bayview more. The characters can sometimes get mixed up due to the fast pace of the book, but it is much easier to follow than other books that I have read in the past, like Jessica Goodman’s They Wish They Were Us.

In my opinion, this sequel was not as good as the first book, but that is to be expected. McManus expertly captured the essence of the original book while weaving in new characters, personalities, viewpoints, and community areas. The originality in the book and the new centralization of technology being added into it really solidified the unique atmosphere. For those reasons, I’d give this book an 8.5/10, because it didn’t completely live up to my expectations, but still delivered an interesting and entertaining story that kept me guessing to the very last page.