McManus is now a YA superstar: at the time of writing she has the two bestselling YA books of the year, beating the nearest competition by some distance. Her third novel is a sequel to her debut, One of Us is Lying, returning readers to Bayview High where an online game of Truth or Dare is proving to be lethal. McManus is a true master of plot and intrigue, with an ensemble cast of complicated, relatable teenagers. Just as addictive as its predecessor.
Like its predecessor, One of Us Is Next suffers from one drawback: the dialogue is certainly snappy (“The. Hell?!”), but it is used indiscriminately. Although both books are told by a revolving cast of first-person narrators, everyone’s interior monologue sounds the same. It’s a small gripe: McManus keeps the juicy subplots ticking over and drip-feeds reveals as clinically as an IV tube. Teen genre fiction can so easily be awash with cliches and stereotypes, and she manages to disrupt them. She can pilot her characters to be their best selves, very often just after they have been their absolute worst.