One of Us Is Next
Karen M. McManus
Everyone thought that after Simon Kellheller’s death was figured out and his site was shut down, everything would quiet down at Bayview High School. Oh, how wrong they were. All of a sudden, a new internet game is in town – Truth or Dare. But this game isn’t an innocent, middle-school sleepover Truth or Dare game. It has some stakes – do the dare, or get one of your worst secrets told to the school. And we all know – the students of Bayview High always have secrets. However, when the game takes a bad turn with the death of a student, some students of Bayview High decide to find out who is behind this. But the task is easier said than done. Secrets arise at every corner, and people are out for blood. Will the mysterious internet game take over Bayview High? Or will it get shut down and will Bayview High be saved from another disastrous scenario? Find out by reading the book!
This book contains a lot of topics that wouldn’t be appropriate for younger children. Firstly, there are a ton of adult topics (detailed below) in the book, and younger children should be nowhere near them. Some of them include sex, suicide, and drinking. Some of the violence in the book might be scary for young children, and there is a lot of bad language present. The book revolves around a Truth or Dare game that is dangerous, as it causes harm to other people. This game may inspire incorrect changes in younger kids’ innocent Truth or Dare games, which is something that shouldn’t happen. The book changes perspectives a lot of times, and it might be confusing for smaller children to keep track of the story. Overall, this book contains topics that wouldn’t be appropriate for readers below the age of 15, and anyone over that age would be better suited to read, understand, and enjoy the book.
There are a few good messages in the book. Some of them include the importance of sibling relationships (seen through the Lawton family, and what happens when there isn’t a good sibling relationship), the value of friendships (seen through the new relationships that are built with people), to share problems with trusted ones (seen throughout the book through the effect not sharing those problems has on people), along with a few others.
There is quite a bit of violence in this book. There is a game that makes people do violent things. One of the characters dies because of that game. There is a bomb that goes off towards the end of the book, and one character gets slightly injured because of debris that was caused by its explosion. There is an online forum where violent topics are discussed, and two people on there plan to harm others who have hurt them. One of the characters chokes in the book, and the author describes what the person looks like in detail. A character’s father is dead, and they talk about how he dies.
There are a lot of bad words in the book. The ones used include ‘d*mn’, ‘bullsh*t’, ‘sh*t’, ‘s*xy’, ‘a**hole’, ‘sl*t’, h*te’, the f-word, ‘pr*ck’, ‘f*g’, ‘cr*p’, ‘wh*re’, d*ck’, ‘a**’, ‘h*ll’, and bada**’. These words are used quite a few times during the book, so if a reader is sensitive to bad language, they should definitely know that there is a lot in this book.
There is a decent amount of romance in this book. A lot of the characters have boyfriends and girlfriends. There is a lot of kissing, and some of it is passionate. Some flirting occurs. A wedding takes place as well.
There are a lot of adult topics in this book. Firstly, there is a lot of talk about hooking up and sex. A sex tape and virginity are also briefly mentioned. A lot of drinking goes on in the book, and one character gets alcohol poisoning. They talk about getting her into rehab. There is mention of a naked selfie. Flaccid penis pictures and viagra are put on one character’s locker because he had a case of erectile dysfunction. One character forcefully kisses another. One character suffers from leukemia. Death threats are sent to an office. Suicide, love, and LGBTQ+ topics are also mentioned in the book.
This book was great! It definitely lived up to my expectations as the sequel to ‘One of Us Is Lying’. The plot was good, the conflict was great, and I really liked the way that the author slowly moved us towards the final outcome without rushing it too much. She mixed in new sparks of drama at every turn, and that was one thing that kept me hooked. The small and blossoming romances that occurred also kept me hooked, because I really wanted to see if the people would end up together. Overall, this was a super great book, and I would definitely ask people to read it!