Gossip becomes deadly in 'One of Us Is Next'

“Gossip needn’t be false to be evil — there’s a lot of truth that shouldn’t be passed around.” —Frank A. Clark

High school is never easy, there’s too much self doubt and slicing gossip circulating around for teenagers to handle. Add in the constant stream of gossip that pours in through social media and it doesn’t seem so far-fetched that the events at Bayview High could happen anywhere. Our latest read takes us back to a fictional gossip-obsessed high school in California.

One of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManus

In the sequel to “One of Us Is Lying,” Karen M. McManus brings readers back to Bayview. In the first book, a teenager who ran a gossip website framed four of his classmates for his death. As readers return to Bayview, they learn what has happened to the characters after they cleared their names and learn that the town still hasn’t quite had its fill of the gossip mill. In the sequel Maeve, Knox and Phoebe find themselves embroiled in the school’s latest gossip craze, Truth or Dare, where Unknown selects a member of the student body to play the game. If the students don’t take the dare, a dark truth is revealed about them to the whole school. However, when a tragedy strikes the town, the game suddenly stops. Maeve, Knox and Phoebe have to uncover how the game is related to the accident and what Unknown’s endgame really is.

From the book jacket…

“Come on, Bayview, you know you’ve missed this. A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one’s been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts.

Until now. This time it’s not an app, though — it’s a game. Truth or Dare.

Phoebe‘s the first target. If you choose not to play, it’s a truth. And hers is dark. Then comes Maeve and she should know better — always choose the dare. But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it’s that they can’t count on the police for help. Or protection. Simon’s gone, but someone’s determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there’s a whole new set of rules.”

If you enjoy…

“One of Us Is Next” was published on Jan. 7. Readers looking for more decadent YA drama might also enjoy E. Lockhart’s “We Were Liars,” which tells the story of a teen trying to remember how she ended up with a head injury one summer.