One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus

Someone please explain to me the concept of breathing, because I have no recollection of it after finishing this book. I don’t think I took in a single normal breath for the last 25% of the book, which is funny, because I gasped so much you’d have thought I’d pass out from lack of oxygen. Either this book deprived me of oxygen and sent my brain into shock or it was RIDICULOUSLY GENIUS and sent me into shock. I’m leaning more towards the latter because HOLY HELL!!! Either way; I’m in shock.

This book is a drug and if you don’t take it in measured doses, you’re a goner. I was a goner. We’re all going to be goners because I TRIED and FAILED at controlling the amount of chapters I was inhaling. Yes, I was inhaling them. Not reading. This was a whole different type of addiction, I tell you. It. Was. Lethal. You’re going to get hooked and then when you hit the end, I promise you, you’re going to have serious withdrawals starting half a second after the last word. Be prepared.

Who am I kidding, you can’t prepare yourself for that. I TRIED AND FAILED AT THAT TOO. We’re learning through trial and error here, you guys, stay with me, this is key advice. (I’m not even really giving you advice, just egging on the obsession because I need friends to rehabilitate myself with 😂 I’m a proudly terribly influence when it comes to book addictions: Join me on the dark side 🖤)

Now that I’m done talking about the inevitable dark hole you’ll fall into when reading this book, let’s talk about how it was a sequel worth waiting for. I love how McManus brought back the orignal four from the first book into this one! They were actively part of the story, even though three new MCs were brought into the focus. And unlike what you’d think, it didn’t take away from the new characters’ story at all. McManus found a way to seamlessly weave their stories together and keep it interesting throughout.

I was hooked from page one, because that opening?? No one can deny it. It was the PERFECT way to make a grand entrance back onto the scene from the last book. In fact, for the first half, I was musing to myself and thinking, “This is awesome. It’s like a normal YA contemporary but with more suspense and drama to it.”

Don’t be fooled. McManus is just laying out the groundwork and stealthily drawing you into her trap, because that ease in the first half? IT. DOESN’T. LAST. LONG. Things start picking up the pace without you really realising until it’s too late and then all you can think is, “Woah, slow down, this is too much. I CAN’T. OVERLOAD. CAN’T PROCESS. WHAT. WHAT IS HAPPENING. OH MY GOD.”

You better put aside the time in anticipation of not being able to put this book aside for even a single second during the last 30% of the book or so because IT WILL KILL YOU TO HAVE TO STOP AFTER THAT. It’s a maddening cycle in your head of: “I have to stop and process this. But I can’t stop! I need to know what happens next!” It’s brutal and unforgiving and before you know it, you’ll leave the book absolutely winded and your mind is likely going to be a frantic explosion site, and you’ll probably sit there for the next hour without realising it, just wondering what the hell you just read and what you’re supposed to do with your life now.

And I want you to know that it’s okay if you do that, I think that’s going to be the standard reaction. I think this shock has the potential to bring us all together to reflect in incoherent screeching. How does that saying go? Something about chaos bringing people together. I think it’s going to be very fitting for the reactions this book will get.

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