One of Us Is Next - Karen M. McManus
BOOKS BY KAREN M. MCMANUS
One of Us Is Lying
Two Can Keep a Secret
One of Us Is Next
For Mom and Dad
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Text © 2020 by Karen M. McManus, LLC
Cover photograph (second girl) © 2020 by Nabi Tang/Stocksy; all other photographs used under license from Shutterstock
All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York.
Delacorte Press is a registered trademark and the colophon is a trademark of Penguin Random House LLC.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: McManus, Karen M., author.
Title: One of us is next / Karen M. McManus.
Description: First edition. | New York : Delacorte Press,  | Summary: “A year after the Bayview four were cleared of Simon Kelleher’s death, a new mystery has cropped up—a game with dangerous consequences that’s targeting students at Bayview again. And if the creator isn’t found soon, dangerous could prove deadly”— Provided by publisher.
Identifiers: LCCN 2019004154 | 978-0-525-70796-7 (hc) | 978-0-525-70797-4 (glb) | 978-0-525-70798-1 (ebook) | 978-0-593-17547-7 (intl. tr. pbk.)
Subjects: | CYAC: Mystery and detective stories. | Gossip—Fiction. | High schools—Fiction. | Schools—Fiction.
Classification: LCC PZ7.1.M4637 Or 2020 | DDC [Fic]—dc23
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Books by Karen M. Mcmanus
About the Author
Friday, March 6
REPORTER (standing at the edge of a winding street with a large white stucco building behind her): Good morning. This is Liz Rosen with Channel Seven News, reporting live from Bayview High, where students are reeling from the loss of one of their classmates yesterday. It’s the second tragic teenage death in the past eighteen months for this small town, and the mood outside the school is one of shocked déjà vu.
(Cut to two girls, one wiping tears, the other stone-faced.)
CRYING GIRL: It’s just…it’s just really sad. Like, sometimes it feels as though Bayview is cursed, you know? First Simon, and now this.
STOIC GIRL: This isn’t anything like what happened with Simon.
REPORTER (angling her microphone toward the crying girl): Were you and the deceased student close?
CRYING GIRL: Not like, close close. Or at all close. I mean, I’m just a freshman.
REPORTER (turning toward the other girl): And how about you?
STOIC GIRL: I don’t think we’re supposed to be talking to you.
Ten Weeks Earlier
Reddit, Vengeance Is Mine subforum
Thread started by Bayview2020
Is this the same group Simon Kelleher used to post with?—Bayview2020
One and the same.—Darkestmind
Why’d you move? And why are there hardly any posts?—Bayview2020
Too many gawkers and reporters on the old site.
And we have new security measures. Lesson learned from our friend Simon.
Who I’m guessing you know, based on your user name?—Darkestmind
Everyone knows Simon. Well. Knew him.
It’s not like we were friends, though.—Bayview2020
Okay. So what brings you here?—Darkestmind
I don’t know. Just stumbled across it.—Bayview2020
Bullshit. This is a forum dedicated to revenge, and it’s not easy to find.
You’re here for a reason.
What is it? Or should I say who?—Darkestmind
Somebody did something horrible.
It wrecked my life and so many others.
Meanwhile NOTHING happened to them.
And I can’t do anything about it.—Bayview2020
We have a lot in common.
It sucks when the person who ruined your life gets to walk around like always.
As if what they did doesn’t matter.
I beg to disagree with your conclusion, though.
There’s always something you can do.—Darkestmind
Monday, February 17
My sister thinks I’m a slacker. She’s not coming right out and saying it—or texting it, technically—but it’s heavily implied:
Did you check out that list of colleges I sent?
Winter of your junior year isn’t too early to start looking. It’s actually kind of late.
We could visit some places when I’m home for Ashton’s bachelorette party if you want.
You should apply somewhere totally