So I recently published a ranking of every single novel written by Taylor Jenkins Reid and it’s become one of the most viewed posts I’ve written. You can check that out here. I love creating this kind of content, so I’m back today with the same for all of Karen McManus’s works. If you didn’t know, this author writes really engaging YA thriller/mystery stories with exceptional twists. I am a huge fan of hers. I’m also sharing this in September, because the television adaptation of One Of Us Is Lying will be released early next month on Stan. I’m very excited to see it brought to screen. Finally, her latest novel: You’ll Be The Death Of Me will be published in December. I’ve already pre-ordered a copy. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
1.) One Of Us Is Lying
I’m over the moon that One Of Us Is Lying is coming to television next month, because it is my absolute favourite book of Karen’s. The basic premise is: five teenagers walk into detention for different reasons and only four of them come out alive. This novel was originally marketed as the thriller version of The Breakfast Club and I have to agree. There is a jock, a nerd, a beauty, a criminal and an outcast (Simon), who is the creator of Bayview High’s gossip app. With so many deeply buried secrets on the verge of emerging, each character has a strong motive for the murder of Simon, who was planning to air their dirty laundry the following day. I loved the twist in this story. I never saw it coming. Not only that, all of the suspects have designated POV chapters, so we get to know each of them in-depth. I remember after I read it, I wrote a review saying how much I would love to see it become a TV series and now we are getting it. The trailer looks amazing. I hope it’s as good as the book!
2.) The Cousins
Coming in at a close second is The Cousins. This was such a fun story, brimming with mystery. It also had a fantastic twist that I couldn’t predict. Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each other, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised… and curious. The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over—and this season, the cousins will learn everything. This is the perfect vacation read. I am particularly close with my cousins and one of them is also named Jonah, so I enjoyed relating to the characters and the familial relationships formed. I highly recommend this book.
3.) Two Can Keep A Secret
In third place, we have Two Can Keep A Secret. I would recommend picking this one up during the fall/winter season. It’s darker, gloomier and much more serious. Echo Ridge is small-town in America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows. The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing. I loved the ending of this book. It sent chills down my spine. It definitely has a different vibe to Karen’s other books but I still enjoyed it immensely.
4.) One Of Us Is Next
In last place we have the sequel to One Of Us Is Lying: One Of Us Is Next. I don’t want to give too much away, but this follows different characters from Bayview High after Simon’s death. There’s a new mystery to solve and a whole new set of rules. 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. So in my opinion, One Of Us Is Lying didn’t really need a sequel. Furthermore, the concept had potential but I found the execution slightly lacking. Finally, I saw the twist coming a mile away, which isn’t typical for Karen’s books. It wasn’t bad but I didn’t love it.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know if you love Karen just as much as I do. What is your favourite book of hers? How would you rank this list? Thanks for reading!