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One Of Us Is Back by Karen M McManus - Review

Saturday, April 20, 2024

It feels like absolutely forever since I read any Young Adult fiction. I can't quite explain why that is, either. I do feel like it has stagnated a little bit in recent years and like I've read everything that I would be interested in. A lot of current YA seems to be fantasy and it's just not my thing. So I've sort of fallen out of knowing what's new. But I've had this on my radar for a little bit. I've read everything that Karen M McManus has written, so I obviously needed to read this too. It's the third in the Bayview trilogy but it had been so long since I read the second one that I had forgotten most of what happened. But this does explain a lot of what previously happened. And it was nice to be back in Bayview with Nate and Addy and Phoebe. 

The book is told from their points of view, although all the others are too - Cooper, Kris, Knox, Luis, Maeve, Bronwyn... The whole Bayview Crew. I had forgotten Knox, for sure, and I found I kept mixing him up with Kris which annoyed me. I also would have liked more Bronwyn, because I like her, but beggars can't be choosers... 

Bronwyn is off at Yale or something. Nate is working construction and he's also working in the bar of a country club or golf club or something, because he's keeping himself afloat aged nineteen. His relationship with his parents his better - they're both sober now and his dad has a job at Bayview High, where the other books are set. Nate is living with some others around his age, including Reggie, who I had definitely forgotten from book two, and who Nate hates. 

Phoebe is in her last year of high school and she's working at Cafe Contigo which belongs to Luis' family, although I had forgotten him, too. But she's really distracted - in book two she discovered the truth about her sister Emma's and her brother Owen's parts in what happened, and she and Emma have been covering for Owen ever since. He's thirteen now and sullen and removed from the family, and Phoebe is worried sick. She's also kind of got this thing going on with Knox, but it's really complicated. 

Addy is still living in Bayview, with her mum this time, who she doesn't get on well with. But her sister Ashton is now married and pregnant, and Addy is excited for that. She kissed her friend Keely and is having complicated feelings about this. I actually really liked this tiny bit of the book; it was a cute development for Addy. But Jake, who was involved in both the previous sets of crimes and who threatened Addy, is about to be released from prison as he's getting a new trial. He's banned from being anywhere where Addy is, but she's still terrified of running into him and so on. I love Addy - she's my favourite across the books and I liked her in the TV show, too, although I've only watched the first season. 

Everything seems to be going fine, except that a billboard in the locality is hacked, and there's a hint that a new game has started. But who would be doing this, and how? And how is it related to Jake's parents? And how is it related to when Jake and Simon were friends six years ago.

The book kept me guessing and I liked the mystery. I loved the ending but I felt it came together slowly at first then a bit too quickly. But I'm giving it five out of five - it's a worthy ending to the series. 

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