Karen McManus’s YA Books Ranked

If you read our blog, you know we love Karen McManus’s YA books and have read all of them. She is one of our auto-buy authors and we can’t wait to read more of her mysteries/thrillers. We plan on updating this post when McManus releases her next book! Are you a McManus fan? Let us know your rankings in the comments!

1. The Cousins

Milly, Aubrey and Jonah Story have never met their grandmother. Years ago, she disinherited their parents and cut off all contact. Out of the blue, she sends them letters inviting them to stay at her resort on a small island off the coast of Massachusetts. Only, it’s a lot more complicated than that. When they arrive on the island, nobody seems to expect them. Their grandmother keeps them at arms length, but the more time the cousins spend on the island, the more they learn about their family secrets. 

We read The Cousins for our January 2021 book club and everyone loved it. It kept us on the edge of our seats and gave us many twists to discuss! We loved everything about this book from the characters, to the setting, to the mystery!

2. One of Us is Lying

One of Us is Lying is McManus’s first and most popular book! Five students enter detention, but only four make it out alive. There’s the brain: Bronwyn, the jock: Cooper, the beauty: Addy, the criminal: Nate and the outcast: Simon. Simon, the creator of the school’s gossip app About That, ingests peanut oil and nobody can figure out how. Everyone has their eyes on the Bayview Four. They have to work together to learn what really happened so none of them end up behind bars…or worse. We love this book and have nothing but amazing things to say about it. We even enjoyed the TV show adaptation. To learn more about the book and the show, check out Book vs TV Show: One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus.

3. Two Can Keep a Secret

Two Can Keep A Secret is a spooky YA mystery set in Vermont. When Ellery and Ezra move from Los Angeles to a small town in Vermont, unsolved murders seem to be the norm…some of which have to do with the amusement park they started working at. Multiple girls have gone missing over the past 20 years and the most recent one just happened. Desperate to learn the truth, Ellery won’t stop until she pieces the puzzle together. We really liked Two Can Keep A Secret from the start. This mystery will give you major fall vibes and the full small town New England experience. Plus, Ellery is a great MC!

4. One of Us is Next

One of Us is Next is the highly anticipated sequel to One of Us Is Lying. It’s eighteen months after Simon’s death and the students of Bayview High are finally getting back to normal. Students have tried and failed to re-create Simon’s gossip app, but none have had quite the same wow-factor as About That. That is, until students get texts from Unknown announcing a new game, Truth or Dare. One by one, the students of Bayview High are selected to participate and the consequences could be deadly.

While not quite as good as the original book, we still found ourselves really enjoying One if Us is Next. Maeve Rojas was easily our favorite character and we enjoyed watching her try to crack this mystery. We also loved the cameos of the original Bayview students!

5. You’ll Be the Death of Me

You’ll Be the Death of Me follows former friends Ivy, Mateo and Cal as they head into Boston to relive a day they spent together years ago, but quickly, things don’t go as planned. They spot a fellow classmate in the city as he enters an abandoned building. But in the short time between when Boney enters the building and the trio follows him, Boney winds up dead. The trio didn’t see anyone else, but there’s Boney and a syringe on the ground. What happens starts a chain reaction. In the course of a day, Ivy, Mateo and Cal have to find out what really happened to Boney and clear their own names before the cops find them.

Sadly, McManus’s most recent YA book happened to be our least favorite. We didn’t particularly connect with any of the main characters and a lot of actions felt forced. While it’s not a bad book, we’ve come to expect a lot from McManus.

29 thoughts on “Karen McManus’s YA Books Ranked”

  1. I’m a big fan of mysteries, but I’ve never read any of McManus’ books so I should definitely add a few to my TBR. I do want to read One of Us is Lying because it was made into a tv series. Also, I was quite intrigued by The Cousins when I read your post on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post!! I have only read One of Us Is Lying and I have been hesitant to pick up other books by the author because of the mixed reviews but you really made me want to try to read The Cousins!! 🥰 Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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