People Like Us
Kay Donovan may have skeletons in her closet, but the past is past, and she's reinvented herself entirely. Now she's a star soccer player whose group of gorgeous friends run their private school with effortless popularity and acerbic wit. But when a girl's body is found in the lake, Kay's carefully constructed life begins to topple. The dead girl has left Kay a computer-coded scavenger hunt, which, as it unravels, begins to implicate suspect after suspect, until Kay herself is in the crosshairs of a murder investigation. But if Kay's finally backed into a corner, she'll do what it takes to survive. Because at Bates Academy, the truth is something you make...not something that happened.

People Like Us Details

TitlePeople Like Us
Author
ReleaseFeb 27th, 2018
PublisherG.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139781524741709
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Mystery, Contemporary, Lgbt

People Like Us Review

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    ya girl has an arc of the gay mean girls book and is living life to the fullest
  • Dahlia
    January 1, 1970
    This was a motherfluffin' WHIRLWIND. I would've happily taken it a hundred pages longer and some of the stuff slowed down and explored, but like, I wanted a gay Mean Girls book and this delivered. There's something to the comps to Pretty Little Liars and 13 Reasons Why in an obvious way, but for those who are really into these kind of books and looking for less generic ones, I'd say this is for the more Abigail Haas/Stephanie Kuehn corner of psych thriller fandom, aka my favorite corner. *pets A This was a motherfluffin' WHIRLWIND. I would've happily taken it a hundred pages longer and some of the stuff slowed down and explored, but like, I wanted a gay Mean Girls book and this delivered. There's something to the comps to Pretty Little Liars and 13 Reasons Why in an obvious way, but for those who are really into these kind of books and looking for less generic ones, I'd say this is for the more Abigail Haas/Stephanie Kuehn corner of psych thriller fandom, aka my favorite corner. *pets ARC* *thanks publisher for it*
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  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    That cover and the synopsis were like a dream come true. Boarding school murdery scavenger hunt? Count me in. Sadly it was meh. Kay was okay? And yes that’s a question. She did have some redeeming qualities and mostly it was that she’s ambitious. Yet as the story progressed, she became the sort of character I struggle with. I didn’t like the choices she made or the way she treated people. There are a lot of other characters, but it didn’t feel like we got to know them. Perhaps it was a way to sh That cover and the synopsis were like a dream come true. Boarding school murdery scavenger hunt? Count me in. Sadly it was meh. Kay was okay? And yes that’s a question. She did have some redeeming qualities and mostly it was that she’s ambitious. Yet as the story progressed, she became the sort of character I struggle with. I didn’t like the choices she made or the way she treated people. There are a lot of other characters, but it didn’t feel like we got to know them. Perhaps it was a way to show how closed off Kay really was. Plot wise it was boooooooooring. Even when things started happening, nothing really happened. And when it came to the reveal and reason for all things, it was a let down and dare I say, stupid. (view spoiler)[There were odd comments about Kay’s prior behavior that were never addressed and it left a weird feeling. Was this a case of a plot hole or missed thread that didn’t get tied up or am I supposed to think she’s behind it all? I could have overlooked it, but coupled with the the last few paragraphs at the end, it’s left me wondering. (hide spoiler)]Overall, it was an awesome idea. I loved the creativity of the website and poetry. And the gay/bisexual rep was nice to see {even if some of these characters acted like sociopaths}. Ultimately, the story lacked tension and a sense of urgency that I was expecting. **Huge thanks to GP Putnam’s Sons for providing the arc free of charge**
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  • Rachel Solomon
    January 1, 1970
    Beneath the silvery moonlight, our skin gleams like bones. From that gorgeous first line, I was hooked. The blurb from the deal announcement just doesn't do it justice. PEOPLE LIKE US is a seductive psychological thriller with beautiful literary writing and an unreliable narrator. It takes place in an all-girls private school -- oh, and it's super queer. There might be more queer characters than non, AND I LOVED IT.This book is about cutthroat ambitious girls and secrets that won't stay in the p Beneath the silvery moonlight, our skin gleams like bones. From that gorgeous first line, I was hooked. The blurb from the deal announcement just doesn't do it justice. PEOPLE LIKE US is a seductive psychological thriller with beautiful literary writing and an unreliable narrator. It takes place in an all-girls private school -- oh, and it's super queer. There might be more queer characters than non, AND I LOVED IT.This book is about cutthroat ambitious girls and secrets that won't stay in the past. It's about what we sacrifice for the sake of our own self-preservation. It's about the blurred line between friendship and more-than-friendship, and the pure agony of being trapped there. I'll have chills for a long time.
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  • Kaitlyn
    January 1, 1970
    PEOPLE LIKE US is one of those rare mystery-thrillers that is not only gripping and unputdownable, it's also beautifully written. I had a hard time doing anything else after I picked up this book, and while I wanted to keep stopping to admire Mele's gorgeous turns of phrase, I couldn't because I absolutely HAD to know what happened next.These characters are dark and twisty and extraordinarily human, and the setting is spot-on perfect. As a reader who went to an all-girls boarding school, I'm usu PEOPLE LIKE US is one of those rare mystery-thrillers that is not only gripping and unputdownable, it's also beautifully written. I had a hard time doing anything else after I picked up this book, and while I wanted to keep stopping to admire Mele's gorgeous turns of phrase, I couldn't because I absolutely HAD to know what happened next.These characters are dark and twisty and extraordinarily human, and the setting is spot-on perfect. As a reader who went to an all-girls boarding school, I'm usually a bit skeptical of books set in places like my high school, but Mele nailed it. Every detail is just right. I know I'll be thinking about this one for a long time to come.
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  • Tory
    January 1, 1970
    SOOOOOO BAAAAAAD. Yet another bizarro teen drama where some crazy murder plot is all because of a STUPID HARMLESS PRANK. WHY are the kids taking this into their own hands. WHY are there 500 characters. WHY is everyone a one-dimensional bitch and/or asshole. WHY IS THIS SO BAD.-Everyone goes from being acquaintances/perfect strangers to do-or-die BFFs in like a hot minute. "hello dude I've never met before right now, please let's go get coffee and you can tell me all about your dead girlfriend."- SOOOOOO BAAAAAAD. Yet another bizarro teen drama where some crazy murder plot is all because of a STUPID HARMLESS PRANK. WHY are the kids taking this into their own hands. WHY are there 500 characters. WHY is everyone a one-dimensional bitch and/or asshole. WHY IS THIS SO BAD.-Everyone goes from being acquaintances/perfect strangers to do-or-die BFFs in like a hot minute. "hello dude I've never met before right now, please let's go get coffee and you can tell me all about your dead girlfriend."-"How did you know it was actually a BLADE she killed herself with? It could've been glass or a chunk of plastic." Bitch, someone slices their wrists open, I'm gonna assume blade, wbu? That's not me mysteriously knowing pertinent information in a murder investigation -- that's just deductive reasoning.-Apparently fully half of the student body at this girls' school is either gay or bi.-The whole deep dark Dear Valentine secret was that you sent someone a rib bone from the dining hall and a candy brain? Um. 'Kay.-When the whole school is vandalizing your dorm room and blowing up your Facebook and all your housemother says about it is "I'm busy"? Ain't no adult going to take any responsibility here?-They traced the label on a bottle of alcohol...back to his dad's credit card?? That's -- that's not how any of this works!-WAIT. THE DEAR VALENTINE BULLSHIT PRANK IS WHY SHE'S ***MURDERING*** PEOPLE???!!?!??!?!?!?!??! OMFGGGGGGGGGGG
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  • Chocolate Fiend
    January 1, 1970
    This was just wow...... wow RTC
  • Chenise
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 4.5 First line: "Beneath the silvery moonlight, our skin gleams like bones." I loved this so much more than I expected! For the first few chapters I didn't have any strong feelings. As I kept reading though, I just became increasingly obsessed with this book and ended up flying through it in a matter of sittings. Every single character is multidimensional and is never simply good or bad. That's a big thing I noticed early on. Everyone had done some really shitty things but they we Actual rating: 4.5 First line: "Beneath the silvery moonlight, our skin gleams like bones." I loved this so much more than I expected! For the first few chapters I didn't have any strong feelings. As I kept reading though, I just became increasingly obsessed with this book and ended up flying through it in a matter of sittings. Every single character is multidimensional and is never simply good or bad. That's a big thing I noticed early on. Everyone had done some really shitty things but they weren't all terrible people. Kay, the main character, is a perfect example of that. She has some serious flaws and has hurt people, but she's doing her best to learn and grow and be a better person. Another unexpected, but delightful surprise was how gay this book was! It's set at an all-girls boarding school, but I didn't really think anything of it until I realized several characters were either gay or bisexual, including the main character. Characters' sexuality isn't discussed, it just is, and it's fantastic!I'm realizing how early I read it but I'm so happy I did because now I can get everyone else excited for it when it comes out!
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  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    A psychological thriller like no other, this one shows no mercy to its readers and refuses to allow a departure. Failure is NOT an OPTION!"I keep letting people die." "I'm terrified the world will find out."From the second you lay your eyes upon this magnificent work by Dana you will be hooked and this is coming from a reader who frequents young adult books.A chilling tale of murder, revenge, and heat of passion. Intrigue, mystery, and teenage drama are presented to the readers with such skill t A psychological thriller like no other, this one shows no mercy to its readers and refuses to allow a departure. Failure is NOT an OPTION!"I keep letting people die." "I'm terrified the world will find out."From the second you lay your eyes upon this magnificent work by Dana you will be hooked and this is coming from a reader who frequents young adult books.A chilling tale of murder, revenge, and heat of passion. Intrigue, mystery, and teenage drama are presented to the readers with such skill that you feel as though you're transported to the scene with these memorable characters. "Like a caged animal she'll fight for her freedom."Truth be told Kay Donovan is in the fight of her life to prove that she's not the killer of Jessica Lane. She tries desperately to twist and turn the attention upon those closest to her but will this be a good thing for her innocence or just prove further guilt?Kay (Katherine) has reinvented herself separating herself from her awful past .Today she's a soccer champ at her private boarding school (Bates Academy).Life has not been kind to her as her parents placed her there so that the mother can be tended too for overdosing all while her daughter could be framed for Jess's body turning up in the lake.Readers are suspicious as it could either be suicide or worse murder? But who would want to harm Jessica Lane? *Keeping in mind sometimes the nicest girls can carry the worst grudges.Their appears to be a roster with many finger pointing candidates who have plenty of secrets themselves and one by one they are eliminated and forced off the list as possible killers.Everyone is a target on this mysterious revenge blog website but just who is this 'FJ' person who set it up? Why must a password be used to get a rhyming recipe and what on earth would a recipe hold other than ingredients? This is like digging up secrets from the grave suspense so hold on...as it's engulfing from all angles.Not everything is at it appears and as the interrogations and evidence is gathered more individuals come under a cloud of suspicion. Could another student on campus have done all this? Was their more behind the scenes with possible jealousy as a motive for murder? What could a possible discussion on sexual orientation and or sexting have to do with anything?Everyone sure seemed to be close and some closer than others might suspect."Death is a chain reaction, a butterfly effect."As evidence mounts we are left with 2 main suspects and many unanswered questions.However, more bodies turn up and the heat is overwhelming --something has to give. Was this a game of sorts? Was their more than one murderer responsible?Jess was involved with Greg and broke off just before her death but was this a motive to want to kill someone? Was their more than one relationship going on all this time? Was everyone simply messing around with everyone else? WTH?When Detective Morgan goes searching for answers the students go scrambling to keep their stories straight as to what happened the night they came upon the body.Will they crack and tell all or will their be more lies and cover ups?Not to mention these young kids are in their prime. They have so much to look forward to in both athletics and academics. What will this mean for their futures in terms of scholarships and playoffs and even being scouted for collegiate offers. Will they even get playing time now that this turmoil has surfaced around them?So much is on the line which makes this read that much more intense.Their is a bond between these students that is nearly unbreakable. Perhaps that bond extends to the perimeter of the teacher world? How will this all shake down? Kay meanwhile, feels she's the black swan. Everything she touches falls apart. Lives are at stake. Lives are being ruined. She appears to be at the center of it all.With online media and sexting what role will that play here? Will more clues surface online to lead us in one direction or another? "The perfect lie is a misplaced truth."True, but we are dealing with a crazy bunch as Kay is "The femme fatale of Bates Academy."Should Kay just say the heck with it and confess to a murder she knows zip about?What about these young girls who are in this pack? Can they be trusted? After all being wealthy has its perks.Surely their appears to be this dark cloud hanging over Kay but why does it seem she is the direct target of the investigation?Well perhaps the secrets will be revealed and I will tell you it's a shocker that you'll never forgetHappy reading.*Thank you Dana Mele and Goodreads Giveaway for this copy. I have sent this copy to a fellow blogger /reviewer as it was simply too good not to share.
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  • Brenda Rufener
    January 1, 1970
    Atmospheric, thrilling, queer story with lots of twists and turns. This lovely YA thriller will take you on a twisty ride guaranteed to leave you breathless. You may not love everything these girls do–you don't have to–that's the beauty of this story. Five stars!!!
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  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    I was hooked by the premise of this psychological thriller about Kay, a girl with secrets in her past, and the book did not disappoint. The fantastic writing pulled me in, and the flawed but relatable characters and their twisted lives kept me from putting it down. The narrator’s unreliability had me guessing until the very end. I liked all of the characters, but I loved that none of them could be trusted. Family and social pressures, guilt, and love, are all masterfully woven together every ste I was hooked by the premise of this psychological thriller about Kay, a girl with secrets in her past, and the book did not disappoint. The fantastic writing pulled me in, and the flawed but relatable characters and their twisted lives kept me from putting it down. The narrator’s unreliability had me guessing until the very end. I liked all of the characters, but I loved that none of them could be trusted. Family and social pressures, guilt, and love, are all masterfully woven together every step of the way. Days later, I’m still thinking about it.
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  • Julia Rubin
    January 1, 1970
    I feel so honored that I got to read an ARC of this as part of the Electric 18s ARC tour.It hit me like a gut punch. Evocative, dark, twisty, and with a bisexual MC (!!), this reminded me of a mash-up of Pretty Little Liars and Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson. The pacing was perfect and some of the descriptions were flat out gorgeous. Definitely read this if you love complicated characters, unreliable narrators, and a good mysery/thriller.
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  • Sophie Cameron
    January 1, 1970
    A gripping, atmospheric and very well-written thriller with lots of twists and a great, diverse cast - loved this!
  • Angela Caldwell
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come!
  • David McQueen
    January 1, 1970
    A great read! The writing is sharp and the characters are mysterious and authentic. I enjoyed getting sucked deeper and deeper into the unraveling of Kay Donovan.
  • Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
    January 1, 1970
    I ended up really liking this book a lot.  The writing was good and it kept my interest for the whole book.  There were plenty of little twists and it was hard to put down.Kay isn't the typical student at Bates.  She isn't rich like most of the girls and has suffered from tragedy.  She lost her best friend and her brother before going away to school.  When she gets to Bates, she sort of reinvents herself.  She's no longer Katie, the tragic girl who was picked on after her brother's death.  She b I ended up really liking this book a lot.  The writing was good and it kept my interest for the whole book.  There were plenty of little twists and it was hard to put down.Kay isn't the typical student at Bates.  She isn't rich like most of the girls and has suffered from tragedy.  She lost her best friend and her brother before going away to school.  When she gets to Bates, she sort of reinvents herself.  She's no longer Katie, the tragic girl who was picked on after her brother's death.  She becomes Kay, the cool girl that everyone wants to be friends with.  But she's also mean.  Most of the girls at Bates are.  They tease and bully other kids that aren't in the "in crowd".  They are even mean to each other fairly often.  One night, the girls find a body in the water.  Shortly after, Kay gets a message from the dead girl.  It's a list of things she must do or her big secret will be revealed.  Kay is desperate to stay popular, focus on soccer, and get a big scholarship.  So she starts hurting her own friends to keep herself safe.  Then another girl gets killed and Kay is one of the few suspects.  She starts working with a girl who isn't in her group to figure out who the killer is.There aren't too many characters to like in this book.  Most of the girls are mean the exception of a couple.  Kay's ex cheated on her, but besides that, he's not too horrible.  But he is a murder suspect.  Each person in this book is flawed in some way.  I actually liked that and I'm not a huge fan of perfect characters (not that I hate them either).I did figure out the killer fairly early on, but it was fun to read up until the end.  Plus the reasoning was a bit different than I expected.  Even after the killer is revealed, we find out a bit more about Kay's past.Overall, I gave this one 4  1/2 stars and will definitely pick up another book from Dana Mele in the future.  Thank you to Dana for the copy of this book.
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  • Heather Ezell
    January 1, 1970
    WOOF. This was a heart race and I devoured every page, making my six-hour flight feel speedy quick. Loved -- dark, painful, strange. Also, so wonderfully queer. Fact: I bought a glass of wine on said flight because it just felt right and I was on edge in the best way. It paired quite well.
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  • Magdalena Deniz
    January 1, 1970
    You know when you read a deep, truly original murder mystery book that really makes you think??neither do I.Especially with this one. God. Everything was so cliche and unrealistic. These are teen girls, but then don’t act like teen girls. Teen girls don’t kill two people because of one stupid prank in freshman year. I get it, psychopaths are weird and different, but psychopaths are also geniuses and manipulative and cunning and everything that should INTEREST me, not bratty freaks who make me wa You know when you read a deep, truly original murder mystery book that really makes you think??neither do I.Especially with this one. God. Everything was so cliche and unrealistic. These are teen girls, but then don’t act like teen girls. Teen girls don’t kill two people because of one stupid prank in freshman year. I get it, psychopaths are weird and different, but psychopaths are also geniuses and manipulative and cunning and everything that should INTEREST me, not bratty freaks who make me want to claw my eyes out.one thing though, is that the writing in this book was definitely beautiful. But honestly, beautiful writing can only get you so far. I wish I had more realistic reactions (when you find a dead body and you’re 17, you don’t just immediately start rationalizing your thoughts. hello?!! it’s a dead fucking body!!!!) and a much less cliche plot.Also, I live for gay characters as a bi woman, but when you’re representing all the gay/bisexual women in your book as cheating, horrible people and psychopathic killers, that’s bad representation, and honestly, did NOT flow well for me.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    I'm just gonna say it -- Dana Mele is destined to be the Gillian Flynn of YA. I keep seeing this book compared to MEAN GIRLS and THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, and while those comps make sense, I personally keep coming back to GONE GIRL and SHARP OBJECTS. Without getting too spoiler-y, I'll tell you that PEOPLE LIKE US features a fantastic little teenage psychopath. I found myself rooting for said psychopath the same way that I found myself weirdly rooting for Amy while reading GONE GIRL, even when I had I'm just gonna say it -- Dana Mele is destined to be the Gillian Flynn of YA. I keep seeing this book compared to MEAN GIRLS and THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, and while those comps make sense, I personally keep coming back to GONE GIRL and SHARP OBJECTS. Without getting too spoiler-y, I'll tell you that PEOPLE LIKE US features a fantastic little teenage psychopath. I found myself rooting for said psychopath the same way that I found myself weirdly rooting for Amy while reading GONE GIRL, even when I had no idea who he/she (no pronoun spoilers!) was. But this twisted treasure is far from an Amy knock-off. He/she is a positively unique, surprisingly relatable, and multi-layered beast who I could read about all day. And in the same vein as SHARP OBJECTS, PEOPLE LIKE US is narrated by a girl with a troubled past who seems like she's doing her best to appear well-adjusted and make it through the day to day. But then...*squeeeees with glee*...the unraveling begins. And it is EPIC.Don't miss this one. It will suck you in and rewire your heart-brain.
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  • Amelinda Bérubé
    January 1, 1970
    Twisty-turny enough to keep you guessing right to the end, with layers and layers of secrets to peel back, and so saturated with guilt it leaves you jumpy when you put it down. This is a wonderful thriller with a finely honed edge that cuts right to the feels.
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  • Kit Frick
    January 1, 1970
    Propulsive and twisty, debut author Dana Mele's YA thriller PEOPLE LIKE US is an emotionally charged thrill-ride set at an all-girl's boarding school, where the popular girls are on blast in a murder investigation, and no one's secrets--or hearts--are safe.
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    Murder, boarding schools, secrets, revenge and tormented love! This book started with a splash (a literal one, into a lake containing a dead body), and it just continues to up the ante. I figured some things out half way through, but was never sure until the very end. Despite guessing correctly (ish), the book was a fast, furious and fun read. Totally one of my favorite upcoming YA thrillers of the year!
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  • Brittany
    January 1, 1970
    I received this ARC from a local bookseller. I feel like a real jerk-face for saying this, but I really didn't like this book. I hate writing negative reviews, so I'll keep it brief. This one was very cheesy, loaded with too many characters, predictable yet sloppy, and there were just too many irons in the fire. I pushed through, but I was over it by 125 pages in. The ending was....lame. Sorry, just not what I was hoping for.
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  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    Holy crap. I just finished devouring PEOPLE LIKE US, and I'm in awe! Dana Mele combines high-stakes, adrenaline pumping high school intrigue with gorgeously evocative, literary writing. Her characters are real, complex, and compelling, and her plotting is fantastic. I've seen reviews that call this "gay MEAN GIRLS," but to me it had more of a VERONICA MARS feel—tense, impossible to put down, and just plain fun. If you're a fan of YA thrillers and/or creepy private school shenanigans, don't miss Holy crap. I just finished devouring PEOPLE LIKE US, and I'm in awe! Dana Mele combines high-stakes, adrenaline pumping high school intrigue with gorgeously evocative, literary writing. Her characters are real, complex, and compelling, and her plotting is fantastic. I've seen reviews that call this "gay MEAN GIRLS," but to me it had more of a VERONICA MARS feel—tense, impossible to put down, and just plain fun. If you're a fan of YA thrillers and/or creepy private school shenanigans, don't miss PEOPLE LIKE US! (Releasing in February.)
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  • Lindsay
    January 1, 1970
    Boarding school Mean Girls mixed with murder where the killer is easy to predict.
  • Megan Manzano
    January 1, 1970
    I am such a sucker for thriller/mystery YA novels and this one did not disappoint. From the beginning, we're launched into the action and the book continues that way into the very end. The last few paragraphs are still haunting me and I feel like they will for quite a while. What I enjoyed the most was as who killed Jessica Lane unravels, you find out a ton about Kay Donovan.
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  • Just Reading Everything
    January 1, 1970
    This whirlwind, fast-paced YA mystery follows Kay Donovan. Strong-minded, unapologetically queer, and a motivated soccer star, Kay has reinvented herself at her posh private school, Bates Academy. After a school Halloween dance, Kay and her friends find a body of a dead girl in the lake, and suddenly no one is trustworthy. Not even Kay herself. But Kay quickly learns that the dead girl has left her a computer-coded scavenger hunt, and there will be major consequences if Kay doesn't follow the ru This whirlwind, fast-paced YA mystery follows Kay Donovan. Strong-minded, unapologetically queer, and a motivated soccer star, Kay has reinvented herself at her posh private school, Bates Academy. After a school Halloween dance, Kay and her friends find a body of a dead girl in the lake, and suddenly no one is trustworthy. Not even Kay herself. But Kay quickly learns that the dead girl has left her a computer-coded scavenger hunt, and there will be major consequences if Kay doesn't follow the rules. Not only will Mele's gorgeous, melodic writing have you entranced, but the layered mystery of it all will have you scrambling to turn the pages to see who-dun-it.
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  • K.A.
    January 1, 1970
    This book was so twisty and dark and addicting. Loved IT!
  • Adrienne Young
    January 1, 1970
    This book is exactly what you think it will be - pure entertainment! I read it over the span of a few chilly, rainy days and it was the perfect escape. If you're looking for something fun, twisty, and kind of dark, I highly recommend!
  • Amelia Brunskill
    January 1, 1970
    A great, twisty read, I was kept guessing throughout this beautifully written, slippery eel of a novel. Also, I like my protagonists funny, unreliable, and slightly monstrous, and Kay absolutely delivered on all fronts. I'm so glad that I got my hands on an ARC of this title!
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