People Like Us
By Dane Mele
Published February 27, 2018 by Putnam
People Like Us is a fun, twisty YA thriller set in a privileged and vicious world. Kay Donovan is a scholarship student at an elite boarding school, the Bates Academy. Because she’s a soccer star and captain of the team, Kay is one of the school’s most popular students, and she’s part of a group of girls who run the school.
Kay seems to be on top of the world until the night she and her friends try to go skinny-dipping and find a dead body in the school lake. It looks like the dead girl committed suicide, but the police are investigating her death and have a lot of questions for the girls who found the body. The morning after, Kay receives an email from the dead girl, telling Kay that she has to carry out an elaborate revenge plan or her past will be revealed. Kay has skeletons in her closet, and if they come out, her chances for a college scholarship are in danger, so she feels she has to go along with the plot, and she gets caught up in trying to investigate the death. As you can imagine, this doesn’t exactly go well for her.
This book was a lot of fun. I ripped through it, dying to get to the big revelation at the end. It’s really fast paced, and it mostly kept me guessing until the end. There are a lot of suspects, and all of the characters are kind of awful, so it feels plausible that any of them could have done it. Kay is a morally ambiguous character. She’s been a mean girl to lots of her fellow students, and when she begins to fall under suspicion, people are quick to turn on her. She feels terrible about the things she’s done, but she’s also willing to sacrifice her friends to save herself. She’s a mess, and I found myself rooting for her even as she did some really dumb things.
People Like Us has a lot of LGBT representation. The main character is bi, her best friend is gay, and there are other gay and bi characters. It’s refreshing to see this representation, and it’s treated as unexceptional in the book.
I received an ARC from Amazon Vine.