People Like Us by Dana Mele
Published 27 Feb 2018
Summary: 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.
Admittedly, when I first saw this on netgalley I was attracted to it because of its cover. It reminded me of Gossip Girl and intrigued me even more when I found out that it’s a campus mystery. I’m still high from One of Us Is Lying and I wanted more campus mysteries similar to it.
People Like Us has its own merits. We meet our protagonist, who turns out to be somewhat of an antagonist. Our main character, Kay, reminded me a lot of Tease, where both protagonist are antagonists. They are both bullies, self-aware and somewhat trying but not really. Kay is not supposed to be a likable character. She’s not supposed to have a moral compass. Kay is detestable, annoying and childish. From the start to the end, Kay controls her own destiny. She started investigating to save herself, to protect her past, and even to the vey last page, Kay Donovan only thinks about herself.
Sure, Kay grew as a character. She acknowledges her faults and owns up to it by apologizing to her victims. But the problem with Kay is that as she mends the bridges she’s burned, she breaks more bridges along the way. She’s neither genuinely good or inherently evil. I think that’s what attractive about Kay as a character. She’s very 3 dimensional, and feels very real. All of us are like this in some ways. We’re neither here nor there, neither good or bad, but we are all trying. And I think that’s what Kay is just trying to do. Try.
People Like Us kept me turning the pages. It started a little bit slow but got more exciting towards the middle. i enjoyed the idea of a revenge blog, though the first two missions seemed too easy and convenient. A filler mission, almost, just to rid us of some characters from the clique. The real exciting parts begin when we meet Nola, an outsider and the relationships that Kay tries to build with the people most unlikely.
People Like Us does leave a little bit unexplained. A lot of the why isn’t answered satisfactorily. I kind of get it, but it doesn’t explain why it had to be this way, why the killer backtracked in the end. It seems like the killer as a whole as another backstory that either I missed, or just wasn’t explained entirely. That’s the only reason why I knocked a star off People Like Us.
For fans of mysteries, campus mysteries, mean girls and One of Us Is Lying. Definitely one for the shelves, and one that’ll keep you talking for a while.