Book Title: People Like Us
Author: Dana Mele
REVIEWED BY: DENNIS
Genres: YA, Mystery, LGBT
Pub Date: 02/27/18
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.
Before I begin my review, I’d like to place a disclaimer for everyone who’s reading this: Just because I was not a fan of People Like Us, it doesn’t mean that you should be deterred from picking this up. This read is a contemporary, sexually liberating read for the LBGTQ community, and is actually quite fun!
People Like Us centers around a group of teenage women at elite prep-school The Bates Academy; Katie (aka Kay) Donovan, Brie, Maddy, and Tai. These socially prestigious women are the IT crowd at school and know it. The group of girls are star athletes and have the other student body envious of their lives. However, a fellow student’s body has been found at a nearby lake, leaving the school and these young women shaken. The victim actually leads Kay on a wild computer-coded scavenger hunt posthumously, keeping Kay and the group on their toes. All signs point to murder—but who’s the culprit?
If you enjoyed One of Us is Lying and are looking for a book that speaks freely about sexual fluidity, People Like Us is a good book to add to your TBR list. The mystery at hand is very easy to figure out—I knew immediately what was going to happen and the who, what, where, when, and why’s. More than anything, the main reason for my negative review was the lack of characterization placed on the main characters. Kay’s friends Brie, Maddy, Tai, etc., are all interchangeable. Nobody stands out and nobody is actually interesting enough to remember. While the story was unique and somewhat interesting, I didn’t really care about any of the characters in any capacity. It just wasn’t a fit for me, but if you are looking for a light mystery and are interested in comparing this to some blockbuster contemporary YA reads, then pick it up! I’d love to hear your thoughts.