People Like Us - Dana Mele

Kay Johnson was sent to a boarding school after her life began to spiral, there she found friends and popularity, but most of all a setting she could control. On the night of the Skeleton Dance she and her circle of friends begin their tradition of jumping into the school lake, only it seems someone has beat them to it with fatal consequences. Kay feels the world fall around her as she has to determine what happened to this girl, why she is being framed for it and protect her friends from an increasing sense of danger.


Boarding school setting was always a strong setting for most young adult stories (see; Fallen), it creates a controllable setting and all the characters are (usually) already established in the setting. Kay establishes her persona from the first page as someone who isn't likeable and only does things to make others like her, but we are expected to support her all the way through? None of the characters became relatable to me, they were all trying to be people they weren't but it seems the author was trying to get me to play along and look past their terrible actions. Kay was a really toxic character, just because she suffered a loss doesn't make her a 'good' person.


The plot itself was cleverly split out into sections within the story, section by section Kay has to figure out the answer and save her friends. This was such a good writing idea, the evolution of the story was clearly explained to the reader but hidden in a mystery. Saying this it was flawed. Poems/riddles were presented to Kay and she had to solve them within 24 hours to ensure her secret was never revealed (why do all of these schoolgirls have serious secrets to hide?), but miraculously her new companion, Nola, is not only a genius hacker but a riddle solver! Within one sentence she has already established what the riddle means *spoiler* (and this should have been a sign) and Kay never caught onto her being the one behind it. Coincidences are apparently not something these girls are taught, everything was too convenient in this story for me to believe.


In terms of the plot the book had a few various different narratives to keep up with, Kay's history, the mysterious death, and Kay's infatuation with Brie. The further into the book I got there became multiple narratives to keep track of and it distracted from the main story and was confusing to keep them all connected.


This had such promise to be a good novel, it had been on my Amazon wish-list for such a long-time I was hoping it would be a wonderful story. Whilst the premise was interesting and pulled me in, the execution was a little poor and the characters didn't connect me to the story enough for me to care about the outcome.




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