Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Review: People Like Us by Dana Mele

People Like UsTitle: People Like Us 
Author:  Dana Mele
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: February 27th, 2018
Pages: 384
Genre: YA Mystery Suspense
Series:  Stand Alone
Source: ARC
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.

So this book was not on my radar at all. I decided to pick up to read because of some reviews. So I did. I am glad I did. I really enjoyed this book. It's one of those books that there is some wrong with it but it is just so good. I can say though that in this book unlike some others with so much bad, there is some redeeming in the end. I love it even more. This was a book of mean girls gone so wrong. Revenge, mystery, death, and a little bit of friendship and love. 

Kay Donovan and her friends discover a body one night. They are told it was suicide. Kay receives and email, blackmail email, from the dead girl. This email gives Kay things to do to out her friends of their transgressions. If she does not something about her will be leaked that could prevent her from having the life he wants. She decides to do what the email states. She enlists the help of a girl that she wasn't close too, in fact, a girl who she was mean to in the past. They form a friendship while they take down Kay's friends. Obviously losing those friends in the process. The only problem... nothing is at it seems and no one is who they seem and everyone has some skeletons in the closet. 

So I will start by saying this book was nothing as I expected it to be. I enjoyed so much about this book. It was fun and it was exciting and it was so inviting. I was into this book from the very first page and I just loved every part... except for two things, the end and some of the relationships or I should say flings.  I did like the end but I felt it was lacking something just a little. I just needed a bit more. But it wasn't bad. The flings drove me a bit crazy. It seemed everyone was sleeping with everyone or at least hooking up. Maybe in a boarding school, they get bored but it seemed to take away some of the likability of the characters. I just didn't get it. It didn't take away enjoyment though and I guess brought some kind of complexity to the mystery and the murder.

The story was just so mean girl. I love mean girl stories when the act of being a mean girl backfires. Kay and her friends were mean girls. They ran the school. This came back to bite Kay in the butt tenfold. When she gets the blackmail email one thing is for sure. She has to destroy her friends and she needs help. The only help she can find is a girl that she has been cruel to int he past. This takes a bit of manipulating and coercing but she relents. They do form a bond. A strange bond and Kay needed a friend while she destroyed her friend's lives.

I honestly felt bad for Kay. I mean putting the mean girl status aside, it couldn't be easy to out all your friend's bad deeds and it was definitely not easy to lose those long-term friendships. She was put in a very bad spot. She felt it was her only choice. She learned a lot in the process too, a lot of things her friends were doing that she had no clue about.

I liked Kay for the most part except for the fact it took her a long time to own up to her mistakes and the part she played in things going wrong in her life. She loved to put the blame on other people. She was a bit whiny at times too... especially when it came to her crush on Bri. But it was tolerable. She wasn't my favorite character but she worked well for this story. I really didn't feel particularly bonded to any characters. They were tolerable like Kay but really they were meh. The characters were just part of the story... it was the story that made the book

What  I loved most about this read, lines were grayed everywhere. There were tons of things in this book that was so wrong...cheating, killing, animal abuse, stealing, blackmailing. It was all bad. But it was done well. Sometimes it was like okay that wasn't so bad. I mean I can see how things could get out of hand. Then there were times like WHOA... that is not okay. But really nothing was ever good.

The mystery was just amazing. I had no clue who did what. I had my guesses throughout and my final guess I was right but talked myself out of it. That happens a lot. I think even in one part of the book I thought maybe Kay is just crazy. So the mystery was a two thumbs up for sure.

I was really into this book. I so needed to know what the heck was going on and even when I guessed who did it... even though I thought I was wrong... I had no idea how messed it was. Crazy town let me tell you.

So the story, the mystery, the pacing, the level of needing to know what the heck is going on all at the top of the game... The characters and the ending lacked a little.

I a good read that I enjoyed far more than I think I should have. 

Dana  MeleDana Mele is a Pushcart-nominated writer and a work at home mother. A graduate of Wellesley College, she is a former actor, lawyer, musician, and briefly, associate producer. She prefers tea to coffee, snow to sand, and stars to sunshine, and she lives in the Catskills with her husband and toddler.


  1. I've been really looking forward to reading this! Books involving boarding schools, revenge and mysteries are some of my favorites. I'm glad to hear the mystery is well done here, but that's too bad about the ending. I've definitely been there with other books before, wanting something more. Great review!

  2. Oh wow, nice review! I can remember wanting to read this but then forgot about it somehow. But now I want to read it again and I had no idea it was a mystery 🙈
    I love these kind of intense thrillers. This is giving me vibes of Pretty Little Liars 😃

  3. This one has been on my TBR since I first heard of it. I love the setting and am happy to hear the mystery was compelling and kept you turning the pages. I am really looking forward to reading this book.


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