People Like Us by Dana Mele (375 pages)
Overview: There's a girl dead in the lake. Kay and her friends are the ones to discover her body after a school Halloween dance, and they're immediately at the top of the detective's suspect list. While no one else has anything to fear, Kay has a long history with police questioning and suspicion, and she's terrified of finding herself in the same position again. Then she gets an email with a link to a revenge website that claims to have been made by Jessica, the girl that they didn't even know till they found her body. But as the website intensifies and orders Kay to betray her friends one by one to keep her secrets under wraps, Kay begins to realize there's something more sinister at play. Overall: 4
Characters: 4 Kay is an interesting character. Guilt plagues her and informs nearly every action in her life, but once she gets to boarding school, Bates, she transforms into a quintessential mean girl with a whole posse.
They don't really get much into Kay's other friends, but, besides the murder, the main story centers on the love triangle (or possibly some other shape) between Kay, her best friend Brie, and her on again off again boyfriend Spencer. Brie is dating another girl, and her story with Kay is one of plenty of missed connections. I liked both these characters, and the approach to their relationships is very interesting, but Mele never digs into any of the other character's motivations. They're very vivid through Kay's eyes, but they have no incentives or motives of their own.
Plot: 4 There were plenty of twists and turns to keep you going through the book. The boarding school, the revenge website, Kay's ruining personal life... there's lots to choose from. My only comment is that there are a lot of scenes that slowed the pacing down that didn't really contribute to the plot or gave minor details that could have been incorporated in other ways. Overall, though, I was pleased with how all the little details crescendoed up to the big reveal as any good thriller should.
Writing: 4 I LOVED Mele's style. It was immersive and kept me drawn into the world. It made the pages turn quickly, and it planted the seeds of the murder investigations very well. Although I'm not in love with the ending, the story was fun and engaging for the most part.