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.
I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher. This did not affect my review in any way.
*taps mic* Hello. HELLO YES I AM STILL ALIVE!!! After months of nothing, I was able to get off my slump! Thanks to this wonderful book!
This book was pitched as One of Us is Lying meets Thirteen Reasons Why. I get the One of Us is Lying reference, but this was nowhere near Thirteen Reasons Why. Not to mention, this is way better. Besides, this was more Pretty Little Liars than 13RW.
So, I’m letting you all know that I would not be shutting up about this book anytime soon so I give you five reasons why.
This is one of my favorite tropes in reading thrillers. I love books with unreliable narrators, because you both get sort of fucked in the head. I love it when nobody knows anything anymore, because it raises suspicion and I really enjoy playing whodunnit.
For this book, Kay had a dark past which wasn’t fully revealed until the end of the book. I got my suspicion off her back early on, but it was hard to trust her character because let’s face it, she wasn’t really likeable. She was mean and was a bully so her actions and choices could really implicate her. Still, my interest was piqued.
Complicated, yet realistic relationships
Kay, in terms of stereotypes, is one of the popular girls. She’s captain of the football team, and part of a clique. They seemed to be the school royalty. Although, Kay wasn’t really “born” for it. She had to work her way up the ladder in order to belong. Her relationship with her friends is a little complicated, some I would consider a relationship of mere convenience, but she cares enough for them.
Another complicated thing with it was blurring the lines of friendship to possibly more. This was explored countless times in the book. I also found Kay’s relationship with Spencer, interesting. Spencer was Kay’s ex-boyfriend, and instead of staying away, she keeps coming back to him like it was the most natural thing to do. Lack of better judgment, yes, but I was somehow glad to see it in a book because I know it happens in real life. I always see it in a more mature scene, but this was the first time I came across that theme in YA Literature.
(Yes, this is in fact a little reference to a Saint Motel song, which love to scream out loud)
I loved the idea of the computer-coded scavenger hunt, and the poems which served as clues. This is just probably me and my love in solving puzzles. Speaking of which, I was able to identify the suspect a little early, but like I always do, I keep an open mind. Besides, it wasn’t underwhelming because of the twists that came with it.
Everybody is QUEER AF!!
In the duration of the story, there were only three guys: Spencer, Greg, and one parent. Kay studies in an all-girls prep school and everybody likes somebody. There’s bisexual and lesbian rep, although there’s no central romantic plot.
And lastly, lyrical writing
Dana Mele’s writing is gripping and lyrical that it took me 0.01 seconds to fall in love with it. I haven’t really encountered a book so gorgeously written with a psychological thriller plot. The particular line that made me fall in love was, “Beneath the silvery moonlight, our skin gleams like bones.”
Guys, this line was the first line of the book. And I fell in love as soon as I read it. If only I had a lot of free time, I would be able to read this book in one sitting because I was really hooked!
I’m definitely going to be in the lookout for Dana Mele’s upcoming books. If you’re a fan of thriller, in the lines of Kara Thomas and Karen McManus, I definitely recommend this book.