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People Like Us

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  15,119 ratings  ·  2,380 reviews
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-co
Hardcover, 378 pages
Published February 27th 2018 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Summer Yeah, I'd watch it as a movie or tv show. …moreYeah, I'd watch it as a movie or tv show. (less)
Lisa Kitterman it could go either way. i do remember a line in the book that a tually used the phrase and the context was more “people who are similar to us” l. at l…moreit could go either way. i do remember a line in the book that a tually used the phrase and the context was more “people who are similar to us” l. at least that is how i read it. i am guessing the double meaning a bonus if not intended. (less)
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Average rating 3.52  · 
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 ·  15,119 ratings  ·  2,380 reviews

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Elle (ellexamines)
Okay, I knew. I knew going into this that I was going to enjoy it. But I was not actually really expecting this to be one of my favorite YA suspense novels of all time. But I swear to god Dana Mele could have been looking into my brain’s idea of a perfect YA thriller and STILL would have nailed it. ya girl just read and adored an arc of the fucked up sapphic mean girls book and is officially living life to the fullest.

People Like Us is a thriller driven first and foremost by character dynam
Lala BooksandLala
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller-mystery
great writing and pacing, sooo entertaining, weak ending
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
i enjoy a good boarding school mystery as much as the next person, but the characters completely ruined this book for me.

i have limited patience for catty teenage girls and this particular group of mean girls really drove me up a wall. i find it a difficult challenge to redeem this kind of character - not impossible, but difficult - and there is not one ounce of possible redemption for this group of girls. they are the literal worst, not to mention they are carbon copies of each other.

such a sha
Feb 16, 2020 rated it liked it

People Like Us is a deeply-twisted YA Mystery set at a private school; so, basically, my brand.


At Bates Academy, Kay Donovan and her glitzy group of girlfriends, are the most popular girls in school.

They basically determine the social ranking of the rest of their peers and seem to get away with everything, including perpetually bad behavior.

When they stumble across the dead body of one of their classmates, however, they finally seem to be treading in dangerous wat
Larry H
Mar 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm about 3.5 stars here.

"Does someone who does one bad thing, even one really bad thing, deserve bad things to happen to them? Deserve to be murdered or framed for murder?"

Kay Donovan wanted a chance to reinvent herself after a pair of tragedies marred her life and tore apart her family. She gets that chance by attending exclusive Bates Academy.

Although she is on an athletic scholarship, which sets her apart from her incredibly rich classmates, she becomes a star soccer player and part of the s
Caro (Bookaria)
Ever since I read One of Us is Lying, I’ve been looking for another YA suspenseful read and this one fit the bill.

Going in I figured out the culprit but that didn’t diminish my enjoyment one bit, I really had a good time with this book. The characters are compelling and complex. There is LBGTQ representation and lots of boarding school drama and murder to keep things interesting.

The story takes places (mostly) in a boarding school and it is told from the point of view of one character. You might
may ➹
as someone who is thoroughly afraid but also in awe of thrillers, THIS IS SO GOOD

like I kind of guessed the murderer? but then I also had other suspects as well? and then add to the boarding school aesthetic + mean girls + character arc + queer girls and this was AMAZING
Era ➴
Dec 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked this one, and I was reading it really intensely. I'm a sucker for dark, private-school-setting murder mysteries (as a private school student, it kinda scares me that there are so many).

There were definitely a few flaws and a bunch of things I had problems with, but the story itself and the premise of this book hooked me immediately.

The plot. This is a YA murder mystery set in an all-girls private school. Everyone thought the death was a suicide. Then the protagonist, Kay, is targ
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“We should definitely be nicer to people. You should think about that.”

“Nice is subjective.”

If your reaction to a “Mean Girls” type of story is . . . .

Then we probably shouldn’t be friends. Just kidding. Maybe. Whatever. At minimum you probably don’t want to read this book. I obviously lurrrrvvvvvv mean girls stories so I wanted this as soon as I saw the title and cover. Oh those private school uniforms. You just know all the
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
It’s the sort of thing that bugs you after someone dies. You remember little ways you wronged them. Even if they deserved it.

This is exactly what I wanted it to be. Different books popped into my mind while reading..among them: Dangerous Girls, Pretty Little Liars, Allegedly. These have always been my favorite kind of YA books. I can't help it. I live for a thriller. And there is just something about murder mysteries and mean girls that go hand in hand. It just works. Fill them with twist
Oct 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017, ya, lgbtqia, arcs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dana Mele
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Hello. I'm Dana Mele, the author of People Like Us. I'm late to the game, but I wanted to add a trigger/content warning for the book. People Like Us references death of people, death of a cat, suicide, cyber and in person bullying. As always, there may be other triggers for other readers, and I'm happy to add to this. I'd be grateful to anyone who felt like bumping this up. <3 ...more
People trust people who are like them.

People Like Us by Dana Mele….oh, what to say about this book that could ever do it justice?! Seriously, words fail me. I just fucking LOVE this novel. LOVE. IT. Like buy-every-copy-available-and-force-all-my-friends-to-read-it LOVE. Can my review just end here? No? Well, I guess I should tell you what it’s about….

Actually, the premise isn’t my fave. There’s my one criticism about this book. The blurb just doesn’t fully convey the story’s brilliance. But here
Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
Wow, I just rated a YA thriller five stars! This was fantastic!

Even though Dana is visiting my book group later this month, this is 100% my honest opinion. This was fun! This is what I wanted One of Us is Lyingto be. Give me more of this in the YA thriller/mystery genre.

Although I've read many thrillers/horror/mystery in the YA category - I've also bitched and moaned about how little the categories have to offer in YA. I've been clinging to hope that we'll start getting solid entries and we'v
This book was so hard to put down!!

It is one of those books where you get hooked in on the first chapter and all you want to do is continue reading it just to find out what happens next.

Something I love about it was the range of diverse characters. We have characters who are from the lgbtq+ community and characters of different ethnicity. A lot of YA books don't have this representation so it was good to see this.

I also liked seeing the bullying aspect of students lives and seeing some of the
That cover and the synopsis were like a dream come true. Boarding school murdery scavenger hunt? Count me in. Sadly it was meh.

Kay was okay? And yes that’s a question. She did have some redeeming qualities and mostly it was that she’s ambitious. Yet as the story progressed, she became the sort of character I struggle with. I didn’t like the choices she made or the way she treated people. There are a lot of other characters, but it didn’t feel like we got to know them. Perhaps it was a way to sh
L A i N E Y
This, I feel, is what happens when author takes the whole “everybody has a secret” thing too literally. Of course it is possible but is it likely?

I think sometimes authors can get too determined then easily forget that possibility is not = plausibility. And then their carefully planned “secrets” turn into something almost laughable because of their own too well thought out-ness...
Trina (Between Chapters)
*A copy of the print book was provided to me by the publisher without a review obligation. I listened to the audio format instead and all opinions are my own.*

I predicted a big element of the mystery but still enjoyed this! I was never bored. I enjoyed the pacing, atmosphere, and the main character's arc. Loved the revenge blog/scavenger hunt aspect. A pretty solid mystery, would recommend.

Didn't hear anything about the representation before picking this up so I want to point out that the main c
This was a motherfluffin' WHIRLWIND. I would've happily taken it a hundred pages longer and some of the stuff slowed down and explored, but like, I wanted a gay Mean Girls book and this delivered. There's something to the comps to Pretty Little Liars and 13 Reasons Why in an obvious way, but for those who are really into these kind of books and looking for less generic ones, I'd say this is for the more Abigail Haas/Stephanie Kuehn corner of psych thriller fandom, aka my favorite corner. *pets A ...more
Zoe Stewart (Zoe's All Booked)
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this one! I had an inkling about who the killer was near the beginning of the book, but I did not expect the reasoning behind it at all! I also didn't suspect how fucked up Kay's secret was.

While I did enjoy People Like Us , it wasn't a 5-star book for me. I loved the mystery and the twists, but I just didn't really care about the characters that much. Nothing about them stood out to me, and some seemed like they'd play a bigger part and then were never heard from again.

All in
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 c
☆Dani☆ ☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆
Many thanks to Penguin Young Readers for providing me with an ARC for the People Like Us Blog Tour. I appreciate this opportunity and all opinions expressed are my own.

Wow, what a fantastic psychological thriller that is hands down a five star read! Dana Mele brings drama, mystery and revenge to the table in a fashion that will have you begging for more! Going into this book, I was a little hesitant because I thought this would be just another Pretty Little Liars. I was so wrong! This story had
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
A bit disappointed with this one... it reminded me of Pretty Little Liars but I didnt like any of them. The story was clever there was just something about it that fell short for me. great narrator.
Aj the Ravenous Reader

The plot is just as good as any YA psychological-thriller’s especially because it seems set on punishing the mean girls. It makes you think hard about who the murderer is, their motives, their profile and it makes you go suspecting every other character in the story.

The clues in the form of playful poetry are also very clever and make you think even more. It’s quite sinister that the suspect is most likely a student, a victim of these mean girls in the very same boarding school.

I just find the
Rachel Solomon
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beneath the silvery moonlight, our skin gleams like bones.

From that gorgeous first line, I was hooked. The blurb from the deal announcement just doesn't do it justice. PEOPLE LIKE US is a seductive psychological thriller with beautiful literary writing and an unreliable narrator. It takes place in an all-girls private school -- oh, and it's super queer. There might be more queer characters than non, AND I LOVED IT.

This book is about cutthroat ambitious girls and secrets that won't stay in the p
Dannii Elle
Isolated private school settings and the privileged young people who reside there will never fail to intrigue me and People Like Us was no exception. This focuses on Kay Donovon and her posse of elite inner-circle friends. They are the popular, mean girls who run the social circle of their school. But all that was put in jeopardy when they absconded from a school dance for a drunken sea swim and found more than salt water when they get there.

The body of a girl was there to greet them. She went t
Ova - Excuse My Reading
DNF at 10%- maybe it was the narrator (I tried an audio format) but I just couldn't get into this book. The main character keeps talking and talking but I am not interested in what's happening next.
Sadly not finishing.
People Like Us is a sapphic murder mystery set in a boarding school.
I feel like I should rate this book higher - I almost read it in one sitting, it was addictive and suspenseful, just what I wanted. And yes, three stars is a positive rating for me, but I didn't have any major problems with this book. I just have a very long list of things that annoyed me.

What I liked
• I wanted something to read quickly, and I couldn't put this down.
• Every character was morally gray and hiding something
Shaun Hutchinson
Loved it.
Kay Donovan attends the prestigious Bates Academy all-girls boarding high school for two reasons: One, to try to get a college scholarship by playing well on their soccer team, and two, to get a fresh start from a tragic past. As of Halloween of her senior year, she’s doing well on both counts. But then a classmate is found dead in the lake on school property, triggering traumatic memories. Shortly after that, Kay receives an email from the dead girl, threatening to reveal unsavory secrets ab
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Dana Mele is a Pushcart-nominated writer based in the upper Hudson Valley. A graduate of Wellesley College, Dana holds degrees in theatre, education, and law. Dana’s debut, PEOPLE LIKE US, was published in 2018 and shortlisted for the 2019 ITW Thriller Award for Best Young Adult Novel. A second YA thriller, SUMMER'S EDGE was published by Simon & Schuster in May 2022, and a graphic novel retelling ...more

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