Author: Karen M. McManus
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Type: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Rating: 🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸 out of 🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸
On a Monday afternoon, five students find themselves in detention after all having been caught with cell phones in their bags during class, the thing is, the found cell phones do not belong to the offenders. Each of these students have been set up by an unknown figure and for an unknown reason. As they quickly come to realize that they’ve been set up, detention takes a turn for the worse when Simon dies in front of the other students. In what should be thought of as an accident is labeled murder by the local police, the four remaining students learn that the next day, Simon had planned to post scathing and true gossip about all of them to his app About That.
The book is narrated by the four remaining students, Bronwyn (the Brain), Addy (the Beauty), Nate (the Criminal) and Cooper (the Jock). Through the progression of the book, the reader learns of each characters secret that Simon had found out and the possible reasons they would want Simon dead. With red herrings being thrown throughout, and the characters questioning what they know and one another, the crime can only be solved if they all learn to work together and even trust one another.
This is one of those books that is hard to discuss, because I don’t want to give anything away, so here goes. When I first heard about this book and that it was being referred to as “The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars” I immediately put in a hold request for this book at the library so that I could read it as soon as the book became available. I’m happy to say that this book did not disappoint. I was drawn into the story right from the start and just as the characters questioned one another and possibility of it being someone who wasn’t in the room that had planned out this murder, I too was left questioning and working through different theories.
I found that the author did a great job of taking your stereotypical characters and high school personalities and turning them upside down. The criminal wasn’t just a criminal who got in trouble for selling prescription drugs, instead he was a more complex character who only got into drug dealing in order to stay alive and be able to support himself. The beauty turned out to actually be really smart and a fighter. Each of the characters proved that they were more than just what people saw and expected them, they were all flawed thus making them more realistic and relatable.
This is a debut novel that lives up to the hype. I cannot wait to see what Karen McManus comes up with next as she is a new favorite author that I will be sure to read more of.