People Like Us by Dana Mele // Book Review


Slight spoilers because it’s that uncomplicated and I need to shake my head in disapproval. Now that you have ignored my warning, please continue reading.

Let’s talk about something awkward that most authors and generally people have no clue about. Digital literacy.

So you need a “hacker” in your story but don’t want to put in the research? No problem because most people won’t be able to call you out on it if you get it wrong. Unless that person is me. I didn’t know if it was intentional but there was a glaring detail not even halfway through the book that alerted me to the killer. In effect, the later half of the story dragged because I didn’t see why we were prolonging the inevitable. It was almost laughable that the actual damning clue involved the killer remarking some niche literary reference that Kay coincidently heard before. Then to hammer in the obvious, the killer wrote down their evil plans and barely tried to hide the evidence from Kay. The mystery was definitely the least compelling part of People Like Us.

What I did like was the idea that we are all flawed individuals. We hurt others and confrontation is needed in order move on. Whenever the scheming starts is also the point of no return. Kay discovers that no one wants to be the villain of their own story. Admitting fault or even culpability is akin to being wrong. What better drug is validation besides real drugs. More than a murder mystery is the tense atmosphere of suspicion and righteousness. I get a sense that Kay deserves this lower end of the pendulum swing as more secrets surface. If we forget the cooling dead bodies, this may be great revenge porn to satisfy the slighted victims of boarding school bullying.

I recommend this to those who think everyone else is an asshole as it never could possibly be themselves.

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The positions of the empty uniforms have so much personality. I think it was a better choice than using a model. The precisely placed clothing is symbolic of an us versus them mentality. I like the hand lettering that reminds me of note passing in class. Although I wish the photography had contrast as it’s muted even further by the neutral background color.

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