Book Blogger · Book Reviews

Mean Girls meets Heathers in this Psychological Thriller💀

Title: People Like Us

Author: Dana Mele

Page Count: 378 pgs.

Genre: Thriller/Mystery, Young Adult,

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Trigger Warnings: Profanity, Blood, Corpse, Smoking, Bullying, Drinking, Murder & mentions Suicide & self harm.

Heey Unicorns it’s Lori🦄 I’m on a major reading binge & FINALLY out of a book slump, thankfully. This book is one of my favorite Psychological Thriller’s so far. It’s incredibly dark & twisted. I enjoyed it & maybe you will too!

About The Book

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.

Debut author Dana Mele has written a taut, sophisticated suspense novel that will keep readers guessing until the very end…

Everyone has secrets. And truths are things you make, not things that happen.” (Mele, 371).

My Thoughts

Immediately we are introduced to a dead body floating in the lake where the protagonist & her friends are swimming at which was so sudden it caused me to gasp. When reading I also noticed that the the main character is an unreliable narrator since she not only keeps secrets from those around her, but also the audience despite us knowing her thoughts.

I LOVED the LGBTQ Rep in this book! I was astonished to know the “popular crew” had two people who were apart of the gay community. One Bisexual & the other gay. It was truly a heartwarming feeling because of the rep in this book.

This is actually the first book I’ve read that has a popular high school protagonist. Normally in books the main characters are antisocial or outcasts so it was great to read a different perspective. The more I read it, the deeper & deeper secrets arose that surprised the heck out of me.

It felt good to expect the unexpected & for the first time in awhile to enjoy a thriller without predicting everything. I admired how the protagonist is flawed with a well written character development. She knew her past mistakes & realized she couldn’t change them, but can change the future. The book highlights the importance of Bullying and how far it will affect everyone not just the person bullied.

Many times I unconsciously gasped and eyebrows rose from certain scenes. Kay, the protagonist & her clique of friends each have their own secrets they don’t tell each other which leads to conflict and dark twisted turns.

I’m just mind blown and still haven’t recovered from how much this book has left a mark on me. This book IS the definition of psychological thriller. I honestly had no clue as to who the killer was & I’m predictions are usually correct so I was astonished to find out I was wrong.


At first the book introduces to many characters at once that I got a bit discombobulated & confused. I was like “Ahhh wait who has the black hair again?” Or I’d have to reread a paragraph over again.

In certain parts of the book the scenes would change abruptly or make no sense that I had to re-read. I did this a few times so that wasn’t appealing since it pulled me out of the world a bit.

At certain times there was paragraphs that didn’t NEED to be mentioned. For instance, unnecessary past memories that don’t support the plot. I was like “Does this memory of Grandma making cookies really relevant?” Which felt like the Author didn’t know what to add in certain chapters so inserted unnecessary memories as fillers.

In all honestly, I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the last two pages of People Like Us. It truly shocked me and will leave a mark after you finish reading. This book is worth the read.

This book gives off a Mean Girls, Heathers & One Of Us Is Lying kinda vibe. So if you enjoyed those titles you will for sure enjoy this book.

My Rating Is….

4.4/5 Stars

About The Author

Dana Mele writes YA novels along with all manner of short fiction and nonfiction. She is a licensed attorney as well as a writer.

Dana’s debut novel PEOPLE LIKE US is forthcoming from G.P. Putnam’s Sons in 2018 and she is currently working on her second, also to be released by Putnam.

She has a B.A. in Theatre Studies from Wellesley College, a M.Ed. from Lesley University, and a law degree from Syracuse University. She is a disability and LGBTQ rights advocate, with a strong focus on mental health issues. She lives in the Catskills with her husband, who teaches high school students, and her toddler, who is dedicated to the proposition that glitter should be a food group. In her free time, Dana enjoys sandwiches, snow, and board games.

Author Social Media

Website | Instagram | Twitter |

Buy The Book

Amazon | B&N | Books-A-Million

Lori’s QOTD: Do you have any favorite Psychological Thriller reads? I’m curious. Comment below👇

14 thoughts on “Mean Girls meets Heathers in this Psychological Thriller💀

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