Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a jock, a homecoming princess, a brain, a stoner and a gossip get stuck in detention, only four of them walk out…because one of them is murdered. And get this, the four living detainees, all have motive for killing the dead kid. But which one was it??
I saw many different reviews for this book on Cannonball Read for a while now and every time, I thought it looked like it was right up my alley…and it was. I bought the book yesterday at 5 pm, I finished it today during my lunch break that I took at my desk so I could stare at a screen and eat my salad (that’s how into it I was). The book is told from the four perspectives of the different suspects and so the plots deviate from strictly dealing with the murder to also things that each character is dealing with separately. I thought this worked very well and even though I feel like I’m getting sick of the “he said/she said” perspectives that seem to be coming out of the woodwork after the unreliable narrators found in Nick and Amy from Gone Girl. Here instead of providing differing perspectives of the same scene, the story lines simply separate as each character deals with the notoriety as well as the pressures after their deepest secrets are revealed. When the group comes together to figure out who the killer is (is it one of them? Have they been framed?) I think the story only gets better.
Without giving anything away, I was able to figure out the killer and some of the other details before the reveal but it didn’t stop it from being a really compelling story (and I wasn’t 100% sure, the book put bread crumbs throughout and even brought in unrelated characters to throw the reader off. The main characters who initially seemed stereotypical (on purpose), flesh out and become real teenage humans who make mistakes and attempt to own up to them. Even though only superficially, the books delves into the idea how our actions shape and affect others long after we’ve forgotten them…something that we’ve all gotten into trouble once or twice for. My one criticism… The thing is? These kids were way nicer than your average high school jock, princess, brain and gossip. I mean, a girl painted pads red and put them all over my locker in 5th grade when I had the misfortune of menstruating for the very first time… on the field hockey field (not fun, don’t recommend it) and I didn’t kill her or frame her for murder. These kids wouldn’t have dreamed of being that mean or at least I didn’t get the impression that they were mean, perhaps self-involved, but what teenager isn’t??