Writing: 4 Plot: 4 Characters: 4
#YA #mystery #romance
Breakfast Club meets Big Little Lies but then gets a lot better. I started off unenthusiastic but then literally could not put this book down – read it in a day, extending past my bedtime (and leading to a nasty crick in my neck from reading in bed – oh well).
Five Breakfast Club style teens are sent to detention for an infraction that none of them admit to committing. Before detention is over, one of them – a Hedda Hopper style school gossip columnist – is dead and only one of them could have done it.
Simple enough premise but the twists keep piling up and the relationships between the remaining four, their families, other students, the media, and the police are really well done. McManus manages to avoid stereotypes while subtly illustrating the way people are treated differently depending on their gender, group identity (jock, brain, etc), or sexual orientation. I found the characters multi-dimensional and was completely surprised by the way the story played out. My only complaint might be that the initial characters reminded me so much of the Breakfast Club that I had a hard time not seeing Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez every time their mirror characters came up – could be worse 🙂