Author: Karen M. McManus.
Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.
A solidly three-star book. Nothing epic, too much sexual content, and honestly the ‘surprise’ ending didn’t startle me at all – but I did enjoy the care McManus put into building up each character. By opening the suspicion of murder falling on each main character, she hooks the reader instantly, setting them up to spend the entire story paying close attention to backstory and continuing actions, trying to understand who these kids really are – and just who was the killer. I especially enjoyed the slow-building relationship between Nate and Bronwyn, as they reach past extreme differences in their lifestyles to support each other in this intense trial.
Sexual Content: “A sex tape. A pregnancy scare. A cheating scandal. And that’s just this week’s update.” — opening line describing a student gossip-paper. / Girl describes a boy as a “walking STD”. / Boy asks girlfriend if she’s feeling up to having sex – she thinks to herself how the first time was a big deal, how she never dares to say no now – scene fades to black. / Some kissing between teenage boy and girl, and between two teenage boys./ “I don’t even know your name, and you tried to stick your hands down my pants last time we were at a party.”/ There is one scene of intense heckling when classmates find out a character is homosexual.
Language: 27 hell, 26 scatological terms, 24 F-words, 18 d***, 8 derogatory terms, 6 a**h***
Violence: One character slaps another, knocks her down, and tries to strangle her. One character punches another. One character trips another. Student has an allergic reaction, there’s an intense scene where no one can find an epi-pen, and the student basically chokes to death. Mention that a student tried to kill herself by cutting her wrists after online harassment.