In a gossipy thriller from the creator of Pretty Little Liars, a prank on a powerful and popular boy turns deadly.
At Beacon Heights High in Beacon Heights, Washington, Nolan Hotchkiss reigns supreme. Or at least he did, until a blowout party he hosted ended in his death. At the party, five girls come together to enact a shadowy revenge. The particulars of the girls’ plan are revealed slowly—as slowly as anything can be revealed in short chapters littered with plot twists, forbidden kisses and name-dropping fashion descriptions—and readers are kept guessing as to who might be responsible for Nolan’s demise. Alongside the Nolan mystery, each girl has her own high-stakes story arc: Mac competes with a frenemy over a boy and a Julliard audition. Julie struggles to hide the truth about her home life. Caitlin develops feelings for her boyfriend’s younger brother. Ava struggles to live down rumors spread by the dead boy. Parker starts seeing a therapist with a hidden agenda. The landscape of suburban affluence is described in deliciously shallow detail (“The stone fountain [at a party] was already full of discarded red Solo cups, along with someone’s iPhone”). As police investigate Nolan’s death and the girls work underground to clear their names, tension rises. The resolution leaves loose ends tantalizingly untied, leaving readers eager for the promised sequel.
Suspenseful and juicy. (Suspense. 14-18)