Four students accused, one student dead, who is to blame? It’s a YA mystery that likes to keep you guessing from the first page to the last.
During after school detention, Bronwyn, Addy, Cooper, Nate, and Simon all blame to be falsely accused of having their cell phones in class- which Bronwyn points out, are not even their own cell phones, but ones that have been planted on them. The teacher isn’t buying it, and assigns them lines. Shortly thereafter, an vehicle accident occurs outside in the parking lot below the classroom, and everyone is distracted by it. During this time, the teacher leaves to check on the students in the accident, and Simon takes a drink of water- and winds up having a severe allergic reaction. Nate jumps into action, trying to find Simon’s epi-pen, but it isn’t in his backpack. Addy runs to the nurse for one, but there are none to be found. When the first-responders arrive, Simon is in bad shape… and by the next day, he’s dead.
Now, the police are trying to figure out who is to blame for Simon’s death. Is it Bronwyn, the straight A student? Or Addy, the popular girl who is dating Jake, the homecoming king? What about Cooper, the baseball prodigy and all around good guy? Or will it be Nate, the only one in the bunch with a record and currently on probation? None of them seem too likely (except for bad-boy Nate), but none of them are as squeaky clean as they seem. Simon used to run the school gossip rag, About That, and the police find hidden information on his computer that never went to print that could explain motive for all four of the students.
It’s a little Breakfast Club-y, but I enjoyed the fast paced mystery from McManus. Her novel did keep me guessing, and even when I could figure something out before her reveal, she’d surprise me with a different plot twist. It’s a lighter, YA mystery with a bit of a heavy ending, and overall contains characters that are easily relatable for the audience. If you’re in the mood for such a read, I’d definitely recommend it!