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  • Writer's pictureAngela G.

Psychological Thriller "People Like Us" - All About Lies

Kay, the main character and her friends find a dead girl near the school lake, named Jessica. Jessica gives Kay a computer-coded adventurous scavenger hunt that begins to implicate suspect after suspect. Then, Kay receives instructions from the website to take down all her friends – reveal their secrets – or her own secret will be revealed. Kay seeks help from a fellow student, Nola, who is a computer science genius and helped Kay throughout the story to figure out the murder. Kay develops romantic feelings towards Nola only to realize that Nola is the murder with help from her ex-boyfriend Spencer and her best friend Brie.

In this project, I explored characters in the story, their relationships with each other, and how they have emotionally and mentally developed throughout the novel.

Kay — athletic, courageous, passionate

She is the main character and has a dark secretive past, is also the ringleader of her popular, somewhat mean friend group. Everyone calls her Kay.

As the storyline develops, we start to see her soft side, and how she didn’t really want to be a part of this “mean” stuff at all. An example is when she befriends Nola – an outcast socially. She had the risks of a bad reputation and people making fun of her, but she still did it. She believes that people have nice sides. Several bad decisions had made her do things she regrets, which leads up to a murder from the person she mentally broke.

From the murder investigation – all the twisty dark turns and crueless lies, that maybe she wouldn’t lie as much anymore, she’ll learn from the lies and become a better person who remains truthful. The truth is only the truth if people keep saying it, afterall.

Kay also forgave herself for the bad things she’s done in the past. She comes from an average family, which made her have the determination to get out there and get a scholarship to a good college.

Kay is the one being framed for murder, while she is the protanganist, Kay also shows her antagonist side. The author makes us realize that no one is perfect, it reminds us that no one is an angel, we all make mistakes, and maybe have a few dark secrets.

Nola – mysterious, sharp, cunning, deceiving, two faced

A computer science genius, and used the knowledge of coding to her advantage, a smart and well organized murderer. She has mental problems where a series of threatening gifts scarred her for life, and she seeks revenge for herself by setting up a revenge website for Kay to complete.

Kay and Nola has became friends through the revenge blog, even though Kay is clueless about Nola being the murderer. It wasn’t stated clearly in the book, but Nola might have developed romantic feelings towards Kay, and tried to help her halfway through the book, but Kay did not return the feeling, which resulted in Nola continuing the plan framing Kay.

When Nola first came to the school, she did not have any friends, and was bullied by Kay’s friend group. They called her a Necro, spread rumors that she worships devils, and sent her anonymous notes, even though at the time Kay didn’t know who they were sending it to. It made her absolutely devastated and would cry in her sleep every night. Which I guess developed into a mental disorder and made her kill several victims.

So Nola’s character is the stereotypical villain with a traumatic past, but they add spice into the character by making her act like the protagonist’s friend.

Brie – Caring, Nice, Smart, Opinionated

Brie is Kay’s best friend who comes from a wealthy family with good education, she is the nice one in the mean girls group. Kay and Brie’s duo is one corrupted and one trying to help. Brie has never joined in any events that her friend group does that she thinks is mean or unnecessary. She and Kay have a complicated relationship where they like each other romantically, but the timing is never right and they never end up together.

While in a relationship with another person, Kay still can’t shake off the romantic feelings she feels towards Brie. Brie finally opens up and tells Kay multiple reasons why they can’t be together. Such as times where Kay made bad decisions and made homophobic jokes or when Brie was about to ask her out and find Kay with someone else. There was also one time where Kay had the privilege to choose but she chose Spencer instead of Brie, which is when Brie really gave up on their potential relationship.

However they do recognize their own mistakes and move on from the drama between them, both learn to become a better friend for each other, and they are still best friends. Maybe there are still a bit of romantic feelings on both sides, but I think remaining friends is the best option for them.

Spencer – witty, caring, fun, charming

Spencer is a side character in this novel, being introduced one third of the book. He is the ex-boyfriend of Kay. It’s visible by Kay’s narration that they had a toxic relationship, and they weren’t the perfect couple, but they also have been through a lot together and know each other really well. They are people that are hurt because of the other but also couldn’t let go.

Spencer’s character is an important part of this story because he is the safe spot for Kay when Brie isn’t available, he also had a foul relationship with the first victim of the murder case, which is exactly why Spencer and Kay broke up. He was a prime suspect because of his relationship with the victim.

Throughout the storyline, they meet up and talk, which resolves a lot of misunderstandings and reconnect with each other. They decided to put off their past relationship and re-friend each other, and he was also the last fitting piece of puzzle that made Kay solve the murder case. At the end, they still love each other, as said in the book, in a complicated sort of way, and will look out for each other as friends.

Greg – grumpy, nice, serious, easy-going

Greg is the ex-boyfriend of the victim, which makes him another prime suspect and a good person to interrogate when figuring out the case. Which is exactly what Kay did. Being the victims of getting cheated on, they click almost instantly. At first, Greg was being grumpy and saw Kay as a spoiled brat, so he was not very nice to her. Once they get to know each other however, they become a case solving duo that decided that they would trust each other for now.

After a few meet and talks with Kay, he found Kay a very interesting person and they are not enemies anymore. He is funny and shows his real qualities when he finally decides that Kay is a good person and trusts her.

It is clear that he loved his ex-girlfriend, so when she died he was devastated. When he heard the news of the murder getting caught, he cried in relieve, noting how much he still cares about Jessica (the victim)

There weren't any characters that don't relate to the real world and the author greatly resembles the characters with one or another scandal, which makes this book educational, saying that doing bad things always comes at a price, and the truth will eventually come out of the water. It is also definitely directed towards older kids, since the general topics of this novel surround a lot of illegal things. Every single one of those secrets that Kay had to reveal reflects how dark and dangerous the real world is, and makes us understand that something or someone that seems perfect on the outside may not be perfect on the inside.

After enough notes taken, I move on to the exhale where I design a persuasive poster of the book, and made an artist statement which was then made into a video.

This project had made me realize the importance of characters in a novel, especially this one where the relationships and their history are so complicated. Also some persuasive strategies to attract the audience.

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