Set in an elite boarding school by the sea, we meet Kate, her friends, and other pupils at Manor Norton School. Right from the beginning you get this feeling of entitlement, money and beauty, the art of being practically perfect. One of Kate’s friends, Sasha was expelled at the end of the last term and we aren’t told why. An artwork collage by one of the pupil’s, Veronica, is on display in the common room called “The Things We Keep Hidden” is suddenly embellished with extras. A prescription, the address of a hospital. All these little things build the tension. Kate is planning her secret party at a very expensive beach house and by then we know something is going to happen. But what and to whom? There is a great twist at the end.
I loved this book. I read a lot of thrillers and the building up of the characters and the setting made it unputdownable. (Is that a word? It should be). I grew up with the Chalet School books by Elinor Brent-Dyer set in a boarding school in the Austria / Switzerland and Dead Popular reminded me of some of their adventures.
I had heard a lot about this book, but couldn’t afford to buy it so reserved it from my local library instead.