People Like Us

Dana Mele


Kay Donovan may have skeletons in her closet, but the past is past, and she’s reinvented herself entirely. Now she’s a star soccer player whose group of gorgeous friends run their private school with effortless popularity and acerbic wit. But when a girl’s body is found in the lake, Kay’s carefully constructed life begins to topple. The dead girl has left Kay a computer-coded scavenger hunt, which, as it unravels, begins to implicate suspect after suspect, until Kay herself is in the crosshairs of a murder investigation. But if Kay’s finally backed into a corner, she’ll do what it takes to survive. Because at Bates Academy, the truth is something you make…not something that happened.

Directed by
Colton Davie

Produced by
Film 14


Mean Girls meets Donna Tartt’s The Secret History with a little bit of Riverdale mixed in. So yeah, it’s epic.

Hello Giggles

In People Like Us, Dana Mele delivers the Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars young adult novel you’ve been waiting for.


[A] whirlwind, fast-paced YA mystery. . . Not only will Mele’s gorgeous, melodic writing have you entranced, but the layered mystery of it all will have you scrambling to turn the pages to see who-dun-it.


Mele creates a cast of sharp-edged, prickly students; the fluid sexuality of various characters is handled well, and themes of betrayal and bullying are front and center. An eerie, unsettling thriller with deadly consequences.

Publishers Weekly

Dana Mele

Dana Mele writes YA novels along with all manner of short fiction and nonfiction. She is a licensed attorney as well as a writer.

Her short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Buffalo Almanack, Typehouse Literary Magazine, Jersey Devil Press, Lunch Ticket, and Bird’s Thumb, among others.

She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2015 and 2016 and she is Editor-in-Chief of Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal and an associate editor at Luna Station Quarterly.

She has a B.A. in Theatre Studies from Wellesley College, a M.Ed. from Lesley University, and a law degree from Syracuse University. She is a disability and LGBTQ rights advocate, with a strong focus on mental health issues. She lives in the Catskills with her husband, who teaches high school students, and her toddler, who is dedicated to the proposition that glitter should be a food group. In her free time, Dana enjoys sandwiches, snow, and board games.