Murder on a School Night / Kate Weston / Book Review

Kerry and Annie have always been on the outside looking in. So when they discover that one of the popular girls is getting threatening messages on social media, they jump right in to offer their investigative services. Getting invited to one of the biggest parties of the year is an obvious perk to this new job. 

What they didn’t count on was finding a body at the party. Specifically, Kerry didn’t expect to find a body while almost, kind of about to have her first kiss. 

Instead of tracking down a cyberbully, these best friends are now stuck in the middle of a murder investigation. And one death isn’t enough. As the popular kids go down one by one, Annie and Kerry find their new position in the in-group particularly precarious. Is everything really as shiny as they thought from the outside?


I wanted to love this one. I wanted it to be fun. And I think it was supposed to be fun. But that wasn't my experience with it. It started too strong, too cringe-worthy, and it didn't get better from there. It was a rough read, to say the least.


  • Trainwreck Friends: The one thing I did love here was the best friends at the center. Sure, I wasn't a big fan of their vagina monologues, but I did love their dynamic. They're always striving for more, for some way to live their best lives, and they're really, really bad at it. They're absolute trainwrecks on their own, and they're worse together. And I loved that energy.
  • Offbeat Humor: In a market absolutely flooded with mediocre teen thrillers, the one thing that really helps this one stand out is the humor Kate Weston weaves throughout it. It's discordant, off-beat humor, dark and darkly funny. I appreciate that. These characters are wacky, and that means you can't quite take this book seriously. And that's a good thing. That makes it stand out. 
  • Grisly: With a trainwreck at the center and humor holding it all up, I wasn't really expecting grisly murder scenes, but that's what I got. And I loved that. It feels wrong in just the right way. These murder scenes were absolutely macabre and grotesque--and creative with their use of menstrual products! They're unexpectedly jarring. They offset some of the irreverent humor, and they help to keep a reader on her toes. 


  • High Key: "High key" may sound exciting, but in this case, it really wasn't. This book hits you in the face pretty much on the first page and not in a good way. I'm glad these gals are feminists pushing for their right to exist without shame in the world, but hitting us with vagina banter right off the bat was coming on too strong. It was an off-putting beginning because I didn't know these characters yet. This book evidently means to push the envelope, perhaps in an effort to speak to teens, but... I don't think teens want it quite like this. Every aspect of this book was high-key and over-the-top, from the overtly "feminist" main characters to the sexist male teacher to the incredibly stupid adults they faced at every turn. It just... wasn't fun to read. 
  • Cliquey: The setup of these friend groups is so '90s, in a bad way. It's so stereotypical. The mean girls (and the hot boyfriend and hot twin brother) are at the top of the food chain. The losers would do anything (yes, anything!) to be a part of the group. And... aren't we all a little tired of this dynamic? Not to mention that the social landscape for teenagers has shifted dramatically post-COVID, so this type of setup doesn't necessarily look the same. It felt overdone. It felt uninteresting. It felt cliché. 
  • Annoying Annie: I don't know if I've ever read a character so annoying. Her antics aren't really fun -- and aren't really antics. She's incredibly immature, which made me question on more than one occasion exactly how old they were supposed to be. She's ridiculous and over-the-top. "Ridiculous" is really the only word that even comes to mind. Why Kerry is friends with Annie when she's obsessed -- yes, obsessed! -- with becoming popular is beyond me. And when she's one of our leads, I mean, it was hard to read. Very cringe-worthy. 



Fans of Ripley Jones's Missing Clarissa might just enjoy this new best friend duo. Fans of Netflix's Sex Education may enjoy these offbeat feminists. 


Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Date: July 4, 2023
Series: N/A
Add to Goodreads

Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.


  1. I appreciate your honest review. It sounds like this book had potential, but unfortunately the characters, stereotypes, and cliché aspect would turn me away too. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for your honest review. I don’t think this one is a good match for me either based on your review. I hope your next read is one that you enjoy.

  3. This sounds like it has good potential, but I agree it does sound a bit cringy! Sounds a bit like a scream style horror movie haha!

    Corinne x

  4. You had me turned off at the vagina monologues - not a book I would pick up, I'm afraid, but thank you for your honest review!

  5. I really appreciate the breakdown of each element in this review; it's so helpful to really get an idea of the reading experience and whether or not this would be something I could get into. Very helpful!

  6. The premise of the book does sound interesting and fun, but it's a shame that the book was such a let down. Also, I would find the book offputting too with the vagina banter!


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