How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao
Published on October 06, 2021
reviewed by Jayde Valosin
The students of Sinclair Prep have secrets, and The Proctor seems to know them all.
Nancy Luo is shocked to find out that her former friend, Jamie Ruan, is dead. She's even more shocked when she and her friends are implicated in the murder by The Proctor, an anonymous poster on the Tip Tap social media app. One by one, Nancy's friends have their deepest secrets revealed to all the elite Sinclair Prep population as they race to determine who The Proctor is and stop them before Nancy's biggest secret can be revealed. Does this have anything to do with The Incident, which occurred years before Jamie's death? Or is someone just playing games with their lives?
How We Fall Apart is a fast-paced mystery that will feel familiar to fans of One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus. This story's strengths lie in its examination of Asian American culture, academic pressure, and the socioeconomic differences between Nancy and her peers. The mystery itself takes many twists and turns, leading to a shocking conclusion. Readers are led to suspect several alternative identities for The Proctor, and any of these options may have been a more logical or satisfying villain for the story. The author's choice to withhold information as a buildup to the finale can seem forced at times, but the reveals make it all worthwhile. A perfect thriller for those who want diverse mysteries, academic settings, and plenty of secrets to keep them guessing.