Thursday, July 23, 2020

Review: They Wish They Were Us

Gossip Girl meets One of Us Is Lying with a dash of The Secret History in this slick, taut murder mystery set against the backdrop of an exclusive prep school on Long Island.

In Gold Coast, Long Island, everything from the expensive downtown shops to the manicured beaches, to the pressed uniforms of Jill Newman and her friends, looks perfect. But as Jill found out three years ago, nothing is as it seems.

Freshman year Jill's best friend, the brilliant, dazzling Shaila Arnold, was killed by her boyfriend. After that dark night on the beach, Graham confessed, the case was closed, and Jill tried to move on.

Now, it's Jill's senior year and she's determined to make it her best yet. After all, she's a senior and a Player--a member of Gold Coast Prep's exclusive, not-so-secret secret society. Senior Players have the best parties, highest grades and the admiration of the entire school. This is going to be Jill's year. She's sure of it.

But when Jill starts getting texts proclaiming Graham's innocence, her dreams of the perfect senior year start to crumble. If Graham didn't kill Shaila, who did? Jill vows to find out, but digging deeper could mean putting her friendships, and her future, in jeopardy.

TITLE: They Wish They Were Us
AUTHOR: Jessica Goodman
PUBLISHER: Penguin Teen
PUBLISH DATE: August 4, 2020
GENRE: YA Thriller 
PAGES: 336

They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“They say only the good die young, but that’s just a stupid line in a song we used to sing. It isn’t real. It isn’t true. I know this because Shaila Arnold was so many things – brilliant and funny, confident and wild. But honestly? She wasn’t all that good."

THEY WISH THEY WERE US by Jessica Goodman is a well-crafted mystery/thriller about 8 freshman students at Gold Coast Prep, each looking forward to their senior year where they’ll rule as Players. The Players are the most elite students and an exclusive group, which comes with the privilege of a handy app that provides access to everything they need to guarantee college admission, along with a whole slew of other benefits. When Graham kills his girlfriend Shaila at the end of freshman year, they’re down to six Players. The Players all believe that Graham killed Shaila but when Jill, a Player and Shaila’s bestie receives a strange text from Grahams sister, stating he’s innocent and she needs Jill’s help in proving it, the mystery and thrills kick in high gear!

Jill is the narrator and is the best protagonist, she showed so much growth throughout the book, going from a fairly shallow mean girl to having actual depth; questioning herself and others around her. Nikki, another character shows growth, too, and that’s always a great thing in a book that I hope they’re will be a sequel to.

The plot takes off right from the start, it had me guessing and then guessing again. There are some great twists and red herrings, making me suspicious of more than one of the characters. Jill reflects back on freshman year quite a bit so we get to know Shaila through Jill’s eyes and the rest of the supporting characters, who aren’t always very likeable but Ms. Goodman does this seamlessly and its information that is relevant to the story.

They Wish They Were Us is an engaging mystery/thriller and I’ll be looking forward to the next in the series.

Thank you to Penguin Teen and Jessica Goodman for providing me with a DRC of They Wish They Were Us in exchange for my honest review.

View all my reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment