**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review from the publisher via NetGalley.**
Title They Wish They Were Us
Author Jessica Goodman
Description from Amazon
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.
Release Date August 4, 2020
I saw “Gossip Girl” in the tag and I knew I needed to read this book. That show was one of my favorites in high school and I don’t read enough thrillers so I was eager to give this a try.
Some Things I Liked
- Gossip Girl meets Veronica Mars. It had elements of both of these shows that I absolutely loved when I was in high school and I loved that nostalgia.
- Pretty Little Liars vibes. Again, another show I enjoyed so I appreciated the nods to that series.
- A somewhat relatable MC. Despite the incredibly far fetched scenarios, (I don’t know about you, but this book was not even remotely close to my high school experience), I found that Jill was a relatable character. She worried about normal things and had a conscious where it seemed like her peers really didn’t. She made a good narrator.
One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About
- Plot twist. I saw right through the plot twist. Literally, as soon as this character was introduced, I was like “_____ did it”. Given that this book’s purpose is to be a thriller and a mystery, I would be remiss if I didn’t deduct points for predictability. Please note, it is *VERY* hard to surprise me. I’ve seen pretty much every crime show that Investigation Discovery has.
There’s not much to this as a series. The mystery in this book is solved. However, those kids are up to some SHADY stuff! I wouldn’t be surprised if more crimes came out of their nonsense. So, in that vein, I can see potential spin-offs being successful.
I liked this book. It was a bit predictable but overall, kept me excited to keep reading.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro – if you liked the high school setting, try this series about a modern day Sherlock Holmes and her Watson.
- One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus – I haven’t read this one yet but I’ve heard good things. Definitely give it a try if you liked They Wish They Were Us.