Book Reviews

Book Review: They Wish They Were Us

Have you read this summer’s hottest YA thriller, They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman? Check out my review and let me know if you’ve picked it up!


The Players are a not-so-secret society of high school teens at an ultra-exclusive Long Island Prep school where the wealthy elite send their children. To become a Player, you must prove your worth. In reward, you reap unimaginable benefits. Jill Newman and her five best friends are finally seniors, the ruling class of the Players, and they’re determined to make this year different. But the murder of their friend Shaila, by her boyfriend Graham, three years earlier hangs over their heads as a constant reminder of what the Players can do to people. Now, Graham is proclaiming his innocence and drudging up the past. Everyone’s futures are at risk, and it’s possible that one of Jill’s OTHER friends could have committed this heinous crime.

Why I picked this book:

I was seeing this all over Booksta!

Honest Review:

I completely tore through this book during my down time from classes!

Even though I’m almost 24 and haven’t been in high school in a LONG time, I LOVE reading YA books like this. Murder- check. High school drama- check. Rich people in a secret society- check. This book reminded me a lot of Gossip Girl but with a more sinister vibe. VERY up my alley, seeing as GG is my guilty pleasure show. I LOVED it.

I don’t think you’re really supposed to like Jill. She’s kind of the worst at the start. She isn’t “different” from the rest of the Players and it obviously takes her many pages to realize that. But I loved seeing Jill break free from the cycle of toxic behaviors. A lot of Jill’s thoughts became outward actions. I think this book is going to be very relatable to a lot of young people. There are discussions of social and academic pressures, sexual assault, and the ways men and women are treated SO differently (and not in a good way). Having Jill examine those issues from a teenage perspective had me recalling high school and hoping that certain cultures and stigmas have changed.

I love books that feature complicated relationships, and where loyalty becomes its own complication. Those features were definitely not lacking here. And while I may have guessed from the start who killed Shaila, Goodman definitely threw some curve-balls that had me second guessing everything I had read and thought! Everything about this book was great to me. I want more!

The Bookish Bronde Rating:

If you love murder mysteries and high school drama, this book is 100% for you!