They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman
Publisher: Penguin Random House • Publication Date: August 4, 2020
Content Warnings: Hazing, bullying, cheating, murder, sexual misconduct, underage drinking, violence and misogyny
Being from Long Island, I like to read stories that take place there, so when I heard that They Wish They Were Us was set there and the synopsis sounded like a book I would enjoy, I was eager to read it. While I did enjoy some of the book, I felt that a lot of the story dragged in parts for me. It wasn’t until more than halfway into the story that I became invested in what was going on and what really happened.
Fun fact, the newspaper mentioned throughout the book, the Gold Coast Gazette, I used to design it each week at my last job.
I do know the town that Gold Coast is based off of and the private school that Gold Coast Prep was modeled after. Since she is originally from Long Island, accuracy-wise, for those parts of the story Goodman nailed it.
I felt like the main plot of the story was supposed to be Shalia’s murder and what really happened, but I feel like most of it was sidetracked with the real main plot being all the drama of the Players. I rarely ever think this, but I think this book actually may work better as a TV show.