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They Wish They Were Us
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They Wish They Were Us

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  10,177 ratings  ·  1,542 reviews
A 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
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 4th 2020 by Razorbill
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Winston I finished it and you can read this as a standalone.
B. It depends on what your friend is used to reading. I know I was reading worse than this when I was in fourth grade (thanks Christopher Pike!) but kids…moreIt depends on what your friend is used to reading. I know I was reading worse than this when I was in fourth grade (thanks Christopher Pike!) but kids are way more sheltered these days. (less)

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Average rating 3.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,177 ratings  ·  1,542 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
I can feel it unpopular review coming in the air tonight.No, I haven’t been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord!

I didn’t want to tribute my one of the boo worthy review to dear Phil Collins and retro travel of 80’s but this is what is. I feel like Bradley Cooper’s character on Hangover who has been punched in the face by Mike Tyson who was punishing him for stealing his tiger as In the Air tonight blasted out as background music. I feel frustrated, dizzy, angry and I’m about to pas
great title, great cover, okay book.

i’m always down to read about insular cliques in academic settings that end in murrrrrrderrrrr, so i’d been looking forward to this one for a while. however, i’m ALWAYS down for books about insular cliques in academic settings that end in murrrrrrderrrrr, which means i have read A LOT of books about insular cliques in academic settings that end in murrrrrrderrrrr, and when you read A LOT of the same kinda thing, the lit-version of the law of diminishing return
Aug 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-mystery
I enjoyed this but didn't love it. It did remind me of Gossip Girl because all of our characters go to a private school and are super rich. We follow Jill who is apart of 'the players' aka the elite group. Each grade has one and every year the senior class picks 8 freshmen to become 'players' and go through grueling tests to prove their worth.
Jill and 7 others were picked freshman year and now they are seniors and it's their year.
Jill's best friend, Shailia died on initiation night freshman ye
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: full-reviews

I loved this book so much. I read it way too fast and I honestly just cannot believe it. Wow. This book is messy and gorgeous and complex. It’s just so beautiful in a dark, bitchy, haunting way.

Song match? I’ve never done this before, but I can say with no hesitation that New Americana by Halsey is fucking PERFECT.

Jill, our protagonist, attends Gold Coast Prep, the elite private school. Unlike her classmates, she’s not a minor celebrity, she doesn’t have their wealth assets, an
Katie B
I went into this one with very low expectations. The book isn’t great but there was something here that kept me reading. Fair warning, even I am not really sure what the appeal was for me. I guess you could compare reading this book to watching a trashy tv movie. You know there's better options out there but yet sometimes you want to just stick around until the end. (By the way, I heard this book is being made into a tv series. I don't think the material is HBO worthy but maybe it will find a ho ...more
Larry H
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
High school melodrama, intrigue, and secrets? Sign me up every time. That's why I was excited for Jessica Goodman's new book, They Wish They Were Us .

It’s senior year of high school for Jill Newman and her best friends at Gold Coast Prep on Long Island. Freshman year was awful when her best friend, Shaila, was murdered, and Shaila’s boyfriend Graham confessed, but Jill and her friends have all (mostly) moved on from that tragedy.

Now they’re ready to rule the school.

Jill and her friends are Pl
Angela Staudt
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Penguin Teen for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

“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 that because Shaila Arnold was so many things – brilliant and funny, confident and wild. But honestly? She wasn’t all that good.”

Rich kids, preppy private school, and murder. They Wish They Were Us was one of those books that I automatically like because it has some of my favorite things. I swear I wil
May 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Quickly swept up into this high society private school Gold Coast Prep in Long Island with students in their perfectly pressed school uniforms, I was intrigued by their "Player" secret society. When friendships are bonded by their privileges, you know there is going to be some scandalous perceptions involved. There is something to be said about the atmosphere in the book as if you are trolling the high school hallways. It was a well-developed scenario that quickly escalates into a fast-paced mys ...more
Zoe Stewart (Zoe's All Booked)
I really enjoyed this one! I listened to the audiobook, and something about the narrator annoyed me, so I think I would've liked it a touch more if I had read the physical copy.

I guessed who the killer was the first time we met them, but I loved seeing my theory tested as the story went along. It didn't feel rushed or anything to me either, which was a nice change from the endings of most thrillers I've read in recent years.
Melanie (mells_view)
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
They Wish They Were Us is the absolute perfect title for a YA mystery thriller that will leave you thinking, “thank god I’m not them.” Jessica Goodman seamlessly introduces us to a cast of characters that you will instantly feel a little unsure about. It’s impressive how she made me understand them despite their morally gray personas, all while building up a mystery “whoactuallydunit?” plot in the background.

Our main character Jill is dealing with the pressures that someone feels to fit in, beca
Dannii Elle
Actual rating 3.5/5 stars.

The Players are the chosen elite who pinnacle the Gold Coast prep school's social hierarchy. They are more than the most popular students though and they do more than throw the wildest parties. The Players have access to test answers, have their chosen college admissions guaranteed, and the futures they desire provided for them. They also have the task of ensuring those next in line sacrifice everything they are to get this place, just like they did.

This is exactly the
Stay Fetters
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
Well, isn’t that odd? There’s no favorite quote at the top of this review. That’s because there were too many great ones to choose from. (Do you detect the sarcasm?)

Reading this book is remembering something from your childhood. We’ll use Doritos as an example here.

Do you remember craving something like Doritos? Asking your Mom or Dad to pick some up at the grocery store because that’s where they are headed. You sat there and waited patiently for them to return with a bag of cheesy goodness. T

Jessica Goodman wrote one of the summer’s most anticipated books and I am all here for it. They Wish They Were Us is an addictive YA murder mystery set in the backdrop of one of Long Island’s most exclusive and prestigious school for the most privileged, Gold Coast Prep. This is a book that you will devour for its secret society, hazing rituals, exclusivity, popularity and power of the privileged few.

Jill Newman and her best friend Shaila Arnold were selected to join an exclusive
Oct 25, 2020 marked it as to-read
i have a weakness for boarding school mysteries...
Monte Price
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
It's been a minute since I've been so invested in a book that I managed to finish it in a matter of hours. From the first page I was invested in the narrative even if it wasn't immediately apparent where the story was going to go. Jill Newman was the kind of protagonist that I love to follow; straddling the line between reluctant hero and wanting to sick to the status quo that was engaging without ever teetering over into annoying territory. The only real qualm I had with the narrative is one th ...more
Aug 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

They Wish They Were Us sounded like something I would love, but I struggled to get into this story. It kept me just interested enough to see if it got better. It was a little too predictable, and the alternating timelines were unclear and confusing at times. This wasn't really a bad book, but it doesn't stand out from any other YA thriller.

CW - sexual harassment, misogyny, bullying / hazing
Toya (the reading chemist)
Was anyone else completely obsessed when the television series Gossip Girls aired?! It came out my senior year of college, and my friends and I were absolute trash for it. They Wish They Were Us brings back all of the feels plus adds a murder mystery to boot.

Gold Coast Prep is one of the most prestigious schools in the country where trust funds and privilege are commonplace. During their freshman year, Jill Newman and her friends were selected to join the Players, an exclusive society at Gold C
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, 4-star
4.5/5 ⭐ Full review right HERE.

So keen for the show, this was like gossip girl and pretty little liars combined with such a great concept of light academia/murder mystery 👌
Nadhira Satria
Nov 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
Eh it was fine. nothing extraordinary.
This book sucked the life out of me 😣
Even though I am a sucker for high school cliques and secret societies, this one was just not my cup of tea.

I could almost forgive the non - existent mystery; it is very obvious from the beginning who the murderer is. Again, I wouldn't have a problem with that if the rest of the book was alright.
What I couldn't get past was the despicable characters.
Jill was a mean, terrible person, who valued being the most popular girl in school more than anything. It see
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
*2.5 stars*

it was good but i predicted the killer pretty early on
“Why did the boys have the power? Why did they make the rules while we dealt with the consequences?”
― Jessica Goodman, They Wish They Were Us

Do you know what I just did?

I'd ordered this book. Just returned.

I decided to read this even though some of my friends had rated it really low. I had misgivings. I was not sure I was in the right mood for it but it sounded intrigueing.

And then it became my 4th DNF of the year. Not bad. I've had years where I had more DNFS at this time then 4.

It isn't that t
alana ♡
Aug 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, thriller
“Look around. Look at everyone else,” Shaila whispered into the huddle. “They wish they were us.”

If you’re looking for a fast paced mystery/thriller to cozy up with this fall They Wish They Were Us is one that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. I mean, an elite prep school, murder, secrets, betrayals, and the future completely at stake? Sign me up, we love some drama in this house. And even though I didn’t totally love this one I still really enjoyed my time spent r
Aug 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had such high expectations for this book. It sounded like the perfect book for me. Sadly, this book did not live up to what I thought it would be. It is advertised as a Gossip Girl MEETS One of Us is Lying, but I did not feel as if the book met those expectations. Gossip Girl is iconic and sadly I must say the book was more of a discount gossip girl than anything. The murder seemed so background and honestly, the murder was the main reason why I picked this up. This book is just high school dr ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Senior year won’t be the same without Shaila, who was murdered by her boyfriend Graham freshman year. For Jill and the other Players, members of a not-so-secret society, Shaila’s death hangs over everything. Then Jill gets a text from Graham’s sister, claiming his innocence, calling into question everything Jill believes.

Jill is a great narrator. Though her moral compass is compromised by being a Player, deep down she cares about right and wrong, Shaila, her younger brother and her future.

Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
I had seen this book all over social media and it sounded like something I would really enjoy. It was ok, but I felt like I had read it before. I guessed the ending quite early on and for once I had it 100% right. I wanted to be wrong, I wanted to be surprised. It was a bit of a letdown.

Rich kids in Long Island, at a Prep school. 3 years earlier one of them was murdered by her boyfriend - case closed. But now the boyfriend is claiming his innocence and reaches out to the murdered girls best frie
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
I nearly didn't finish this book. For some reason, it took me nearly 17 days to finish a book with 28 chapters. I got really discouraged after a while because I had so much work to do and I didn't think I would have enough time to finish this book. But I'm really glad I took the chance on this novel. "They Wish They Were Us" annoyed me at times, was pretty predictable, but I somewhat enjoyed the novel nonetheless.

Jill is a senior at Gold Coast Prep and is one of The Players. Jill alw
Casey Aonso
Oct 12, 2020 rated it liked it
this book reminds me so much of a few summers ago when I went on an absolute SPREE reading basically every murder-mystery-thriller-set-in-highschool/uni i could find, and because of that I think my rating is a little lower than it would be if I hadn't read so much of this type of story before. i definitely went in with high expectations and while it was okay overall, it just felt super easy to call the twist in the story- pretty much 50 pages in I had already figured out what was going to happen ...more
Elizabeth Aguilar
Oct 22, 2020 rated it liked it
The first 50 pages or so seem different in tone than the rest. It took me at least three times to get past the first 50 pages. I was annoyed at what info was revealed vs. what I thought would be more important to focus on.

Going in, I expected a mystery/thriller featuring someone trying to find out who killed their best friend. Instead, I found a contemporary focusing more on school, cliques, and college admissions with a side plot of someone else trying to get Jill, the MC, to help them uncover
Mac (bookshelfpalace)
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you Penguin Teen for providing me with an e-arc of the book!

The story was immensely engaging and I couldn’t put this book down! I thought the whole secret society at the school was exceptionally interesting and surprisingly different from what I expected. Throughout the book I was meticulously evaluating anything and everything that made someone seem suspicious and potentially the killer. I thought the whole book was well thought out and I would be interested to see more from Gold Coast Pr
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Jessica Goodman is the op-ed editor at Cosmopolitan magazine. They Wish They Were Us is her debut novel.

Follow her on Instagram @jessicagoodman and on Twitter @jessgood.

Articles featuring this book

Girls who save the world, sweeping dystopias, contemporary love stories, and high fantasy are all staples of the current young adult book...
84 likes · 21 comments
“They say only the good die young, but that’s just a line in a stupid song we used to sing. It isn’t real. It isn’t true. I know that because Shaila Arnold was so many things—brilliant and funny, confident and wild. But honestly? She wasn’t all that good.” 2 likes
“Sometimes it's hard to know which qualities really define you, and which ones have been affixed to you by others so many times that you actually begin to believe them and claim them as your own.” 2 likes
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