5 star dark academia

filled star filled star filled star filled star filled star
thereadingraccoon Avatar


They Wish They Were Us is a prep school murder mystery of a wealthy Gold Coast teen (Shaila) presumably by her boyfriend (Graham) at the end of their freshman year during an initiation rite for a club of popular kids called "The Players".
It is three years later and all of the teens involved are seniors and at the top of the Players food chain and they get to decide what the initiation rites will be. But Graham has decided to hire a legal team and rescind his original guilty plea and the Gold Coast is shook. If he didn't kill Shaila then who did? Should her best friend Jill help his sister clear his name or should she concentrate on finishing her senior year strong and get a well-deserved and desperately needed scholarship?

Even though this a typical teen murder mystery I found there to be a lot of good food for thought about privilege and sexism. As Jill begins to unravel the past to find the murderer she sees how inherently misogynistic the Players and their initiation rites (called "pops" ) are to the youngest and most vulnerable girls on campus. You also feel the pressure that Jill and other students are under to succeed and get into a good college after attending such a prestigious school.

Like any good murder mystery They Wish They Were Us has lots of twists, turns and red herrings. I look forward to reading more about this world created by Jessica Goodman.