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Publisher's Summary

TV Adaptation The Players' Table Starring Halsey and Euphoria's Sydney Sweeney Coming to HBO Max

“A pristine infusion of Gossip Girl and Netflix's Elite, this prep-school thriller has it all: plaid skirts, secret societies, and a gripping murder mystery, but paired with an adept critique of the powers and privileges that goeth before the fall.” (Elle)

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.

©2020 Jessica Goodman (P)2020 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"Goodman deftly explores the complex nature of friendship, privilege, grief, and the often crushing expectations placed on teens, all of which dovetails neatly with a twisty murder mystery...A sophisticated and suspenseful debut." (Kirkus Reviews

"This debut murder mystery is filled with twists and turns that will keep its pages turning." (Booklist)

“Seductive and slick, They Wish They Were Us is a searing novel about power, privilege, and the dangerous pursuit of perfection. You’ll remember the girls of Gold Coast Prep Long after the last page.” (Jessica Knoll, New York Times best-selling author of The Luckiest Girl Alive and The Favorite Sister)

What listeners say about They Wish They Were Us

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I really liked it! 🙂

YA is much different these days. I work at a hospital and it's been quite a stressful Spring/Summer. This was able to make my commute and days better. Kept me interested.

3 people found this helpful

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Not just for girls!

As a male I was skeptical that “They Wish They Were Us” would pique my interest. Boy was I mistaken. This coherently crafted drama can appeal to anyone who attended high school, no matter your gender. Goodman displays her young talent as a writer by masterfully guiding the reader through an immersive world she artfully curates page by page. I read this book cover to cover in 2 days. Highly recommend.

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not for anyone over 14

listened at 2x and could still barely bring myself to finish it. completely predictable ending. the idea of the players and the "pops" was so idiotic. too many unlikeable characters, I couldn't tell them apart. few redeeming qualities among them. I had to keep reminding myself that they were teenagers to keep myself from hating them. nothing interesting happens until the last few chapters, very little action through out the book. I bought this because I heard they were turning it into a TV show w actors I like, probably won't watch it now 😂

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Decent way to pass time

Nothing unique in here. Predictable but executed decently. Wish there had been more development. No heroes here, but flawed people portrayed realistically. Comparisons to Elite are not accurate, Elite builds up its cast from different perspectives and has good character development.

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Boring.

OMG... this book was so boring and pointless. I sped this up to 2.65 just bc I wanted to get through it. I've got 1.5 hours left and even at this speed, I'm not sure I'll be able to finish. Really really boring and pointless. No intrigue, no suspense, no action, literally no point.

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B plus

A pleasant listen overall.
The story is a bit worn out and the characters were not relatable to me. However there were some plotlines throughout that kept me intrested.
The performance was solid.

1 person found this helpful

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Great writing!

I really enjoyed this book. Couldn’t wait to find out how it was going to end. Jessica Goodman is a great writer. Can’t wait to read her next book!

1 person found this helpful

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Great YA read!

Loved this book. This is what the Gossip Girl re-boot SHOULD have been. Skews young but you are with these characters from page one.

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A fun YA mystery with all of the high school drama you’re (not-so-secretly) yearning for!

So, I am somewhat addicted to suspenseful mysteries where women (in this case, an especially smart teen girl) solve mysteries surrounding other women. This is a YA riff of that same archetype, but I have to say that setting it in a wealthy private school with a secret society In The mix gave it lots of enticing twists. It definitely kept me reading and guessing and, even though you might figure out whodunit earlier than I did, you will still enjoy reading how these young women didn’t give up and empowered themselves to foil the murderer. Realistic? Probably not! Satisfying? Hell, yeah. I Definitely recommend if you are a mystery-lover, strong female character-lover, high-school-drama-lover, etc. it’s basically Prep with a suspenseful mystery thrown into it! The reader’s performance was on point and the writing lent itself well to listening to this book. A fun and perfect summer read (listen)!

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wonderful

this was a wonderful story with believable characters and an exciting mystery! this story is definitely for fans who enjoy ya fiction as well as generally well written fiction! can't wait for the next book by this wonderful author!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-13-20

Great whodunit

Fun story, really good narration too. I did guess the red herrings, twists and killer at the start but it didn't impact my enjoyment of the book at all, so I was quite impressed overall.