Wish You Were Dead

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Age Range
14+
ISBN
160684007X
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Social Media Horror
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Str-S-d:
Ill begin with Lucy. She is definitely first on the list. You cant believe how it feels to be in the cafeteria and turn around and there she is staring at me like Im some disgusting bug or vermin. Does she really think I WANT to be this way? I hate you, Lucy. I really hate you. You are my #1 pick. I wish you were dead.

The day after anonymous blogger Str-S-d wishes the popular girl would die, Lucy vanishes. The students of Soundview High are scared and worried. Especially frightened and wracked with guilt is Madison Archer, Lucys friend and the last person to see her the night she disappeared.
As days pass with no sign of the missing girl, even the attention of Tyler, an attractive new student, is not enough to distract Madison from her growing sense of foreboding. When two more popular students disappear after their names are mentioned on Str-S-ds blog, the residents of Soundview panic.

Meanwhile, Madison receives anonymous notes warning that she could be next. Desperate to solve the mystery before anyone else disappears, Madison turns to Tyler, but can she trust him when it becomes clear that he knows more than hes sharing?
The clock is ticking. Madison must uncover the truth behind the mysterious disappearances . . . before her name appears in Str-S-ds blog.


Wish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser made me nervous. Thats a compliment. I dont typically do horror, but the premise and the use of social media as a plot device drew me in and I had to give it a go.

While the voice of the main character, Madison, isnt as strong as I typically like in a heroine, the characters as a whole were distinctive. The plot was well thought out, nailed down every thread, and I was anxious at the climax.

One of the stronger points of the book is that it goes deeper than horror. Theres an exploration of the nuances of class and high school hierarchy that lends itself more to a social exploration than a slasher. There is violence, and I would consider reading it carefully if you are sensitive to that type of thing.

Highly Recommended

Four of Five Stars
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Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0  (1)
Characters 
 
2.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
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Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
2.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
A few popular kids in a rich high school disappeared. Is somebody out there set to make the rich and beautiful “pay”? That sound like a very pretty interesting mystery to me. And it was. Then why the 2-stars?

Well, because of the endless chit-chat that was going on. Lucy and Madison are rich and pretty, but while Madison is nice and cares about people Lucy is/does not, that is why an anonymous student blogs that Lucy is making his/her life miserable and wishes her dead. Coincidentally enough, Lucy disappears without a trace.

I wished Strasser had showed why the blogger wanted Lucy dead so I could feel the same way. Because that is the point, no; to make you love or hate the characters so you connect with the story? But that doesn’t happen here. I have to take the blogger’s word that Lucy is a bee-ach to dislike her.

And then there are the entries of the diary of the person who’s done Lucy in. They come out of the blue and just made me like Lucy and feel that what was being done to her was totally wrong. Also this person, who is obviously the killer, comes out of nowhere! Isn’t there usually a hint or two for you to take a guess and keep you reading to the end if just to see if you were right?

Wish you were dead is just “the first installment in a new ‘thrill’-ogy.” Really? Who else is Strasser going to kill next? The dumb and ugly?

What I liked: the mystery of the disappearances itself. The blogging; you’ll notice how at the beginning the blog had zero comments and eventually it increased. And I also liked the anonymous stalker; he was deep and right down to the point.

What I didn’t like: all the blah blah blah. I know a high school is full students but, why mention characters that play no part in the story whatsoever? Why introduce people that you are not going to keep around? And why mention “the lesbian duo” if you are not going to elaborate on that? All that was just background noise that took away from the real point.
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