Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wish You Were Dead: Todd Strasser

SUMMARY (Courtesy of goodreads.com)

I’ll begin with Lucy. She is definitely first on the list. You can’t believe how it feels to be in the cafeteria and turn around and there she is staring at me like I’m 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, Lucy’s 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-d’s 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 he’s sharing?
The clock is ticking. Madison must uncover the truth behind the mysterious disappearances . . . before her name appears in Str-S-d’s blog.

In the spirit of stories like I Know What You Did Last Summer, Todd Strasser updates the teen thriller for the techno age with Wish You Were Dead, the first installment in a new “thrill”-ogy.


Okay- this book was creepy. In many different ways was it creepy but I really liked it- partly because of that. The premise is great- a different take on the whole who done it kind of thing and what I really enjoyed about this book was how many different aspects of current times it incorporated. The use of blogs- something that seems innocent and just gets it out there- and how just saying anything can come back at you was a big portion of this entire premise. The movie Juno came in to play a few times, as did the idea of how gated communities and towns with low crime rates aren’t always as safe as they seem.

This plot kept me enthralled from start to finish. This is a pretty quick read- made faster by how much I wanted to find out what happened. With each additional missing student, my curiosity grew. The majority of the actual story is told in Madison’s perspective, but it is broken up by the blog posts that are in some way tied to everything along with the perpetrator’s voice, telling the reader what is happening with the missing students as though they are talking to them and responding without ever giving away whom it is.

Strasser painted several different people as potential suspects, at least in the eyes of Madison. Who to trust and who to avoid were big themes, made worse with the increased fear that came with each missing student. He threw out many postulations, all with strong reasons to be true. I never had any sure line to follow- I didn’t have any more insight into things than Madison did was something I definitely enjoyed. I was as curious and wondering as she was.

I really enjoyed the tight nit community this book was set in. Of course there were the usual high school cliques, the popular people and the jocks, then the outcasts and the losers but everyone pulled together when things got rough. The parent’s concern for their kids as well as the others actually was a big feature that I thought helped run things along even better. Protect your own first but worry about the others too- basic survival instincts that are more prevalent in some areas than others and that was almost refreshing for me.

Madison was a well done character. She was popular but different than the others- something that came more into play than I initially thought. She developed well, given the situation she was in and there were only a few instances where I questioned what she was doing and why.

The ending tied everything up, weaving it together nicely without any of it actually feeling like it was done just for the sake of being able to do it or to ties up the loose ends. The ultimate motivation and driving force behind this was a unique take on something often done and the specific way it was carried out was even better. Something I can completely see- despite how inhumane it was.

Overall, I give this one 4 stars. It was gripping, it had a pretty strong lead character, and it was a unique take on an often done general story line. The incorporation of blogging, the perp’s voice, and some other more modern things all made it a refreshing read and I look forward to more in this series- I am especially curious where it is going to go because this novel could stand alone. The writing was easy and not at all hard to follow- not outstanding but never did I find myself distracted from the writing because I felt it was poor. It wasn't a defining feature of the book for me as, say, the writing in The Monstrumologist was, but in no way did I think it was poor or lacking.


  1. I totally agree with you on this. It was really pretty good and I enjoyed it even though it was so creepy. Did you know it's going to be a trilogy?

  2. OHHH this sounds sooo good!!! Erie but really good! :)

  3. Neat review! I have to read this book now!!

    I gave you a award at my blog, http://lindsayphotobook.blogspot.com/2009/12/awards.html

  4. This book is freakin' creepy. I read it in one night... tonight.. (9/25/13). Did you know that their is a town called Soundview? Well there is, and its somewhere in New York.. CREEPY!!! Very good read though. I give it 4 stars :) Happy reading to all of you! <3