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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser

Title: Wish You Were Dead
Author: Todd Strasser

Release Date: 1st December 2011 (Aust), First Published 2009 (US)

My Rating: 4/5

Someone is blogging about the local high-school kids. The comments aren't kind, but are they cruel taunts or vicious threats? No one is sure until the popular but bitchy Lucy Cunningham goes missing... then the hunt is on to a catch a murderer.

A blogger is listing the kids that should die.
A killer is picking them off one by one.

In A Nutshell:
A gripping thriller that keeps you guessing until the end.

My Review:
Wish You Were Dead is a mystery/psychological thriller that is completely gripping right from the first page. The story has three parts. First there are blog entries throughout the book from a student who is bullied at school every day. This person has decided to vent their frustration and anger on their new blog. Secondly, the story is told from the perspective of Madison Archer, one of the extremely wealthy and popular students at Soundview High, whose close friends are going missing. Thirdly, we get snippets of conversation from the kidnapper, taunting the kidnapped teenagers.

Right from the beginning the reader is kept on edge. There are five blog entries where the bullied student says they wish Lucy Cunningham was dead. Then in the first chapter, Lucy is kidnapped. Madison, who was the last person to see Lucy before she disappeared, and turns out to be the last person to speak to the kidnappers’ second victim, is worried she could be next. Not only does she get the feeling someone is watching her, but she has an online stalker who she knows nothing about except that they go to her school, and someone keeps leaving her notes saying she and her friends are in danger.

Who is writing the blog posts? Who is the mysterious online stalker ‘PBleecker’? Who is leaving Madison notes? And most importantly, who is kidnapping the popular kids of Soundview High?!

Madison is a very likeable character. She may be one of the rich, popular kids but she does have a conscience and cares and listens to others, not just those in her clique. She’s not like the other girls who just want to be on the arm of the best-looking guy in school. In fact she has her sights set on the loner new guy who wanders around in a trench coat and drives a beat-up old car. Now if she could just figure out what to say to him (I get the same good-person feelings from her as I did from Veronica from TV’S Veronica Mars, or Annabel from Sarah Dessen’s Just Listen)!

Todd Strasser highlights bullying in a way that shows just how horrible some kids can feel. You should always watch what you put out into the world, whether it be the way you treat someone or what you say to their face, behind their back or on social media.

Wish You Were Dead sucks you in and demands you sit there and read the whole book until you find out which people are behind everything. It’s very suspenseful as you never know who will be taken next, whether it be Madison or one of her friends, and that fear of being kidnapped and tormented stays with the reader until the end. And just so you know, it has a satisfying ending. I wasn’t disappointed like other mystery stories that can be a bit anti-climactic.

Thankyou to Margaret at Walker Books for this review copy :)


  1. Great review, as always, Jess. I really want to read this book... Gosh, my "books to read" list just keeps getting longer and longer!


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