Author: Todd Strasser
Release Date: September 2009
Published By: EgmontUSA
Goodreads Rating: 3.83 stars
Review: The day after anonymous blogger Str-S-d wishes the popular girl would die, Lucy vanishes, tearing apart the world of Madison, Lucy's friend and the last person to see her alive. 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. The clock is ticking. Madison must uncover the truth behind the mysterious disappearances... before her name appears in Str-S-d’s blog.
WISH YOU WERE DEAD was just the kind of psychological suspense I love to read. The plot was immediately compelling, grabbing the reader from the first page and refusing to let go through the end. The further you go into the book, the faster the pace picks up, until you reach the point where you're basically flipping pages as quickly as you can to find out who the killer is and why they're on this mission. And let me just say - the big reveal does not disappoint. Of all the characters in the book, it truly was the last one I expected, just as should be in a good mystery.
One aspect that I especially liked was the narration. Although Madison wasn't really a go-getter kind of character, it didn't bother me for two reasons: the first is that I was content to see the plot unfold through her eyes and the second is that her narration somehow perfectly complemented the book. Usually you would expect a certain tone from such a dark book, and while the serious parts were serious and the creepy parts were creepy, Madison's narration took a more light-hearted approach than you might anticipate - and it worked.
The only part of the novel that truly bothered me was the romance. I always seem to have quibbles with this in books so this really could just be me, but the romance seemed like something that was just sort of hastily shoved into the plot for the sake of having a romance. I found Tyler more tiresome than enchanting, and frankly, I couldn't understand why Madison didn't feel the same way.
All in all, WISH YOU WERE DEAD was an excellent young adult suspense novel that I would rank high for its intriguing plot concept and shocking mystery reveal. I only wish that the romance was better, but the narration and cool plot more than make up for this flaw. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys young adult thrillers but doesn't want something that would make them scared to go to sleep.