I always feel more energized about reading during the summer. There is something about sitting in the sun, at the beach or on a pool deck, with no other responsibilities that just feels exhilarating. I tend to read about 50% of my books for the entire year between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
I recently finished They Wish They Were Us, a Young Adult (YA) book by Jessica Goodman. Goodman is the op-ed editor for Cosmopolitan, but always dreamed of being a published author.
The book tells the story of Jill Newman, a high school student entering her senior year at a wealthy private school. She's part of an invitation-only social group called The Players, a status that dictates her entire life.
As seniors, Jill and her friends are the most tenured members of The Players, allowing them to recruit, haze and initiate new members. Rather than relishing her new-found influence, Jill is distracted by some new information about the death of her best friend, Shayla. Though the town has tried to mourn Shayla for years, Jill has always felt something wasn't right about her final night alive.
I don't want to say too much because you should absolutely read the book and experience all the plot twists yourself, but I will say, the book felt like a mix of Mean Girls, Pretty Little Liars and One of Us is Lying.
The entire time I was reading, I couldn't help but think about what a great TV show this would make. As it turns out, it has already been optioned. The show will be called The Players Table and it will debut on HBO Max. Sydney Sweeney and Halsey have been cast so far. You can read more details on the adaptation here.
If you like murder mysteries or suspenseful plots, add this one to your list. After you finish, treat yourself to this great Q&A with Goodman in Entertainment Weekly, where she shares a ton about what inspired the setting, the characters and the elite social club.
What am I reading next? Just this morning I finished Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (the author of Daisy Jones and the Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo). Can't wait to share that review with you later this week!
*Image courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.