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WISH YOU WERE DEAD by Todd Strasser


by Todd Strasser

Age Range: 13 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60684-007-8
Publisher: Egmont USA

Carefully plotted, this suspenseful novel blends the traditional with new tech details to successful end. Popular but kind Madison is the protagonist of what can be described as an almost archetypal teen thriller about a high-school clique being stalked (and, one by one, abducted) by an unknown villain. Interspersed throughout Madison’s first-person narrative are blog postings by a bullied student at their school; each time she posts about a slight by one of her peers, that person mysteriously goes missing. Also peppered throughout are deliciously evil monologues from the perspective of the kidnapper that are both titillating and chilling. In keeping with the tradition of horror thrillers, readers will shake their heads at the implausibility of some of the characters’ actions (for example, what mother would leave her daughter to go to an all-day meeting just after not one but three of her closest friends have been abducted?). However, realism is not the point here, and an impressive number of red herrings will keep readers guessing right up to the satisfying conclusion. (Thriller. 13 & up)