Wish You Were Dead

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Wish You Were Dead

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  • Wish You Were Dead
    Wish You Were Dead  

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Susan Allen
This book is a natural choice for readers who love stories that cause them to look over their shoulders and watch the shadows, fearing the unknown. Strasser offers a tightly written, authentic tale about a very popular high school clique that is being stalked and abducted one-by-one. The story is told by intertwining at least three narrators: a teen blogging about the kids she hates; a first-person narrative by Madison, a member of the popular clique; and strange monologues from a possible psychopathic kidnapper. Each narrator is given a unique font, which helps the reader manage the multiple narration changes. When the anonymous blogger blogs about one of the bullying popular kids, that person disappears. Two of the missing teens call Safe Rides, a school run service to make sure kids get home safely, right before they mysteriously disappear. Madison is in the thick of the situation. She knows that the mysterious new student, Tyler, knows something, but can she find out what before it is too late? Will her attraction to him interfere with her search for her friends? The themes of bullying, tolerance, and friendship are issues to which readers can relate, as well as the inclusion of the IMing, blogging, texting, and social networking. This thriller will be popular and passed from one reader to another. Reviewer: Susan Allen
School Library Journal
Gr 9–11—When a high school student announces on her blog that she hates Lucy Cunningham and wishes her dead, no one takes her seriously—until a few days later, when Lucy disappears. Madison Archer is particularly shaken by the disappearance, as she was the one who drove the missing girl home and was the last to see her that night. In addition to her guilt over not seeing Lucy safely to her door, Madison is also trying to uncover the identities of a cyber stalker who sends her Facebook messages lecturing her about her cliquishness and an anonymous "friend" who leaves her hastily scribbled warnings and pleas for help. When the blogger posts another name, a second student goes missing. And then a third. Madison needs to find her missing friends before it's too late—for them and for herself. The action proceeds at a smooth pace and hits all the right notes of a teen thriller: revenge-seeking outcasts, betrayal, mysterious strangers, and some violence and torture (though it is not graphically depicted). Characters are distinct; readers will be able to tell even the background characters apart. The gimmick of incorporating blogging, chat, and Facebook is not as central to the story as the opening pages would imply, but the social-networking technologies are blended seamlessly into the narrative. Strasser's writing is more practical than poetic, but his gripping plot will keep readers turning pages late into the night.—Brandy Danner, Wilmington Memorial Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606841389
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA
  • Publication date: 8/24/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 294,810
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.66 (w) x 11.04 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Todd Strasser is the author of popular and diverse YA and middle-grade books, such as the cyber thrillogy, which began with Wish You Were Dead, and continues with this novel; the Help, I'm Trapped...series, Boot Camp, and Give a Boy a Gun. He lives in a suburb of New York City, and enjoys surfing in his spare time. Visit him online at www.toddstrasser.com.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 40 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 40 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2010

    best book by todd strasser

    i loved this book i read and my friends would come up behind me and scare me and i would scream and at the real intense chapters my heart was beating as if i was madison i read this book in 1 and a half days because i could'nt put it down another good book by todd strasser

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 24, 2010

    Love It!

    This book is great! Even though it's susspenseful and edgy, the writer also has a fun sense of humor. I highly recomend this book if you don't like some of your teachers. When the popular girls, the Jocks, and everyone else who acts out in class is being kidnapped you know something isn't right. But once you realize that the serial killer is more twisted, crazy, angry, physco,and way older than you would have thought. Your gonna think,WoW! I thought I had it bad.The lesson I learned from this story is that you should be thankful that even though some teachers aren't the nicest when it comes to grading and they might give you silent lunch, at least they aren't completely insane and locking you in cages while zapping you with shock collers and leaving you in the forest with no water to drink while they have a conversations with themselves.~ColleenHellenYost

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2014

    Love it

    When i read blood on my hands, kill you last,fallout,wish you where dead, and boot camp i couldnt stop reading all of his book. I like the way he explain things and how he wrights his books. His books became my favorite!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2013

    Cool but kinda boring at surtain parts of the book

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  • Posted December 8, 2012

    I loved this book, and I couldn't put it down. I cannot wait to

    I loved this book, and I couldn't put it down. I cannot wait to get the next book, Blood On My Hands.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2012

    Ten!!! ;-)

    This book is so a ten! So suspensful! Couldnt put it down, and Im a very avid reader... :-)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2012


    This is definetly a ten i read it so fast its a real page turner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2012


    So i just got this book at the library and i was wondering how good this book is on a scale of 1-10. one being very bad/terrible and ten being super good/awesome/amazing/terrific/fantastic. plz reply to *rb12*!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2012


    I luv this book tho i dont like how lucy and adam... lets just say move on. Amazin read tho

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    Good book Good

    This is not the best, but average-level good thriller.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 11, 2012

    Very good- you should read it

    This is a very very thrilling book. You just have to get past the beginning like you have to do with
    Most books. Once you get past the beginning you just keep turning the pages until your finished.
    It is a fantastic book and I highly recommend it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The best thriller book I read so far!

    The cover:

    One of two reasons for me deciding to give this book a try was the cover. It looks creepy and indeed the story is too.

    One of my favorite covers although it's simple :).

    The storyline:

    This is where the mystery lies. At first, I had no idea what was going on or who the narrator was. After, almost 50% thru the book, I started getting my grip on the story and the characters and from then, I fell in love with this book.

    Just so you know, this book is only suitable for 18+ readers because it contains murder, drinking mentioned, gruesome images and it's so scary, and I mean so scary!

    Now back to the book. This read is definitely one of my favorites.

    I can't tell you how the story progresses or who the narrator is or the blogger is because I'll be spoiling this review, so I'll just do a bullet list :).

    What I loved:

    The characters were so unusual. They were cruel, rude and mysterious all the time.
    The story developed from being boring to completely exiting and breath taking.
    I loved the horror and the gruesome aspect of this story, it kept me on the edge and expecting the worse to happen, guess what? It exceeded my expectations!! *_*
    The story itself was interesting in so many ways and it was realistic (maybe?!).
    Tyler and Madison no questions asked!
    What I hated (mostly disliked only):

    The beginning of the story was awkward. When I started reading it at first, I felt lost, there's no introduction to what's going on and you find yourself directly in the middle of the story!
    The characters:

    Str-S-d: The poor girl had no bad intentions, but things end up badly for those she wrote about on her blog. With that being said, she's a very nice and shy girl :).

    Madison: The nicest popular girl in the school. Everybody loves her and think she's cool. When her best friends start disappearing and two of them die, we find how smart and courageous she is.

    Tyler: He's one new mysterious guy. Madison totally likes him, but is he trustworthy? You'll find out when you read the book ;).

    Favorite quotes:

    There are hardly any quotable passages in this book, it's full of dialogues that would spoil the story or give a hint on who is who.

    "No--I mean, yes. It's just that some of us, the harder we try, the less cool we are. The problem is, if we don't try, we're not cool, either. In fact, no matter what we do, we're not cool." --- Chapter 15.

    "But we all stereotype, don't we?" Mr. Osmond asked. "How many of you have been in an airport and saw someone who looked Middle Eastern and felt nervous that this person might be a terrorist? Or walked down a block at night and saw a black man approaching? Or saw some guy come to school wearing a long black trench coat?" --- Chapter 18.

    "So? Better this than just wait here to die. There's no way she's just going to leave us behind." "How do you know?"

    "Because they're called serial killers, not serial leave-victims-behind-to-help-testify-against-them. Keep an eye on the door." --- Chapter 21.


    This is one of my favorite Horror/Thriller/Mystery books ever. I plan on reading more like this book in the future.

    If you're into serial killers' stories, horror books or just thrillers, you'll love this. One more advice, don't read it at night or you'll end up checking the doors and windows every 5 minutes ;).

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  • Posted August 2, 2011


    Im almost finished reading this book, I only got a few ore chapters

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  • Posted May 10, 2011


    i love this book if you like mystary stories this book is for you
    this story really moved me i would read outher books by this author because this 1 of my fav. things to read about. if you dont read this book you are missing the best "sit in bed at night" scary book ever!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2011


    this book has you on your toes the whole time. i read this in a day, it was sooo good. i couldnt put it down. you think you have it solved, but the ending throws you a curve ball. if you enjoy mystery, a little thrill, and a slight romance, you will love this book.

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  • Posted August 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Don't recommend. Awful writing. Boring.

    The writing was awful. Boring and a little confusing and not because the characters' points of view skipped around so much. It seemed like the person writing it was trying to be hip or whatever and it just wasn't working especially the parts from the main girl's point of view. You could just tell it was written by a guy and good books shouldn't be like that.

    I just didn't care about any of the characters and there was no thrilling or suspenseful aspect. I would recommend What Happened to Cass McBride instead, it's got a similar plot with worlds better writing and tons of suspense.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Never Saw that Coming!

    This book is verry good! If you like suspensful, thirilling books that keeps you hooked the entire time, this is the book for you. The whole time, it was this huge mystery! WHO WAS THE KIDNAPPER!?!?! Many characters were questionable for the missing teens... Was it for ransom? Was it jealous? Was it just crazy? I had no idea! I was very surprised! The ending was great. Sad...But great! There is a love triangle, there is a blossoming romance, and there is lots of mystery. You cant really trust anyone. Thats what made it so good.

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  • Posted February 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Wish You Were Dead..Best book ever!!!

    In this novel Todd Strasser does an amazing job of keeping you on the edge of your seat. With the mysterious, frightening horror of this book your eyes will zoom through these pages as fast as ever! This book is filled with a mystery that leaves you trying to figure it out through out the whole book. And the ending..wow!, you will be so shocked! I know that I definately was NOT expecting the ending! This was one of the Best books I have Ever read!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2010

    disappointing ending

    I thought the story sounded really interesting and I couldn't put it down for the longest time but the closer I got to the ending the more I felt like I was 12 again and watching a "serial killer" episode on Lizzie McGuire or one of those kinds of shows. Definitely not the ending I was expecting from the first 2/3 of the book. It was mostly just unrealistic and a bit pansyish (for lack of a better word). I still enjoyed reading it most of the time but I really wish the ending was written better.

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  • Posted November 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

    If you are looking for a good thriller, look no further. WISH YOU WERE DEAD by Todd Strasser has everything you're looking for.

    When a popular teen from a wealthy, gated community disappears right off her front lawn, everyone is scared. Then, when two more teens disappear within the same week, panic sets in.

    Madison has always liked being part of the "in" crowd, but she hesitates and tries to distance herself when they start bashing the less fortunate students in her affluent high school.

    When her friend, Lucy, disappears after being dropped off at her house by Madison and her Safe Ride partner, she feels guilty. The rules of Safe Ride state that the person being dropped off should be witnessed entering his/her home. Madison was pretty annoyed with Lucy and her better-than-everyone attitude that night, and when Lucy stubbornly continued to hang around on her front walk, Madison and Tyler just left her.

    Now Lucy is gone. Did she run off with her boyfriend? Is she just trying to scare everyone? Or was she kidnapped? When there is no demand for a ransom, people begin to suspect more sinister motives are involved.

    Madison is not the only one feeling guilty. The creator of a blog known as Str-S-d is having second thoughts about her actions. Frustrated with the ever-popular Lucy and her superior attitude, Str-S-d admits that she wishes her dead. Could someone have read her post and taken it seriously enough to actually kill the girl? And is it coincidence when Str-S-d expresses similar death wishes about the other two missing teens?

    Add in the attractive yet mysterious new student, Tyler, and the strange messages Madison keeps finding from someone known only as PBleeker, and the suspense builds quickly.

    Todd Strasser is at his best in WISH YOU WERE DEAD. It provides just the edge-of-your-seat action teens love. Happily, it appears to be the first of three similar stories. Can't wait to get a look at the next one.

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