Just looking at the cover of this book, I was interested. Reading the back of the book, I certainly knew I was going to love this book. After I read it, it was definitely as dark as I thought it was going to be! I come from a family that lived comfortably; if my brother or myself needed something, we might of had to wait for it, but we often were able to get it. That being said, the wealth and entitlement that is explained in this novel is beyond what I could imagine. Goodman did an amazing job with describing the young teenagers and the setting in this novel to the point where I felt like I was a student at Gold Coast Prep.
Gold Coast Prep is the most exclusive and prestigious private schools on Long Island. It is so prestigious that many of the graduates go to ivy league schools afterwards. For the families, that isn’t a problem because the tuition is basically pocket change for these families. Within this very exclusive school, there is another club that the students want and often are not a part of: the Players. The Players at Gold Coast are an elite group that are chosen by upperclassmen their freshman year and enjoy the spotlight until they graduate. Just because you are chosen, that doesn’t mean you are automatically a Player; you have to earn it with a series of Pop assignments. After the mysterious death of Shaila Arnold her freshman year during one of the Pops, Jill Newman is dedicated to finding out what really happened to her best friend. Shay’s boyfriend Graham confessed to the murder and the case was closed. There is something that is eating at Jill…is Graham really the killer or did something else happen on the fateful night on the beach?
This novel does an exceptional job at conveying the novel’s central theme: not everything is as it seems. Throughout the novel, we find out the complicated lives of some of the Gold Coast Preppers. Some of the students are not as entitled as their classmates think they are…and they are also not as trustworthy. I highly recommend this YA novel and I am looking forward to reading more of Goodman’s titles!