Narrator: Phoebe Strole
Published by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Published on 31 May 2022
Genres: Contemporary, United States, Young Adult
Source: my local library
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From best-selling author Jessica Goodman comes a twisty new thriller about three best friends, one elite summer camp, and the dark secrets that lead to a body in the lake.
Sisters by choice. That’s how Goldie and her best friends, Ava and Imogen, define their friendship, which formed years ago at Camp Alpine Lake. This year, Goldie is back at camp as a counselor, desperate for summer to start and for Ava and Imo to arrive.
With the dark secret Goldie’s been keeping, she’s more in need of their comfort than ever. When the boy who broke Goldie's heart, turns up dead in the lake, this last summer before college is completely upended—and Goldie learns that she’s not the only person at camp who has been lying.
But asking questions offers Goldie no answers, only danger and betrayals deeper than she ever imagined.
I really enjoyed Jessica Goodman’s previous novel They’ll Never Catch Us, though I haven’t yet read her debut They Wish They Were us, so when The Counselors (with one L because American spelling) became available on audio at my local library, I went straight to the waiting list.
I love listening to thrillers or suspense novels on audio because I can’t sneak a look at the final pages and spoil everything for myself. That’s a weakness I recognise, but I seem unable to beat. SO audiobooks are my way around that.
This book was, however, much less thriller-y or suspenseful than I thought it was going to be. That may be due to the expectations They’ll Never Catch Us gave me, even if I was slightly disappointed by that novel due to reasons I can’t expand upon because of spoilers.
This novel did however have a great atmosphere. Not exactly one of dread, but one outrage at the injustice Goldie suffered, and expectation that it would somehow be resolved.
I loved the location of this fancy summer camp for rich kids set at the beautiful private lake in a small town. I had a great time with Goldie and her friends as we explored Rockwood and Alpine Lake. I’ve obviously never been to an American summer camp because I’m Australian and our summers are over the Christmas holidays, but I really enjoyed reading about everything camp life to the point where sometimes I felt like I could have stepped into the book and lived it myself.
I’m not sure how early I was supposed to be able to identify the antagonist, but there was one hint dropped that was pretty obvious. I like mystery novels that want the readers to solve it before the main character does, and I feel like this is what Goodman does with this book.
Overall I really enjoyed The Counselors, although I would find it a bit hard to shelve. It probably belongs more in the contemporary section rather than the suspense or mystery, since so much of the story takes places before the young man dies. And that’s not a spoiler since it’s in the blurb.
I think if you’ve enjoyed Goodman’s other books, or slightly darker books about summer camp like Nobody Knows But You by Anica Mrose Rissi, or even if you enjoy lighter summer camp books like You Have a Match by Emma Lord, you’ll probably enjoy this.
… I might really like reading about summer camp. I blame The Addams Family Values.