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The Counselors  By  cover art

The Counselors

By: Jessica Goodman
Narrated by: Phoebe Strole
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Publisher's Summary

**An INSTANT Indie Bestseller!**

"A nervy, intense, and expertly crafted thriller that kept me hooked page after page. Dark secrets? Summer camp setting? Complex teen girls? Murder? Count me in. A simply stunning book." —Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces, You'd Be Home Now, and The Agathas

From New York Times bestselling 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.

Camp Alpine Lake is the only place where Goldie Easton feels safe. 

She’s always had a special connection to the place, even before she was old enough to attend. The camp is the lifeline of Roxwood, the small town she lives in. Alpine Lake provides jobs, money and prestige to the region. Few Roxwood locals, though, get to reap the rewards of living so close to the glam summer that camp, with its five-figure tuition and rich kids who have been dumped there for eight weeks by their powerful parents. Goldie's one of them. 

Even with her "townie" background, Goldie has never felt more at home at camp and now she’s back as a counselor, desperate for summer to start and her best friends, Ava and Imogen, to arrive. Because Goldie has a terrible dark secret she’s been keeping and she is more in need of the comfort than ever. 

But Goldie’s not the only person at camp who has been lying. When a teen turns up dead in the lake late one night, she knows that the death couldn’t have been an accident. She also knows that Ava was at the lake that same night. 

What did Ava see and what does she know? Why hasn’t she said anything to Goldie about the death? Worse—what did Ava do? 

But asking questions offers no answers, only broken bonds of lifelong friendship, with hidden danger and betrayals deeper than Goldie ever imagined.

©2022 Jessica Goodman (P)2022 Listening Library

What listeners say about The Counselors

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Young Adult Lit, NOT a Mystery

I came across this title when I searched summer themed horror, so I was set up for disappointment right away. It is NOT horror. And despite there being a mystery in the story, it is not a "Mystery" book. The focus is not on solving the mystery, it is on young adult drama. Which is fine, just say that.

Spoilers

For me, the biggest disappointment of this book was its main character. She is difficult to like. She starts out making a monumental mistake and I'm not sure she really learns the lesson from it. By the end of the book, she's still madly in love with the a-hole who "ruined her life" and then stood back and watched.

Look, I get it if he made a mistake, too. But he didn't just ruin her life, he dumped her, abandoned her, and let his friends say whatever they wanted about her. To her face. While he stood there. Not someone I'd be wistfully trying to honor at the end of the book.

In addition to questionable growth and development, I don't buy the premise or motivation for the main character. She manages to keep a life changing secret for months, hiding it from everyone including her parents and two best friends. The instant the action starts rolling? She can't hang on to information for longer than a second and a half. She just blunders into situations with maybe some knowledge, spills what she knows, accuses people (wrongly) left and right, and can't seem to make a logical decision to save her life. This happens consistently throughout the story.

She's also a terrible friend with zero self awareness. She withholds crucial information about her own life, then repeatedly gets bent out of shape when her friends aren't 100% forthcoming with her. She never even realizes the hypocrisy in this.

The story wasn't terrible, but none of the characters acted in a way that made any human sense to me. Teenagers and adults alike.

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hate speech against America

Horrible. Just horrible.
Author should be ashamed of herself.
Despite blood on cover it was nothing nothing like the promise.
Poor writing. No real moments at camp and constant flashbacks.
Filled with references to sex. Girls acting as disgusting as guys in a locker room.

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Good summer read

Let me start by saying I enjoy Jessica Goodman’s work and I have listened to a various books from her. The Counselor’s follow the same YA type of format. The main character made me feel bad for her then left me wondering why she didn’t stand up for herself or her boyfriend. Her friends seemed like fakes who were only out for themselves and had very few redeeming qualities. Goldie was likable enough and I enjoyed the last few chapters. Overall it was okay, not as good as a few other books by the author but a good book to listen to while working.

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Enjoyable mystery

4.5 STARS

I love a good camp book and THE COUNSELORS did not disappoint.

After a tough year, Goldie returns to her exclusive camp as a counselor, along with her two best friends. Eager to put the pain behind her, happiness doesn’t last long. Her ex, a skilled swimmer, drowns and Goldie suspects foul play, perhaps tied to the accident that ruined her school year.

I enjoy Jessica Goodman’s books. THE COUNSELORS is a slow burn, alternating chapters from past to present readers see how Goldie and her friends became close, the event that shaped her senior year, how being middle class family at a camp filled with rich kids impacts her.

THE COUNSELORS, more mystery than thriller, doesn’t have a lot of tension but I still couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait to see what Goodman writes next.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-15-22

Mixed feelings - good but annoying.

Pros:
*Summer camp setting.
*Good sense of setting (true to camp life!)
*Well written.
*Well narrated (Meg's 'Brit' accent was OTT though - I'm British and have never heard anyone but the Queen speak like that in real life, lol!)
*Great descriptions of activities.
*Atmospheric (especially describing nature, the lake and vibe in Roxwood).
*Compelling story - I wanted to unravel the mystery, so a page-turner, for me!

Cons:
*Not a single likeable character (inc. MC).
*Didn't care about any of these characters at all.
*Really annoying and superficial best friends.
*'The pathetic parents of MC (infuriatingly wet/drippy, spineless and vapid).
*MC kept banging on about how much she and Heller loved each other, yet there was NOTHING to suggest he even liked or respected her - let alone loved her! Felt zero connection to him. An empty character with no appealing qualities.
*"Goldie"?! Why? That name irked me, sorry!

Over all, I enjoyed this book, but it definitely niggled me! I've been a camp counselor, which is why I chose this novel. I really liked it for the nostalgia. Hope that's helpful feedback :-)