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The Counselors
Cover of The Counselors
The Counselors
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**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.
**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.
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  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    810
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 4


Excerpts-
  • From the cover

    Prologue

    Evil doesn’t exist at Camp Alpine Lake. Not inside the wrought-­iron gate that separates camp from the town of Roxwood, andnot at the waterfront, where far-­out buoys keep us isolated from the rest of New England. Everything here is safe. The tennis courts. The arts and crafts shed. The cabins. The Lodge. Camp is a bubble, made for bonfires and sing-­alongs and friendships formed under the beam of a flashlight.

    Even when I was eight and the group leaders would huddle us together on the man-­made beach in neat little rows so we could watch the lifeguards line up in the water to practice safety drills, we knew they were all for show. We were never in danger. Not here.

    We’d watch the lifeguards dive in unison, touching the ground beneath the surface, even if it was eleven or twelve feet below. They’d come up with nothing, handfuls of dirt. No harmed child, no limp arm. They’d do this over and over until they reached the end of the boundaries, never screaming in horror. Never fearful that a precious camper was gone.

    Even when I became a counselor and was tasked with keeping the children alive, healthy, and well fed, I knew there was never any real danger here. Not on the edges of the forest up by the cliffs where loose rocks threatened to fall silently into the abyss. Not along the ropes course where harnesses always stayed buckled. And certainly not in the lake, where I wore my red lifeguard suit like a superhero’s costume.

    But that was before I knew what kind of dark secrets were hidden in the corners of Camp Alpine Lake, out of sight of campers, counselors, and lifers like me, who would give everything we had to keep this place whole.

    That was before we learned the truth. About Ava, Imogen, and me—­and how far we’d go to protect each other even after we had been exposed.

    Before this summer, Camp Alpine Lake was a haven. An escape from what I could not face back home in Roxwood, only a few miles outside the gate.

    But now Camp Alpine Lake is another place where I’ll never feel safe. 

     

    Chapter 1

    Now

    The summer will begin like it always does, with me wandering the grounds of Camp Alpine Lake alone. It’s the first day of maintenance week, when all the counselors arrive to get the place ready for campers. But I’m the only one who can come early.

    No one else gets to experience how the cabins smell like cedar and lemon when they’re empty, not yet filled with other counselors or twelve-­year-­old boys who don’t know about deodorant. How the sun bounces off the lake when there aren’t any swimmers bobbing in the lap lanes. Or how you can stand at the edge of Creepy Cliff and scream, loud and long, listening to your voice echo all across New England.

    “This place is your home, too, Goldie,” Mellie has always said. I’ve heard the words enough times to believe them, even though myactual home is right down the road from Truly’s, the dive bar we go to on nights off.

    But this summer is different. And Stu and Mellie are the only people at Alpine Lake who know why.

    Mom and Dad insist I shouldn’t break tradition. “You can’t let what happened ruin every single thing you love,” Dad says, gripping the steering wheel of our old Subaru as we pull up to the gate. “You deserve to have fun. We’ll see you later at orientation.”

    Mom turns around from the passenger seat and squeezes my bare knee. “You’re going to be okay.”

    I nod, unable to find words, but I know...

About the Author-
  • Jessica Goodman is the New York Times bestselling author of They’ll Never Catch Us, They Wish They Were Us, and The Counselors. She is the former op-ed editor at Cosmopolitan magazine, where she won a National Magazine Award in personal service. She has also held editorial positions at Entertainment Weekly and HuffPost. Follow Jessica on Twitter @jessgood and on Instagram @jessicagoodman.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 28, 2022
    The well-written characters of Goodman’s (They’ll Never Catch Us) mystery give new life, and crossover appeal, to a well-trod New England summer camp setting. Camp Alpine Lake, situated outside a small Vermont town, draws its campers from the ranks of the wealthy, and three of its longtime campers, now incoming counselors, have been best friends for a decade. Goldie Easton—18, presumed white, and the group’s only townie—attends the camp tuition-free thanks to her parents’ employment in the camp’s infirmary and woodshop; she also harbors a secret concerning her hockey captain ex-boyfriend. With the arrival of white New Yorker Ava Cantor, progeny of an influential financier, and talented biracial (Japanese and white) Imogen Wexler, an actor from New Jersey, the recently out-of-touch friends get into the spirit of maintenance week: “No campers, no responsibilities.” After campers arrive and a local is found dead at the camp’s lake, though, the intrepid trio face growing danger as they try to solve sundry mysteries. A candid first-person narration alternates between past and present, interweaving summer hijinks with more serious fare, building a cast of intelligent, funny young women and a setting that offers many pleasures of the camp-thriller subgenre. Ages 14–up. Agent: Alyssa Reuben, WME. (May)

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