Book Reviews

Review: Wish You Weren’t Here by Erin Baldwin

I love that moment in a rivals to romance when you can see the curtain falling. All the misconceptions we have about someone. And when we see behind who they are underneath all our expectations. If you’re with me, keep reading this book review of Wish You Weren’t Here for my full thoughts.


Juliette doesn’t hate Priya Pendley.

At least, not in the way teen movies say she should hate the hot popular girl. They don’t do cat fights, love triangles, or betrayal. To survive their intertwined small town lives, they agree to a truce: complete group projects without fighting, don’t gossip to mutual friends, and stand on opposite sides of photos so it’s easy to crop each other out.

Priya seems to have everything during the school year—social media stardom, the handsome track captain boyfriend, and millions of adoring fans. And Juliette is at peace with that, because she has Fogridge Sleepaway Camp, the one place she never feels like “too much.”

But Juliette’s dreams of five Priya-free weeks in paradise are shattered when her rival shows up on move-in day… as her cabinmate, no less. Juliette is determined to enjoy her final summer at camp, even if it means (gag) tolerating Priya Pendley, but fate seems has other plans. If Juliette can’t find something to like about her situation—and about Priya—she risks hating the only home she’s ever had, right before she says goodbye to it forever.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Wish You Weren’t Here is about the rivalries and ‘hatred’ with the inside jokes. The secret language we speak with our rivals with history and undercuts. This book seriously spoke to the pieces of myself that I’ve been trying to work on. I’ve felt like I’ve spent the last few years learning how to take up space. The world wants us to minimize our space, our presence, our too ‘much’ness. And Priya and Juliette struggle with this in different ways.

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How Priya has created this illusion, this image, behind a social media screen. In their rivalry, each of them sees a piece of what they might want, their own insecurities, in each other. At summer camp both Priya and Juliette are able to see each other behind the masks of who we are at school. And Wish You Weren’t Here melted my cold heart. We can see their chemistry and banter, but also the ways each of them forces themselves to be honest. To do the hard work and doesn’t allow us to give up.

Wish You Weren’t Here also examines how difficult it is to accept help. When we accept help that doesn’t mean we’re weak. All in all, Wish You Weren’t Here just got me in the feels. Find Wish You Weren’t Here on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon,, Blackwells, & Libro. fm.


Do you have a favorite summer camp book?

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