Review: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.

But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?

This is my first blog post in more than six weeks, so firstly, I would just like to apologise for being so MIA with my book reviews recently. I’ve started a new writing project and had my head in it for a few weeks now, meaning my reading and reviewing activity has taken a major hit. My ARCs and reviews are now building up at an extensive rate though, so I promise to review more frequently again!

Right, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder – I finished this book in June and feel very late to the party reviewing this one, but what a fantastic, binge-worthy YA thriller this turned out to be. I would recommend it to everyone, especially if you’re in a bit of a reading slump and or are struggling to focus while in lockdown.

Everybody on Bookstagram seems to have read this and I’ve heard a lot of praise for its author, Holly Jackson, so I was expecting good things. The result was even better than I anticipated – an intelligently-crafted thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat and left me constantly saying “just one more chapter, just one more production log.”

The structure was fantastic throughout A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. Perfectly dispersed in between the chapters of the story was Pip’s (the protagonist) Production Log, which was essentially her notes on a school project where she investigates the missing person case in her local town from five years ago.

Pip was a great leading character and I loved watching her journey from oblivious to aware. However, what made the book so successful for me was how incredibly intriguing Andie Bell was as a victim – I was angry with her and rooting for her, all at the same time. Holly Jackson was really successful at creating a vivid, colourful character with so many different layers, who you couldn’t help but be drawn to despite her many flaws.

For the most part, I couldn’t anticipate where the plot was going and I loved the added suspense of this (if you’ve read any of my other thriller reviews, you’ll know I always knock a star off my rating if I guess the ending too quickly!) The characters were all beautifully real and complimented each other very well. I loved the dynamic between Pip and Ravi when they were searching for clues, as well as the relationships between Naomi, Becca and Pip.

Overall, I was super impressed with Holly Jackson’s debut and can’t wait to read the follow-up. I’ve definitely developed a taste for YA thrillers over the last year or so. Also, after following the author on Twitter, I have discovered that Holly Jackson is only one year older than me, which has given me a major kick up the bottom to get cracking with my novel, so thanks for the unintentional inspiration Holly!

Goodreads rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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