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

Goodreads: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #1)
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Published: 02 May 2019
Genre: Young Adult Mystery/Thriller

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

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 crime, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final 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 … ?

SEE CONTENT/TRIGGER WARNINGS

TL;DR: This book has been so hyped and I kept putting it off because I was worried I wouldn’t feel the same… But I’m happy to say that this is totally deserving of the hype! I can’t believe this is Holly Jackson’s debut and now I can’t wait to pick up the other two books in this series. I loved Pippa’s character and the mystery kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. This was full of twisty turns and set in a small country town where literally nobody can be trusted because everyone was shady AF! I read this in a matter of hours because it was simply unputdownable and I’m so glad that I can finally check it off my TBR!

I really enjoyed Jackson’s writing style—it was engaging and highly entertaining. As it’s written in mixed media format (with maps, images, interview and email transcripts, text messages, etc.) it wasn’t difficult to imagine this story playing out in my head like a movie/show and I think it would be awesome if they ever decide to make an adaptation! There are a lot of characters introduced throughout the story, and though not many of them were developed, it was easy to picture each one and I was pulled in right alongside Pippa as she delved deeper into the mystery of Andie Bell’s murder and examining potential suspects. I really enjoyed the smart and witty humour of a lot of the characters too, which added a levity that was much needed at times. Jackson really knows how to keep raising the tension as the story gets murkier as more lies and secrets are uncovered! That said, the story was very well-paced and not once did I feel bored or overwhelmed as I read.

Pippa was such a wonderful protagonist. She’s a big nerd who knows it and embraces it wholeheartedly. She gets teased for always geeking out over homework and being too serious and her character was so well-formed around these traits that I felt as if I knew her and was friends with her, too. Aside from being the wickedly smart good girl, she’s devoted to her family and friends, spouts random facts when she’s worked up and is fiercely determined once she sets her mind to something. I loved how she tackled this mystery and made her deductions—nothing was so far-fetched or over-the-top and she made her conclusions very logically. I also really enjoyed her relationship with her family—her parents were wonderful (her dad Victor was amazing!) and though they weren’t always there throughout the story, they were at least more present than parents usually are in YA! I also really liked how the relationship with Ravi developed. They had their rocky moments as they were figuring out their friendship but they came to know each other so well and developed a strong unshakeable bond through their investigation. They made a great team!

Jackson really kept me on my toes with the mystery and had me suspecting pretty much everyone in this town because they were all shady AF! 😂 That said, the reason why I didn’t give this a higher rating is that I felt the reveal was a bit anticlimactic? I was still surprised but I think I was expecting more of a gut-punch/breathless feeling by the time Pippa went for the final confrontation. It didn’t make me enjoy the book any less though because I thought Jackson did a great job answering all the questions and tying in the pieces very nicely!

Have you read A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder or is it on your TBR?

16 thoughts on “Book Review: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

  1. hello dinipanda!
    I shall say that it’s the first time I hear about this book , so as the writer , I’ve read you review and it actually gave me will to read it.
    It’s good to know that this book was a hype for the emerging writer , it’s always difficult to make a debut , thing that I m willing to do with my writing but it’s frightening me.
    Your review gave me hope , and also excitement to discover the character “Pippa”
    Thank you for sharing 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This one wasn’t on my radar, but it is now! I mean, I had seen the hype but I wasn’t interested. Now, I am. I like how it was done in alternative materials. That’s always fun. And you saying it was worth the hype made me want to read it as well. Off to the library to request! Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

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