A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder Book Review

good girl

I don't think I have ever had so much fun reading a mystery/thriller. With her debut novel, Holly Jackson brings so much character and freshness to the genre that it makes A Good Girl's Guide to Murder one of the best YA thrillers I have ever read. The highlight of Holly's writing is that it is visibly inspired by the usual tropes of the genre and yet, she is able to put her own stamp on everything and offer something unique.

The biggest strength of this book is the lead character - Pippa Fitz Amobi. She charms her way to your heart in just a few pages and stays there long after you have turned over the last page. Pippa is instantly relatable and likeable, and before you even know it, you have become a fan. In certain places, Pippa reminded me of Dustin Henderson from Stranger Things. He too is adorable, smart, and has a close set of friends but does not mind going out on his own. His goofiness is charming and Pippa for me has a similar quality. 

The other things that work very well for this book are the supporting characters and their relationship with Pippa. The immediate family, close friends, people in school, parents of friends and possible murders. The interactions feel very real and hence there is a strong connection for the reader. Another thing Holly Jackson does exceedingly well is writing a layered narrative. I had not expected this from a YA book and boy was I pleasantly surprised. The mystery is constructed extremely well including strong misdirections and red herrings. Just when you think the story won't go any further, a path comes alive from nowhere and carries the mystery forward without ever feeling forced. 

A big plus for me is when a mystery/thriller has a great climax and A Good Girl's Guide to Murder ticks that box as well. The climax is also layered and somewhat unexpected, until the final reveal. I was racing through pages trying to get to the end and enjoyed every second of it. The writing does skew towards a happy ending and strays more or less clear of the repercussions caused by the secrets but I guess that is expected. Maybe there will be some of that in the sequel so I will find out soon enough. Looking forward to completing the trilogy soon. 


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