Author: Holly Jackson
Publisher: Egmont (1 May 2019)
Pages: 432 Pages
Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.9 x 19.8 cm
Genres: Fiction, Mystery
“If a villain can be made, then he can be unmade.”
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is a YA mystery/thriller about a 17-year-old girl who investigates a murder that rocked her small town 5 years ago. The case is closed. Five years ago, a schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it. Almost everyone. Having grown up in the small town that was consumed by the crime, Pippa Fitz-Amobi who goes by the name Pip chooses the case as the topic for her final project. But when Pip starts uncovering secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden, what starts out as a project begins to become Pip’s dangerous reality.
The plot is gripping and will give you a new question every time you finish each of the chapters. I got so much engrossed in the story that it felt like I was actually there with Pip, investigating on the case, and that’s a plus point that Holly Jackson’s writing holds. The author’s style of writing story is narrative, that allows the reader to envision the scenery and events in their minds so that they can become a part of the story’s world and can connect to it. I loved this personal tone of the story that had me fully invested in it. The language is simple and straight forward, with illustrations like diary pages and murder maps which helps the reader to dive deeper into the story, engaging audiences of all age group. The story definitely fits its genre. It is indeed a mystery/thriller. And suspense, the curiosity to find what exactly happened to Andie Bell and Sal Singh has kept me glued to the story from the beginning. So many times I have thought that I have finally figured out who the killer is, but no.
From the beginning, the question that arised in my mind is how a 17 year old girl is going to solve a murder case which the police couldn’t. However, once it became clear that there were gaps, too many gaps in the police investigation that Pip was able to see, made me speechless. Also, Pip’s approach to solving the case and getting people to talk about Andie and Sal, was really praiseworthy. Her tenacity and intelligence made her join all the puzzle pieces which was left unsolved for years. If you’re a fan of Serial and true crime, then this is definitely a must-read. It’s dark, complex and hugely entertaining!
It was my first read of Holly Jackson’s book collection and I loved it. The characters and the plot had my stomach in knots. This has great plot development, with thrilling mini climaxes that had me glued to the story from the very beginning.
The story is narrated through two styles, Pip writing in her project logbook, and what is unfolding in real time which also included telephonic conversations. This worked because one delivered the plot’s progression by discovering new information, character interactions and so on. The other (through the logbook) provided a diary feel, and acted like a murder board, where the reader gets to contemplate all the facts and evidence Pip has gathered. And to my surprise and through Pips investigating power, we found that nearly everyone was a suspect at some point or another. I admired Pip immensely because of her tenacity, intelligence and how much she cared. And I cared so much for Ravi and Sal. Ravi’s humorous personality provided entertainment, and his partnership with Pip gave that dream team vibe that were capable of anything. The fact that these characters were so likeable, it made the story even better.
Overall, being a die-hard crime thriller and mystery lover, this book totally amazed me and no doubt the book has secured the position of my favourite read of 2020 till now and also after reading this story, Holly Jackson has secured the position in the list of my most favourite authors. I finished the whole book in four days and I will definitely rate it 5 stars. This is a brilliantly-plotted debut that will have you staying up late in an effort to squeeze in just one more chapter before bed because that’s exactly what happened to me.
This is a well plotted and cleverly written story. This story is also the most read book of 2019 according to the statistics which is totally reasonable. I’d recommend it to everyone – not just teenagers. If your favourite genre is mysteries and thrillers, or try on this genre for the first time this is worth reading because it will definitely make you fall in love with this genre.
Portrayal Of Characters: 5/5