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A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson - Review

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Where did I get it? I ordered it a few weeks ago. I'd read the first couple of chapters in a sampler a few months ago and wanted to order the book as I was intrigued. I love chapter samplers for this reason! 

What's it about? It's set in the UK just outside of London somewhere, in a small place called Little Kilton. Five years ago, a teenager called Andie Bell went missing, and a few days later her boyfriend Salil Singh was found hanging from a tree in the woods. The police found a "confession" text from him and her blood under his nails, so they closed the case, deciding Sal had killed Andy before killing himself, even though her body was never found.

However, our heroine Pip doesn't believe it. She is now herself seventeen, and has decided to look into Andie Bell's disappearance as part of a final project for one of her A levels. She starts off by speaking to Sal's brother Ravi, who is initially a bit hostile towards her but eventually gets on side to try to discover the truth.

The book has narrative parts, and then transcripts of interviews with Andie and Sal's friends, family, acquaintances, and then Pip writing her report, working out her thoughts. I found the structure a bit difficult to begin with, but soon found that the book sucked me in so much that I was desperate to keep reading. It is an excellent book with plenty of twists and turns and surprises. I couldn't guess what happened right up until the end. I thought Pip did some really stupid things, but they made perfect sense within the book and I probably would've done the same! 

I really liked the book and can't wait to see what Holly writes next!

What age range is it for? 14+, if it's your kind of thing

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Pip's best friend is gay, but it isn't really part of the story

Are any main characters people of colour? Sal and Ravi and their parents are, and this is part of how their neighbours have reacted to them after Sal's death. Pip's stepdad is black, too, which again isn't a huge storyline but I liked him a lot! I liked their relationship. 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? No I don't think so. 

Is there any sex stuff? No. 

Are drugs mentioned or used? Yes, including date rape drugs, so be careful with yourself there. 

Is there any talk of death? Yes, some of it is violent, and there's talk of suicide too. Oh and I'm going to give a trigger warning for pet death, I was genuinely shocked at that part. 

Are there swear words? Very few. 

What criticisms do I have? Honestly, not many at all. I wish we had seen more of Pip's friend group of Cara, Lauren, and the boys, as I thought they were quite cute. I also found it a bit jarring to begin with when the structure changed, but that wasn't the case once I got into the book. 

Would I recommend the book? Yes absolutely!

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? I'd been seeing so many people raving about it on Twitter so I thought I'd get to it quickly!

What other books is it like? It is a lot like some adult crime fiction, which I liked - it didn't feel dumbed down in the slightest. 

How many stars? Five out of five!

Where is the book going now? I'll keep it for sure, but I might lend it out too. 

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