Writer: Holly Jackson // Release: 2019-2021
Starting my first review off strong with this mystery thriller series that I read earlier this year. These books have gained quite the attention on social media. As always, I was influenced and decided to give them a go. With the promise of a great story and strong female protagonist, how could I withstand the temptation? Let me share my SPOILER FREE opinions and thoughts on ‘A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder’ by Holly Jackson. And stick around for my final verdict: Are these books worth your time?
“ 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 … ?”
One thing that will make you fall in love with this series is the protagonist. Pippa Fitz-Amobi’s character starts off as a strong, determined student, always pushing for the best: the good girl. The more Pippa’s story twists and turns though, the more she starts questioning if there is such a thing as ‘good’ and whether she is as good as she thought. By the end of book 3: ‘As Good As Dead’ she’s gone through so much that her character has developed into something not as easily definable as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
I read the whole series in 2.5 months. Which, for me, for 4 books (if we’re counting kill joy), is quite fast. This was for the most part because this is the kind of books you get sucked into and just can’t put down once the story starts to unravel. The plot twists in these books are so well written. Holly Jackson succeeded in shocking me quite a few times with her unexpected twists and reveals. What I admire most is that every step Pippa took and all her thoughts felt logical, and looking back, the endings make sense, only you’d have never expected it when starting the books.
Furthermore on Holly Jackson’s writing: the way she is able to create so much suspense with words is crazy. Especially during the third book I was sitting on the edge of my seat and slowly turning pages a few times. The pure anxiety you feel for Pippa while reading some parts is memorable.
One quick observation I had is that although there is a relationship budding in the book, there is never an emphasis on romance, which really keeps the focus on the mystery. That’s just something I love. Not every story has to be a love story.
Now for one of the best parts about this series: MIXED MEDIA. Mixed. Media. This just makes the story so much more fun to read. Sometimes it doesn’t even add that much story-wise, like pictures of audio files, but most of the time it’s integrated so well. This way you get information through interview transcripts, text messages, courtroom drawings, documents and pictures.
Personally I loved the first and third book in the series the most. They both get 5 stars. The second book for me didn’t really hit as hard. The story took quite long to really get me interested and it felt a bit smaller in a way, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I get that we had to spend some time learning about what the events of the first book mentally did to Pippa. I have to say though, that the end of the second book is so well-written. Holly is able to really let emotions like fear bleed through the pages. All-in-all, I rated the second book 4.5 stars.
Now ‘Kill Joy’, the prequel to the trilogy, set right before ‘A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder’. I enjoyed it. It was a nice good-bye to the characters and universe. It’s mostly entertaining because you already have a bond with the characters and want to know what their lives were like before things went down. Even in this less seriously themed short story, the mystery is detailed and there are moments of suspense. I rated ‘Kill Joy’ 4 stars.
Ok, so here is the final verdict: If you like a good mystery and are ready to learn about all the secrets of this small town, this series is definitely worth your time. Once you’ve started, be prepared to let curiosity take the best of you. You’ll have finished this series before you know it. I can’t wait to see this book be turned into the series adaptation and talk about that more!
Check out this boxset that contains all 3 books in the trilogy!
I hope you enjoyed this first review on my blog. I definitely loved writing it! Don’t hesitate to share your opinions on the books or my post.
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