A little while ago the lovely Emma from Never Judge A Book By Its Cover and I launched Let’s Talk YA. You can check out all of the books I’ve previously recommended, all of which are incredible UKYA books that I think need to be shouted about more.
I am thrilled to be posting my tenth edition of this wonderful feature and am so glad that Emma and I came up with this!
Today, I’m discussing the thrilling, all-consuming brilliance of A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder.
Trigger warnings: mentions of rape, self-harm and verbal abuse. Animal death.
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 murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year 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?
Why I Love It:
I am a sucker for YA mysteries or thrillers, so when I heard about this and the intriguing marketing campaign with the missing pages, I knew I had to read it!
Eventually I binge-read this twisty, complex and amazing murder mystery in one car journey and absolutely loved it.
It was an utterly gripping story that kept me trapped within its confines until I had read every page, making a long car journey fly by. Jackson has meticulously plotted every detail, weaving little hints and clues throughout the narrative, but you’re still left reeling with twist after twist that completely changes your perspective. The structure of the book was also really enjoyable, with Pip’s narrative being broken up by clippings of her notes, essay logs, transcripts, text messages and newspaper articles, adding to the atmosphere that Jackson had so deftly created.
I really loved Pippa, who felt authentic, incredibly smart and open-hearted, making her a perfect detective, especially with very limited resources and a town that’s glad to have buried this dark period. She actually interacts with her family, does homework and is stressed about exams, which seem like insignificant details, but just built up her authenticity as a character. As a whole, Jackson created flawed, realistic characters that I really connected with, while also being suspicious of nearly everyone (I’ve read far too much Christie to trust anyone).
Jackson’s writing is so descriptive and vividly realistic that it felt so cinematic, especially with the complexity and intimacy of the plot. The humour injected into the plot also acted as a welcome light relief, with Pip’s voice always shining though, objective but also deeply caring and thoughtful.
Essentially, A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder is an additive, compulsively readable and meticulously plotted YA thriller that will keep you at the edge of your seat, with realistic, complex characters and a gripping mystery.
Have you read A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder? What did you think?
As always, please check out Emma’s blog for her recommendation and we will be talking on Twitter, so please get involved and use the hashtag #LetsTalkYA.