“She explained that when people write reviews, they are really writing a kind of memoir.” ~ John Green, Anthropocene Reviewed.
It might seem uncanny to quote another book, but I had to. I’m not too fond of the ical book review. I mean, we all know that what’s good or bad comes from a place of subjectivity, so why hide behind an “objective” book review? On that note, I am giving this review on a bit of rebranding. Here is a brief memoir of the approximately 7 hours I spent reading the Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. It is less about if the book was good or bad, and more about how I felt when I read it.
If you think this book is about a girl who goes on a killing spree, I hate to break it to you, but it is not. I mean, I was! It is actually about Pip and Ravi, the dynamic detective duo!Pippa Fitz-Amobi, the main character, goes on a pretty eerie murder mystery adventure. And that opens up an exciting YA whodunnit novel. On whether it has a believable plot, I will leave that to you to find out.
Five years ago, Andie Bell got missing and was presumed dead by Sal Singh, who committed suicide. Allegedly, Sal had sent a text message confessing his crime before he’d killed himself. The case was closed! But Pippa is determined to open it by starting her investigation process to write her school project. Let sleeping dog lie wasn’t exactly Pippa’s favorite quote. She knocked on Sal’s family door to ask for an interview with his 20-year-old brother Ravi. He would later become a partner in crime with her. Both of them will embark on proving Sal’s innocence and finding who might have killed Andie!
Holly Jackson, the author, uses a unique style. She uses the interviews by Pippa during her investigation and present-day narrative, which draws you in. Like you are walking side by side with Pip as she tries to unravel the mystery. But was Pip actually unravelling a mystery?
“Oh, wow, this picture fits perfectly with the next clue!!”
How convenient! She had it too easy. And let’s not forget how people tell her what she needed to know when she asked. I never thought humans to be so…compliant. The first part of the book might smear your idea of a detective. In Pip’s defense, though, her surname is Fitz-Amobi, not Holmes.
Pip, the GOOD girl, will save the day, right?
It is commendable that Pip, a teenager with no experience, does better than the state police. And why does it all seem like she was just lucky? I felt stripped of the excitement that comes with actually solving a mystery. Pip puts her life on the line for Sal, a guy that had helped her once. You have to commend the zest! Because it makes no sense to be so selfless. Who threw the plausibility out the window?? Or am I just wicked? And there are still people who are as selfless as Pip.
I also didn’t see a good enough character development. Who is Pip, exactly? She seemed so one-dimensional; where are the layers? We seem to know more about Andy than her. And it deprives me of making an emotional connection. The book is alright, though. We see bonds strengthen and clues link up. Plus, we see a love story. The book ends quite nicely and though not totally, tries to make up for its less-interesting parts. Tada, this is my book review of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.
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