18 February 2020

Today's Read: A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

review of A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly JacksonWhat if a girl from your high school disappeared without a trace, and her Indian American boyfriend was accused of her murder, despite the fact that her body was never found? Would you believe the local accusations if the boy ended up killing himself? Pippa Fitz-Amobi always had fond memories of Salil Singh and just can't fully believe the stories that implicated him in Andrea Bell's murder. Several years later, Pip decides her senior project is going to involve taking a closer look into what really happened to Andie and Sal.

Here's how the first narrative chapter starts (see scan below for a look at the first graphic page):

Pip knew where they lived.

Everyone in Fairview knew where they lived.

Their home was like the town’s own haunted house; people’s footsteps quickened as they walked by, and their words strangled and died in their throats. Shrieking children would gather on their walk home from school, daring one another to run up and touch the front gate.

But it wasn’t haunted by ghosts, just three sad people trying to live their lives as before.
A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson (Delacorte Press, Feb. 4, ARC)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: Fairview, Connecticut (a fictional small town)
  • Circumstances: Several years earlier, a popular girl was supposedly murdered by her boyfriend, who later killed himself. Many in Fairview were happy to blame Sal and continue to harass and shun his family. Pip, however, has never really believed that Sal was a killer. The more she looks into those horrible events, the more secrets she discovers. But can she clear Sal's name, find out what happened to Andie, and avoid getting killed—all before her senior project is due?
  • Genre & themes: murder mystery, thriller; young adult audience
  • Gleaned from reviews: twisty plotting, well constructed, hard to put down
  • Why I want to read this: Jackson has set the book up to be narrative text mixed with interviews, school forms, and other media (see screen shot below). I like a good thriller and this one has been compared to the podcast Serial and the documentary Making a Murderer (both of which I loved) because all three involve a small community that is convinced they have the answers to a murder, even if the so-called evidence is shaky at best. Plus I love books that use a variety of graphics and non-narrative storytelling.
  • Audiobook: I may decide to listen to this one because the all-star cast includes many greats, including Michael Crouch, Robert Fass, Marisa Calin, and Gopan Divan. (From Listening Library: 10 hr, 53 min)
  • Acknowledgments: Thanks to the publisher for the review copy of Holly Jackon's A Good Girl's Guide to Murder.
  • Scan: from the opening page of the digital advanced readers copy (click to enlarge if necessary).
review of A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson


Tina 2/18/20, 7:22 AM  

Interesting premise and I wonder if a school would approve this project ? I’d read it, sounds interesting.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 2/18/20, 7:23 AM  

This sounds really good to me! Hoping you enjoy it.

bermudaonion 2/18/20, 8:23 AM  

I listened to this book and really liked it.

Laurel-Rain Snow 2/18/20, 8:54 AM  

I am now intrigued and want to know more. I also love that cover! Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Greg 2/18/20, 4:32 PM  

I think I want to get this. I've been seeing some good reviews now and it looks great.

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