Book Reviews

A GOOD GIRL’S GUIDE TO MURDER BY HOLLY JACKSON // spoiler-free book review: multi-media madness aka the most twisty YA mystery thriller

Hi hello friends, solved any mysteries lately?

Oops I kind of did and now I’ve become incredibly arrogant. Accidents happen.

Anyways, happy realease day to As Good As Dead, the third and final instalment in the A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series. Thought it’d be fun to post this review as book three is out today so there you go. I finally got around to this absolute whirlwind and it was just as fantastic as everyone said.

Let’s get into the review!


Title: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
Series: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder book #1
Author: Holly Jackson
Page count: 433
Date published: 2 May 2019
Genre: Young Adult mystery thriller



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?


Big thanks to Penguin Random House South Africa for sending this title my way! All thoughts and opinions are my own.


STAR RATING: (4.5 out of 5 stars)

Wowee who would’ve thought the day would come that Ruby would read a thriller? Not me.


Am I still mind-blown? Yes. Will I ever get over how good this book was? No.

First of all, I think it’s imperative to talk about how cool Holly Jackson is. I’m forever blown away by these debut authors that come out with such banger books. I’m just picturing Ms Jackson sitting down plotting this super complex mystery and idk coming to the conclusion to incorporate texting and production logs and my mind is just B-L-O-W-N. I aspire to posses that level of genius.

Speaking of, let’s chat about the writing. I absolutely loved the inclusion of multi-media in this narrative. It was super well done and made the reading experience a ton of fun. Holly Jackson’s writing style is also super enjoyable, it’s quick, to the point and flows very nicely. The dialogue is also FUNNY omg. I was cackling at some bits. Not sure how to explain this, but she creates just enough suspense within the writing that you will be freaked out even if you logically KNOW your theory is unlikely. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is a fun time my friends,,,

*cue nervous laughter*

My two favourite things about this book are 1) it’s twisty-ness and 2) THE CHARACTERS. All of whom are EXCELLENT omg. I adored Pippa as the main character. This isn’t directly related, but I did love that she was eighteen, just because I’ve been looking for more older YA lately. A random thumbs up from me. Pippa is such a brilliant narrator. She’s academically dedicated (high school me relates) and also really headstrong. Pippa takes RISKS that had me absolutely glued to the page. More on the mystery later!!!

I also really loved her group of friends, as well her family. Holly Jackson, I think, did really well on incorporating diversity into this book. Pippa is part of a mixed family and acknowledges her white privilege and it’s very refreshing to see. She has such a great relationship with her stepfather, who is Nigerian, and I loved them so much.

Also ugh I… ABSOLUTELY LOVED RAVI!!! The two are so so so cute and <3<3<3<3

Their banter >>>>>>

wait this gif IS pippa

The mystery was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING AND I’M STILL IN SHOCK!!! *screams for eternity* Literally, EVERYONE IS A SUSPECT IN THIS BOOK. And the author does this through production logs, which are basically diary entries, where Pippa documents her findings and theories. At the end of each log, she leaves a list of “persons of interest”. And slowly, she’ll cross off people and add new suspects, pulling all of the strings together to piece together a story.

However, I think what’s knocking off half a star is that I did predict the suspect. Though I’m lowkey extremely chuffed about this and now you all know that I’m actually a mastermind *wink wink* Like I feel 1000x smarter now lmao. But also, I mayhaps accidentally spoiled one of the reveals for myself. And it wasn’t even from checking the page count. Which I also did and continued to forget the number. Oops. So I should probably take my genius statement back.

If I hadn’t known, I probably would’ve have been SO SHOCKED because that ending was absolutely wild. I think I sat screaming for a good 20 minutes at one point and I’m not exaggerating.

a visual representation of me at chapter 20

Overall, this book was literally excellent and you definitely need to read for a wild time. I couldn’t stop reading and stupidly gave myself nightmares because I’m 1000% a scaredy-cat. Love that for me. If you’re wondering why I haven’t started book 2 yet, it’s definitely not because I’m still trying to pluck up the courage, what are you talking about?


Trigger warnings for sexual assault, drug abuse, kidnapping and death of a pet


“Pip wished she was strong enough, but she’d learned that she wasn’t invincible; she too could break.”


“Real men wear floral when trespassing.”


“I’m not sure I’m the good girl I once thought i was. I’ve lost her along the way”


“I’ve already learned my lesson here: when you catch someone lying about a murdered girl, you go ask them why.”


“I’m irrationally serious.” Pip smiled, holding the Tupperware out to him. “And I made muffins.”
“Like bribery muffins?”
“That’s what the recipe said, yeah.”


“The people you love weren’t calculated, subtracted, or held at arm’s length across a decimal point. Victor was her dad, who’d raised her since she was four years old, and Josh was her annoying little brother.”


“He smiled, put his hands on the back of her neck, fingers in her hair, and leaned in to press his forehead against hers. He’d told her before that he did it to take away half her sadness, half her headache, half her nerves before her Columbia interview. Because half less of a bad thing meant there was room for half good.”




    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Ah so so so sorry for taking ages to reply to you but thank you for stopping by on the blog. So lovely to have you <3<3

      This series is SO good and I hope you pick it up. Definitely let me know when you do!!!!!

  • Stephen Writes

    Ruby!!! It’s been so long, sorry for my absence from your blog 🙈

    I’m so, so pleased that you loved this book! Reading your review has just reminded me of all the reasons why I loved it. The multimedia aspect was brilliant, it was witty, and I love Pippa and Ravi. It is 100% one of the best mysteries I’ve ever read. And congratulations on guessing the suspect.

    So excited to read As Good As Dead. Now stand by while I catch up on all your recent posts! 🤗💙

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Stephen oof please do not apologise because it should be me doing so ahahah. I’m a million years late to replying to you and also miss you so need to catch up on your posts asap!!!!

      So so so glad you were right because it was as brilliant as you said and this series is my new obsession. Holly Jackson is just,,, wow her talent. I’m now all caught up and just need to read the final book, CANNOT WAIT *does happy dance*

      Big thanks for stopping by, lots of love from me and me suspect-guessing god complex xoxoxo

  • Janhavi @ A Cottage Of Words

    omg so many people have been raving about this book, i really need to get to it!! i love a good mystery and the twisty-ness always makes me gasp and scream at everyone around me, so yes, i will be picking this one up soon!!
    and i relate to checking the page count and accidently spoiling the mystery lol 😅

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Welp I am so so so sorry for taking so long to reply to your lovely comment but thank you for popping by. Love to have you <3<3

      And eeep glad I could convince you to read this book. This series is SO good and my latest obsession. Hope you love them xoxoxo

      (also glad I’m not the only one with the pages, luckily my brain forgot this time around lmao)

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Ah apologies for taking literal ages to respond to this but thank you for stopping by xoxo

      Eeeep I’m so so so pumped to read As Good As Dead, book two was such a whirlwind woweeee!!!!!

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Agh thank you again for stopping by Veronika. As you can see, I’m responding to all of your lovely comments <3<3<3

      You 100% need to read this series and I’m glad I convinced you to do so!!!! Lots of love to you

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Welp hello again and thank you so much for popping by. So sorry it’s taken me so long to reply to you!!!!!

      Eeeep you need to read this book asap. This entire series is just SPECTACULAR. Lots of love to you xoxoxo

  • ahaana @ Windows to Worlds

    RUBY! HI! once again, you’ve proved you have immaculate taste 😭 askjdfhfsdkjfh omg i read this like last year, but it still lives rent free in my mind, and holly jackson is honestly the coolest. love this review, and you!! xoxo ❤️❤️

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      AHAANA! HEY!!!! Ugh literally love you and your support so much, huge thank you for being so amazing and I hope you can forgive my very late replies to your stunning comments!!!!!!!!

      Oof just,,, RIGHT?!?!? It’s so so good and Holly Jackson is just doing it like no other. Literally cannot wait to read book three, the series is SPECTACULAR. Adore you to the moon and back xoxoxo

  • e

    im doing a book report and i had the quote
    “I’ve already learned my lesson here: when you catch someone lying about a murdered girl, you go ask them why.” but i dont have the page or paragraph. do you know where in the book it is?

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