Holly Jackson, A Good Girl’s Guide to murder, Paperback, 448 pages, Waterstones, £6.49
Holly Jackson’s debut novel is stirring things up in YA Fiction. Holly’s debut is about Pippa Fitz-Amobi, a grade-A student, who is trying to prove a previous student’s innocence in a murder trial, as her independent project for university. Soon Pippa begins learning more about the truths that lie just at her doorstep.
The format of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is very playful for the reader as they are shown snippets of Pippa’s investigation. This itself allows the reader to feel like they are solving the case with Pippa.
The structure of the novel is split into three parts, however, the pace appears to become much more steady as a result. Part 1 seemed initially set up to introduce the characters, however if this was it’s primary focus, it could be questioned as to whether the pace needs to be a touch faster.
When conflict occurs, the readers gain an insight into the characters’ strength and flaws. This act in itself makes them more realistic and relatable to the reader. It is this particular element that seemed to be missing at the beginning of the novel.
Jackson’s characters overall however, are striking and very easy to picture in your mind. Furthermore when her characters are faced with conflict, in parts two and three, they become as believable as your best friend.
Although I was not entirely gripped from the beginning, I would still recommend her books to teens looking for excitement and adventure. As a teenager, I know I would’ve loved this book. Holly’s writing is well thought-out, clear, funny and imaginative – everything sixteen year old me would have devoured in a book.