Good Girl, Bad Blood

Book Cover Design for ‘Good Girl, Bad Blood’

Author: Holly Jackson
Released Date: April 30th 2020
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Pages: 432
Genre: Young Adult Crime Fiction
Format: Paperback Book

Buy the book now! —————

Synopsis

Pip Fitz-Amobi is not a detective any more.

With the help of Ravi Singh, she released a true-crime podcast about the murder case they solved together last year. The podcast has gone viral, yet Pip insists her investigating days are behind her.

But she will have to break that promise when someone she knows goes missing. Jamie Reynolds has disappeared but the police won’t do anything about it. And if they won’t look for Jamie then Pip will, uncovering more of her town’s dark secrets along the way… and this time EVERYONE is listening. But will she find him before it’s too late?

If you haven’t ready my review on ‘A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder’ Click here!

I bought Good Girl, Bad Blood (GGBB) a couple of weeks ago and didn’t pick it up until yesterday. I desperately wanted to read it, the thought of finishing it too quickly was stopping me from picking it up. But that is exactly what I did. I took just over a day because I was too enticed to put it down. If you haven’t read my review on Holly Jackson’s first book in the series ‘A Good Girls Guide To Murder’ (AGGGTM), go ahead and read that first!

Why I Love This Book!

“I can’t tell you what decision to make”

At the beginning of the book, we get a very simple recap from Pip of the events that transpired in the last book. It seems like more of a conclusion to the first book than a starting point for the second. AGGGTM is instantly fresh in your mind again and as your reading, you’re not subconsciously trying to remember what has happened, keeping you fully absorbed to the story at hand.

Time to grab the tissues because you are going to cry. Well, at least I did. Towards the beginning of the book unveils a very emotional memorial of Sal Singh and Andie Bell. The overlap of crimes is perfectly shown here. The ending of one is the start of another. Letting the reader know that trouble always finds Pip and this book isn’t any different.

One thing I especially love in this book is the Podcast. The idea of Pip turning her school project into a crime podcast, for everyone to hear the twisted tale of Andie Bell, is an exciting and simple way to make us feel and react as we would to any real crime case. It’s very refreshing to read the interview-style text, alongside crime scene photographs throughout the book. It moves away from the fact that a 17-year-old girl is solving the case, and therefore a bond is created with the reader for us to read on allowing her to solve the case, that she desperately desires to do.

The Crime

”I said I would never do this again, never play the detective, never again lose myself to the world of small-town secrets. It wasn’t me, not any more. I would have stuck to it too; I know I would’ve. But something’s happened and now I have to break that promise. Someone has gone missing. Someone I know.”

It’s with no surprise that in this book there are more complications in Pip’s life, preventing her from finding her best friend’s brother. Jamie Reynolds. As remarkable as Pip is at investigation, the want and need in her voice/actions to stay away from the obsession that consumes her in AGGGTM.

Of course, she couldn’t stay away. None of her school work or numerous sponsorships being offered to her is academically challenging enough to keep her satisfied. There were a few parts in the story that I foresaw, but I was instantly left in bewilderment as Jackson proved me wrong on my many theories. The way she highlights certain characters and evidence to make us question which ones are relevant to the story are done exceptionally well.

As well as the missing case of Jamie Reynolds, we also get to see the trial of Max Hastings play out. Letting us know the events from the prequel are far from over.

The Characters

“Words spliced, growing across the gaps like vines as her eyes unfocused until her handwriting was just one writhing blur. Pip was looking at the page, but she wasn’t really there. It was like that now; giant holes in her attention that she slipped right into.

Pip is a very strong-willed female character. She is the definition of a great female protagonist. And as much as everyone loves her in the first book, we see her character change due to the fame of her detective work. We start to see her faults, and how she begins to embrace these imperfections.

I would have liked to see more of Ravi. I feel he only begins to open up towards the end of AGGGTM, and now he has been pushed back as a side character. Stopping us from finding out more about him and his relationship with Pip. However, what we do see of Ravi I absolutely adore. He is the main source to deliver the information of the Max Hastings trial, to the podcast and therefore to the reader. Hopefully, we will see a lot more of Ravi in the rest of the series and see how his relationship with Pip evolves.

Connor Reynolds, one of Pip’s best friends, is featured a lot more in GGBB. To some extent, he becomes Pip’s sidekick by helping to solve the case. But quickly loses himself in the emotions of his brother being missing. Connor and his Mum, Johanna, play a big role when it comes to finding Jamie. They both manage to find the will-power to carry on looking for their missing family member, despite all the obstacles in their way.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I highly recommend this book if you are a fan of the first one. You can clearly see the thought and planning that Jackson goes through when it comes to writing both books in the series. I have to applaud her for throwing the reader off with many suspicious characters and events that happen from start to finish. It’s not an ending you see coming, making it a fantastic read for anyone who loves a bit of mystery to their books.

Rating 5/5

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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One Of Us Is Lying

Book cover for ‘One of us is Lying’

Author: Karen M. McManus
Released Date: May 30th, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 361
Genre: Young Adult Crime Fiction
Format: Paperback Book

Buy the book now! —————>

*talk about mental health*

Synopsis

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.


Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Why I Love This Book!

“Things will get worse before they get better.”

As a new fan of mystery, crime and thrillers, I haven’t read many books of these genres. However, I was enthralled by each of the books including this one. When I first started reading I subconsciously compared this book to ‘A Good Girls Guide To Murder’ By Holly Jackson but soon realised they are 2 very different books but both amazing in their own way. I found myself gripped by the story from the very beginning, itching to solve the mystery before anything big is revealed. There were times when this book went beyond other YA/Teen thriller books in terms of character development and the feeling of being able to relate to a character. As I started reading I knew it would live up to its expectations of being a traditional take on ‘The Breakfast Club’

All the characters have their good and bad qualities, nevertheless, I still found myself rooting for all of them, hoping none of them did it. McManus’ ability to fool the reader and turn it into a ‘he did it, she did it’ scenario, keeps the reader guessing and hooked till the end when the killer is finally revealed.

Despite how much I did enjoy the book, there were a few points in the book that disappointed me a bit which I will get to later on. But now, let’s carry on!

The Crime

“It concerns me you’re avoiding a promise not to murder me.”

McManus main goal for this book is to keep the reader, guessing and make them suspicious of every character and event that takes place. Every chapter reveals another character’s point of view, disclosing information either about themselves or the crime that has taken place. And with the talk of secrets between all the characters, it makes you wonder if they did have something to do with it.

Surely one of them is lying? Well everyone is innocent until proven guilty. By creating their own secret detective group with all detention members, they push through all the obstacles in their way to find out who really killed Simon Kelleher?

The Characters

“Some people are too toxic to live. They just are.”

Picking up the book for the first time, I did think it might be another stereotypical teen drama book based on the well… stereotypical descriptions of the characters on the cover! I was pleasantly surprised to find it is definitely way more than that with these characters. I loved some and liked others less. But with so many characters telling their own story, you don’t have to like them all.

Now, we all love the guy gets the girl storyline, don’t we? Including me. However a book like this already tackling mental health issues, toxic relationships and let’s not forget the murder, it felt a bit forced too early on in the story before fully understanding the characters first.

Time to meet Addy! If I’m being honest, I didn’t like Addy at first. Like I said earlier, I thought she would be this cliché popular girl that every school has. But as the story went on, I started to warm up to her personality and saw her change through the situation, making a fantastic strong female lead. After overcoming toxic relationships through her family and boyfriend, she finds a way to bounce back stronger and learn from the issues she has had to defeat to get to where she is.

*Other Views*

It’s always hard to create content involving mental illness. Finding the best way to go around it without offending anyone, but also getting the point across that you want the reader or viewer to take away. In this book, I feel like Simon’s character who is diagnosed with depression could have been written with a bit more sensitivity. The way McManus amplifies Simon’s evil motives and wicked way of thinking would suggest there is more to Simon’s depression than what we are shown. The lack of further background detail raises questions to why he would jump to these extreme measures.

Perhaps the author did this deliberately, to show the reader that any situation can cause a catastrophic reaction.

Overall Thoughts

“We could be surrounded by walking dead in the zombie apocalypse and she’d look for the bright side.”

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and will be reading the rest of McManus’ novels. There is always something new happening in every chapter, keeping the reader engaged enough to read it in one sitting (guilty!). As well as the main characters having captivating storylines, I found to enjoy the side characters storylines just as much, keeping me wondering when they were going to show up again and questioning if they had any major links to the story. I highly recommend you read this if you enjoy a bit of crime-solving, strong character development and an easy read.

These are just my opinions and would love to hear your view on the story!

Rating 3.5/5

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
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A Good Girls Guide To Murder

Book Cover for ‘A Good Girls Guide to Murder’

Author: Holly Jackson,
Released Date: May 2nd, 2019,
Publisher: Electric Monkey,
Pages: 433,
Genre: Younge Adult Crime Fiction,
Format: Paperback book,

Buy the book now ——-

Synopsis
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 LOVED This Book!

“But sometimes remembering isn’t for yourself, sometimes you do it just to make someone else smile. Those lies were allowed.”

THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!! As soon as I picked it up, I wouldn’t put it down till I read all of it. Everyone, EVERYONE, has to go and buy this book right now and then come back and tell me how much you loved it!!

Every time I put this book down to either go to work, eat or any other human activity, my mind was so impatient and there was an itch to instantly pick it back up again. I can’t get over the exciting, page-turning events taking place throughout this book and now without a doubt, I will be buying plenty more young adult crime thrillers.

Our protagonist, Pippa Fitz-Amobi, is possibly the main reason that makes you keep reading. Her need for prying, searching, digging, her talent, intelligence, and social skills keep her 10 steps ahead of the reader, but it makes you wonder what is a 17-year-old going to find that the police didn’t find 5 years ago in Andie Bells case??

The Crime

“If a villain can be made, then he can be unmade.”

Sal Singh murdered Andie Bell.

Pip certainly doesn’t think so. She clearly went above and beyond to make the Police look like a fool. The persuasive and intelligent way she speaks to the people she needs to question gets them to open up, revealing secrets that the detectives couldn’t. She doesn’t know how far to go, but its not just her who desperately speaks the truth. Sal’s younger brother, Ravi does as well. Working together Ravi and Pippa begin to dig deeper, but she soon realizes she could be in danger.

The Cover

“The people you love weren’t algebra: to be calculated, subtracted, or held at arm’s length across a decimal point.”

The last thing I want to mention is the cover of the book. The beautiful illustration, so simple fits the storyline so well. The design even carried on into the inner pages, revealing characters of the book before you even start reading.

Overall Thoughts

“As if they think I don’t already know. I came out of the womb knowing how to do academic references.”

As well as reading this book and getting obsessed with ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ on Netflix, it makes me want to read and watch more things like this. I’ve been wanting to purchase these unsolved case files that look so cool to try and solve yourself. I also now want to go to a Court Hearing. If anyone has ever been let me know!!

Overall, this book is a must for any young adult book lovers. The twists and turns of the story keep it interesting. I wish I could forget what happens just so I can read it all over again.

Rating: 5/5

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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The Girl On The Train

Author: Paula Hawkins
Name: The Girl On The Train
Released Date: January 13th 2015
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Pages: 336
Genre: Thriller
Format: Hardback

Buy the book here—–>

Synopsis

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

My Thoughts

Out of all the books I’ve read, this is the first thriller I have read and I can tell you now it won’t be the last. The suspense throughout the book from the very beginning all the way till the end grips you in a way no other book will.

Rachel, the unstable, alcoholic character may seem a mess but you can’t help but love her. It’s weird really because if you knew or saw women like this in real life, you would want nothing to do with her. Yet Rachel manages to capture my attention from the first page. She commutes every day 5 days a week to London on the train. She sits in the same seat, at the same time, looking at the world around her and the people she passes. Especially this one couple, ‘Jess’ and ‘Jason’ who she has taken a very big interest in.

Every morning on the 8:04 train to Euston, she sees Jess sat out on the terrace drinking her coffee, followed by Jason coming out to give her a kiss before he sets off to work. I love how her character pays so much attention to detail. As if her own life isn’t good enough, she has to try and involve herself in someone else’s. Which is exactly what she does throughout the book.

The Story

‘There is a pile of clothing on the side of the train tracks.’ The first line. Who do they belong to? How did they get there? Knowing this book was a thriller before I started reading it. The first line delivers this genre nicely, hooking the reader in. Making them think that there may be more to be said about that pile of clothing. The little things make a big difference in books. When that pile of clothing was mentioned again, I quickly jumped and hurried to read on to see if it had any significance to the first time. It did not. But that didn’t stop me from reading on, in fact, it made me want to read on to see if she mentioned them again.

The story goes on about her repetitive life on the train. Until she’s going past Jess and Jason’s house and she sees Jess with another man out on the terrace. With her being the unstable, alcoholic character that she is, this must trigger something into her mind. Causing her to have some kind of meltdown and get ‘blind drunk’. Resulting in her not remembering anything of that Saturday night. This is a huge problem for her as she is involved in a murder investigation and terribly wants to find out what has happened.

I love how Paula Hawkins knows how to excite the reader to carry on. But also frustrate them in so many ways that they want to finish the book to find out the ending. This is exactly how I felt. Hurrying to finish but at the same time, trying to savour the story that was unfolding in front of me. As well as the main problem Rachel faces about that night, there are other issues that build up her personality. Such as her ex-husband Tom, leaving her for a woman called Anna.

The Characters

Anna is a tricky character for me as I never really knew if I liked her or not. In my opinion, she is meant to be the character that you’re not meant to like. She ‘stole’ Rachel’s husband from her. She has an arrogant way to her, thinking and knowing, in this case, that’s she’s better than the opposition – Rachel. Although, there’s always this fear connected with her which shows this arrogance and condescending attitude is all for show. Halfway through the book, I took my strong disliking to her character. When she’s admitting to herself how she likes the idea of getting caught.

“I enjoyed it, loved it, in fact. I never felt guilty.”

Anna

Tom, on the other hand, has always had a soft spot for Rachel. Even after all the late-night drunk calls and abusive texts night after night. In some ways, he tried to keep her close, as well as trying to get rid of her so he, Anna and his daughter Evie can have a peaceful life.

Jess, or her proper name, Megan. Where do I start with her? This character I never took an interest in her story. One, I know you can’t force yourself to love someone, but the way her husband Scott loves her is enough to make anyone jealous of how devoted he was to her. How selfish it was for her to let him suffer and grieve for her after she had several affairs and left without glancing back, for him never to see her again.

What she doesn’t see but what the reader sees is how he changes after finding out she’s missing. You find out a lot about Megan’s past life and what drove her towards the things she did, hoping that you feel sorry for her. But the more I read about her the more I came to dislike her character and that she would find distraction instead of finding help.

Overall Thoughts

Out of all the characters my favorite has to be Anna because she is so unique, how she always tries to be one above Rachel but she still feels below her. Slowly throughout the book, you see her starting to relate to Rachel and how her mistrust in people have left her the way she is.

This book overall is a 10/10 for me, I have nothing to complain about. This certainly will not be the last thriller book I read! I love how it has you questioning all the way through it, thinking you know a single detail what’s happening and then BAM! The unexpected happens. This is what I love about reading, not being able to see the outcome, so when you’re finished you’re just like wow, wishing so hard you could forget what happens and read it all over again.

Rating: 5/5

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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