Book Review: As Good As Dead (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #3) by Holly Jackson

Title: As Good As Dead (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #3)
Author: Holly Jackson
Genre: YA Mystery / Thriller
Publication Date: September 28th, 2021
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

“Pip is about to head to college, but she is still haunted by the way her last investigation ended. She’s used to online death threats in the wake of her viral true-crime podcast, but she can’t help noticing an anonymous person who keeps asking her: Who will look for you when you’re the one who disappears?

Soon the threats escalate and Pip realizes that someone is following her in real life. When she starts to find connections between her stalker and a local serial killer caught six years ago, she wonders if maybe the wrong man is behind bars.

Police refuse to act, so Pip has only one choice: find the suspect herself—or be the next victim. As the deadly game plays out, Pip discovers that everything in her small town is coming full circle . . .and if she doesn’t find the answers, this time she will be the one who disappears. . . ” (Goodreads)

To say I am disappointed in this book would be an understatement. Although I gave it 3 stars, that was me being generous as the first 50% was thrilling. The last half just wasn’t it…I honestly skimmed through some of it because I didn’t like the direction of the plot and the character development that was happening. This last book is definitely the darkest of the three. It’s not a problem, but I just fail to understand that this is actually how it all went down.

Since this is the third book, there will be spoilers. You have been warned.

My frustration lies with Pip. She was a great character and I loved her in book one and two. In book two she started to understand that she had an obsession and it was unhealthy. It was like solving crimes was her fix. By the end of book two she witness a horrible thing and book three brings on PTSD and drug abuse. It sucked seeing Pip struggle through everything but it also made her human. It showed that she was vulnerable and even her morbid fascination wouldn’t be enough to subdue the pain. I don’t understand how all of that turned her into a killer and how every decision she made just didn’t feel like her anymore. It was a whole new character and I just didn’t like who she had become.

My first complaint is the killing of Jason Bell. Even though the author tried to take us off the scent, I knew it was him. I did like the suspense of it all though. I don’t care that she killed him but I do care about the way she went about it. To believe that she needed to dispose of the body and not call the police was dumb. I don’t get how she thought no one would believe her self-defense. That’s more believable than what actually transpired. She could have literally said that she got free and he came back as she was escaping and he tried to grab her so she killed him. The facts of her having Andie’s email and knowing where all of the trophies of his kills were was evidence enough to prove he was a bad guy. He even took her headphones as a trophy. To go on and get her friends involved was just dumb. I always liked Ravi but this book made him a lovesick idiot. I just couldn’t take it.

I don’t think its fair that she would frame someone her and many others didn’t like. The whole point of her podcast was to bring light to cases and find the real person to blame instead of the innocent ones who were. To bring in The Innocent Project and then blame someone for something they didn’t do because they were found not guilty of another crime is just not the way to go about getting justice. It made me feel like everything Pip was just gone. I really didn’t know this character at all.

One of the things I hate the most about books is an open-ended ending. I got no satisfaction out of this one. I seriously sat there and thought, “Is this really it?”. Obviously the reader can come to conclusions, but just spell it out for me!

What would I have liked to see instead of the killer instincts from Pip?

I would have liked more about her PTSD and the trial that was to come from Charlie Green. I would have liked to see her go through therapy and rely on her friends to help get her through the tough times. I would have liked to see her kick the habit. I would have liked to seen anything but something that still doesn’t make sense. The only thing that does make sense, even if it is small, is that I guess you could say it all goes back to the title of the first book and the name of series. We definitely got a good girl’s guide to murder even if we didn’t think it would go there.

Overall, this was good for the first 50% and the last half gets the axe from me. I could go on with my feelings about this one but I will rest my case as I don’t want this to get too long, lol. Would I still recommend the series? Yeah, I would. Book one and two are wonderful. I’d say skip this one, but you may end up liking it more than me. To each their own.


Book Review: Kill Joy (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #0.5) by Holly Jackson

Title: Kill Joy (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #0.5)
Author: Holly Jackson
Genre: YA Mystery / Thriller
Publication Date: February 18th, 2021
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Pippa Fitz-Amobi is not in the mood for her friend’s murder mystery party. Especially one that involves 1920’s fancy dress and pretending that their town, Little Kilton, is an island called Joy. But when the game begins, Pip finds herself drawn into the make-believe world of intrigue, deception and murder.

But as Pip plays detective, teasing out the identity of the killer clue-by-clue, the murder of the fictional Reginald Remy isn’t the only case on her mind …

Find out where it all began for Pip in this prequel to the best-selling A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and Good Girl, Bad Blood.” (Goodreads)

I’m finally getting to the books I own and this was one of them! I knew I wanted to read this prequel after enjoying the first two books of the series. The plot for this one is just a tad bit different as they are still solving a mystery but it’s a game and not real life, haha. Although, it is just as thrilling!

Pippa is on the case once again and this book shows why she decided to do her project on the murder that happened in her town. I liked seeing her interact with her friends once again and some of the things they said had me laughing. The book is a good mix of thrill and comedy! Some of the characters get really into the murder / mystery game and it just makes it that much more intense!

Overall, this was an enjoyable read. I know the review is short but since its a prequel there isn’t much to discuss, ha. If you have read the series already I’d definitely recommend this one.

Book Review: Good Girl, Bad Blood (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #2) by Holly Jackson

Title: Good Girl, Bad Blood (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #2)
Author: Holly Jackson
Genre: YA Mystery / Thriller / Contemporary
Publication Date: April 30th, 2020
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The highly-anticipated crime-thriller sequel to the no. 1 debut of 2019, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Pip Fitz-Amobi is not a detective anymore.

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?” (Goodreads)

I’ve had this one on my shelf since last year after buying it from Book Depository because it hasn’t been published in the US yet. I loved the first book and was really excited to dive into the next but time slips away and it remained unread, haha.

Luckily, I finally found time to read it and although it took a bit longer for me to feel immersed in the story I really enjoyed it!

After solving her first case, Pip decides that she will not continue because she becomes obsessed with searching for the truth and will only have one season for her podcast. That is until someone she knows, and brother of a friend, goes missing.

As with the first book, this one has all sorts of different formats from interview transcripts to emails, and even a court sketch for a trial her and Ravi are covering. It’s fun to see all these different elements.

The beginning has sort of a prologue to help bridge the gap from the first book to the beginning of her new case which I also liked.

Pip is always interesting to read about because once she wants to find out the truth, she doesn’t stop. This leads her into dangerous situations for her and her friends. We also get to see her in a different light when things aren’t going as expected and she reaches her breaking point. It makes her even more realistic and it’s easy to feel what she is feeling.

The plot in the beginning did take a bit for me to get into. I will also say that this one just didn’t feel as thrilling as the first either but it did pick up for me over halfway through. There are some intense plot twists that I never saw coming and honestly, that ending was insane! I really didn’t expect it and it’s always a joy when that happens. The plot does cover certain events from book one as well as new ones. Old characters are back and new characters appear. It also talks about topics such as a broken justice system, catfishing, and another topic I won’t mention because spoilers! They were all done well and definitely get the emotions pumping.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one but not as much as the first. It was still a fantastic book and I can’t wait for the next in the series! I am hooked when it comes to this author.

Book Review: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson


40916679._SY475_Title: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
Author: Holly Jackson
Genre: YA Mystery / Thriller
Publication Date: February 4th, 2020
Publisher: Delacorte Press

synopsis header
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? ” (Goodreads)

Honestly, I have no idea why it has taken me so long to read this book. I remember seeing it on NetGalley last year and then realizing it was for the UK so off to Book Depository I went to buy that copy, ha! I have had it sitting on my shelf for a year and in that time it has come out in the US. Dang. Clearly I have a “book buying but not reading them” problem.

Anyways, this was such an exciting and thrilling ride! So thrilling that I got scared reading from different parts and even though it was past my bedtime I still stayed up to finish it because how was I going to fall asleep anyways?

One cool thing about this book is the format. The main character Pippa is doing a school project based on this murder that happened five years ago. Since it’s a project, every chapter has interview styled pages, notebook pages, and diagrams. These really added to the whole project thing and took the book to a whole new level. It reminded me of Sadie in that way.

I like reading mystery/thrillers because it’s more about the plot than the characters. I don’t have to feel a connection towards them and it’s fine. I did feel bad for certain characters though because some of the things they went through were rough.

The plot was everything I wanted and more! I really wasn’t sure how this would play out but the plot twists were so intriguing that when I would reach one it would make the book too hard to put down. There are so many things going on and so many connections between the characters that it’s hard to ever pin point the murderer. I had no idea who it was/how it happened and was very surprised when the truth came out. Looking back on it now I should have known, ha!

Overall, this was a really good book. I have been looking for a new YA Mystery / Thriller author and I will most definitely be checking out her other books that will be part of a series with this one. I already ordered the second book on Book Depository! Ha.

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)