A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
Fairview might seem like a quaint little town from the outside, but get closer and you see the real side of it. In the month of April in 2014, Salil Singh killed his girlfriend Andrea (commonly known as Andie) Bell and then killed himself. For 5 years, this is what the town of Fairview has believed. Andie lives on in their memory as a poor and saintly girl, while Sal is cast aside as a vicious murderer. Fast forward to 2019. Enter Pippa Fitz-Amobi, a senior in Fairview. Each year, seniors are required to do something called a capstone project, which requires them to take any issue in the world, research it, and present it at the end of the year. Most people choose regular issues, such as famines and droughts. Pippa, however, decides on something a little different. She chooses the Andie Bell murder. Pippa begins to investigate the case, and the deeper she gets, the more she realizes that the case details were muddled. However, someone out there doesn’t want Pippa to get too deep into this, and it seems that they will do whatever they can to stop her. Will Pippa be able to find out what really happened in April 2014? Or will her threatener get to her first? Read the book to find out!
This book contains quite a few topics that will not be appropriate for kids below the age of 16. Firstly, this entire book revolves around a murder and a subsequent suicide, both of which are topics that may seem scary for young children. There is a lot of blackmailing that happens in the book, and it is done to Pippa and other characters. Bad language is prominent and there are quite a few adult topics (both detailed below). At one point, for merely one sentence, the topic of LGBTQ+ arises. This topic may be one that younger kids have not been exposed to, and this might not be the best way to introduce them to it. The book is also quite information-based, and it is important that the reader be able to keep track of the things that come up during the book. Older kids may be better at doing this, and that ensures that they can understand and enjoy the book.
There are a few good messages in the book. Some include determination (seen through Pippa’s determination to keep investigating despite her setbacks), the importance of a good family (seen through the Bell family, who don’t have a good family, and what happens because of that), and more.
There is some amount of violence in the book. The entire story revolves around a murder, so that is one point of violence. Pippa’s dog also drowns at one point. Towards the end, there are some detailed descriptions of ways that Andie and Sal die. There are also mentions of injuries that some characters sustain.
There is quite a lot of bad language in this book. The words used include ‘d*ck’, the f-word, ‘fr*cking’, ‘b**ch’, ‘wh*re’, ‘pervert’, ‘crap’, ‘h*ll’, ‘sh*t’, ‘sl*t’, ‘stupid’, ‘a**hole’ and ‘hate’. The author writes that at times Pippa is ‘cursing’ and ‘swearing’. These words are not used extremely often in the book, but they do appear a decent amount.
There isn’t too much romance in this book. Andie and Sal were dating, and towards the end, Pippa and Ravi start dating too. There is mention of a kiss, but not in too much detail.
This book does contain a lot of adult topics. There is a lot of talk about drug dealing, and the author goes into specific about what kind of drugs are dealt. There is a lot of drinking when kids go to parties, and the author writes about people sleeping together. Going into more detail of the parties – it is like the classic high school party seen on TV. People making out, getting drunk, puking, etc. One of the characters is charged with the crime of rape, and the author writes that Andie took nude pictures. Ravi, one of the characters, says that if someone caught a brown guy breaking into a white person’s house, he would be in a lot of trouble, and that shows some racism. One of the characters comes out, and there is talk of one person possibly ‘touching themselves’. Throughout the book, different characters cheat on their partners with other people.
O. M. G. I was NOT expecting this book to be this good. The whole mystery was amazing, and I was completely addicted to it. Like, I could not put the book down. When I finally found out who the murderer was, I completely shocked. Like, speechless. Kudos to Ms. Jackson on that, because I am pretty sure it was something none of the readers were expecting. Pippa, the main character, had a really great personality, and I just warmed up to her. And the small and delicate romance that Ravi and Pippa potentially had (I honestly wasn’t totally sure until the very end) was another reason that I stuck around. The author slowly and carefully built up their feelings without giving away what the real deal was, and that was super, super clever. I ABSOLUTELY 110% recommend this to ANYONE over the age of 16. PLEASE READ IT you will thank yourself!