Review: Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

Haven’t read my review for A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder? Click here to read it now!

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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?

“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.”

Our smart and witty teenage detective is back for round 2 in the highly anticipated sequel to 2019’s A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, and this time, the stakes are higher than ever. After the events of AGGGTM, Pip’s been trying to get back to her everyday life before everything that happened, happened. But someone needs her help, and if the police aren’t going to get the job done, then that means it’s up to Pip to save the day.

This book left me speechless. What did I just read? Where do I begin deciding what my favourite part was? I’d have to start my own investigation and podcast to get to the bottom of that one, so this review will have to suffice.

I was delighted to be back with Pip and Ravi. They are literally couple goals and partners in crime goals. My one and only true criticism of Good Girl, Bad Blood is that there wasn’t enough Ravi, which, a lot of other bookworms might think “wait, what? Did you even read it?” but quite honestly, there’ll never be enough Ravi for me!

I really enjoyed how Good Girl, Bad Blood bridges book 1’s mystery into the sequel to explore the consequences of everything that transpired in the first instalment. It not only acts as a refresher for people who don’t fully remember everything about AGGGTM and don’t have the time to reread it, but it’s an effective tool to help Pip’s character development and how what happened in AGGGTM affected Pip, which we definitely see, and feel for good measure.

I’d say Good Girl, Bad Blood is much darker than its predecessor. It makes for an interesting story but definitely heavier reading because I couldn’t help but feel all the feelings. I felt fury; I was on the cusp of tears from that fury, and also on the cusp of tears for such despair. I felt the confusion and darkness Pip and other characters felt, like Pip’s feelings of guilt and another character’s struggles to meet society’s mold. All of these emotions made Good Girl, Bad Blood quite powerful.

Good Girl, Bad Blood is thought provoking in the best of ways due to the interwoven social commentary. I truly loved this. Jackson incorporated subtle commentary on the use of social media, and how it can be used for both good and bad, and through Pip, the impact each can have on an individual. Similarly, I also really enjoyed Pip discovering that truth and justice are not always guaranteed correlative positions, which was truly heartbreaking.

As for the mystery itself, I was turning page after page to get to the bottom of it. It is so immersive and gripping, partly due to the desire to know what’s happened and partly due to how invested I became in the characters own feelings. Naturally there were some bits of the story I foresaw – and thoroughly loved Jackson’s “Aha! I got ya!” moment when it turned out one of the things I thought I’d got right was actually wrong. But for the most part, I don’t think Good Girl, Bad Blood is largely predictable, which is another reason to read the book… do see if I’m wrong! But I won’t be surprised if I’m not 😉

I originally felt like I preferred the mystery in AGGGTM rather than this one, but truthfully I don’t think it’s fair to compare the two in such a way. They are two totally different entities, and even then, Good Girl Bad Blood as explained above, is in many ways a continuation of the first book and not just a “move onto the next story” book. They connect so well in the manner that first instalments and sequels should do, but do not necessarily do in some instances, which is further credit to Jackson’s talent.

Good Girl, Bad Blood is quite literally an example of how to write a continuation of a mystery/thriller series, it’s that stellar. Its ending actually has me longing for a follow up more than the first did – and please *please* do not misunderstand me there, I was desperate for a sequel when I learned it was in the pipe works. I am now even more desperate because this cannot be the last of these characters. I think Jackson has developed this so masterfully that anything is possible now in the upcoming follow up and that wide breath of possibility has me alight with excitement I can’t put into words. Pip’s stories are in a league of their own. Truly well done Holly, and thank you for the crazy ride.

 

Buy It Now

 

Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson
Published 30th April 2020 (UK)
Genre: YA mystery/thriller
Book 2 in A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series

 

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