I NEED to meet Holly Jackson. Right now. This woman is a genius.
Genre: YA, mystery, thriller
Rating: 5/5 stars
Favorite quote: “‘Oh, justice exists….Maybe not the kind that happens in police stations and courtrooms, but it does exist.'”
First line: “You think you’d know what a killer sounds like.”
Pip has proved Sal’s innocence and solved the Andie Bell case, and she’s promised herself she’ll never get herself involved in detective work again.
Her podcast about the case- with the perfectly meta title “A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder”- has gone viral, but Pip knows her sleuthing career is over. She’s done sneaking around, done putting her friends’ lives at risk and uncovering unsavory dirt about all the people she used to trust.
But when her friend’s brother, Jamie, goes missing in the middle of the night, Pip has to go back on that promise to herself. This time it’s an open case, and the whole world is watching. It’s a desperate race against the clock to figure out what happened to Jamie… before it’s too late.
I was very, VERY excited to read this because I absolutely loved the first book, and this sequel had extremely positive reviews.
Yet there was still that tiny skeptical voice at the back of my mind, asking “yeah, but when are sequels ever as good as the first book?” and “how could Holly Jackson possibly think of another plot as good as AGGGTM?”
I needn’t have worried.
(I don’t think I’ve ever written out the word needn’t before. That was a little weird. Moving on.)
Granted, the first book is slightly better, but this sequel is definitely in the same league.
Again, the plot is amazing and impossibly plot twist-y. I LOVE plot twists. If plot twists weren’t a thing, I’m positive that mystery/thriller would no longer be my favorite genre.
I decided to be really extra and use sticky notes to write down all my theories while I read. This was the result:
Surprisingly enough, the very first theory I wrote down turned out to be somewhat correct! (The other ones weren’t though. Because of the PLOT TWISTS!)
This book is difficult to review because of the nature of the story; I can’t discuss much because it would become spoiler-y.
In some respects, Good Girl, Bad Blood had higher stakes; instead of investigating a cold case, Pip was actively trying to find a missing person. The first book, though, was slightly more mysterious and had a few more twists and revelations.
This sequel also had less mixed-media incorporated, and had a little more filler and exposition scenes. But even so, the plot never dragged. I considered staying up until 1 AM to finish the book because I was so invested.
And just like its predecessor, Good Girl, Bad Blood had lots of heart-pounding suspense; there was one moment in particular that made me stand up and say “No WAY, that’s so creepy” and start feeling super unsettled. Especially since it was midnight when I was reading it.
I was deeply sad after I finished reading this because both books are just so PERFECT: my kind of humor, my kind of plot, and relatable and lovable characters. While I was apathetically scrolling through Goodreads and wondering how I was ever going to find another good book to read, I stumbled upon a certain “Untitled” placeholder book on Goodreads.
And then I saw this:
Books in 2021 and 2022? There’s going to be TWO more books? I don’t know if I should be nervous or excited, but either way, I don’t want to wait that long.
What about Holly Jackson’s writing is so captivating? It’s the way she sets up the mystery. Because we experience the story with Pip and have access to all of Pip’s interview transcripts, notes, and theories, we can solve the mystery right alongside her.
Holly Jackson also writes such layered solutions, and the way the story gradually gets darker and more complicated is just so addicting. She really knows how to build intrigue and suspense.
I really enjoyed this book, although I couldn’t really get into the plot in this spoiler-free review. 2021 can’t come fast enough. Can Holly Jackson do it again? I sincerely hope so!