October 21, 2020
“You just happen to have red string ready to go?” Ravi said.
“I have every color of string.”
“Of course you do.”(pg 308)
Author: Holly Jackson
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Series: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder Series book 1
Everyone in Fairview knows the story.
Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.
But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?
Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.
This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you’ll never expect.
Spoilers Contained Below FOR SURE
To all my Good Girls and Guys,
I AM A FAN!
Holly Jackson, if you’re reading this, I AM A FAN! So keep it coming because I am READY for all of the content you are dropping down with your Good Girl Series. I am literally coming off five minutes after finishing this book and my head is reeling, I have so many questions, I am so pumped for some reason. I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS THOUGHT OR LOGIC?
I don’t know man. I don’t know.
I haven’t been an a reading grind lately, but this book had me SITTING and CRAVING to read. Anytime I wasn’t reading it, I thoroughly questioned why I wasn’t reading it. Because each page had me turning, my eyes kept roving across the pages, devouring each page because this book is insatiable. Insatiable I tell you.
I don’t even know how to properly begin because there are so many thoughts and things I want to touch on.
But let’s talk with Pippa first—–seems like a good starting point. She’s such a sweet girl. I think good girl is an accurate way to describe her in a comedic way because here we have a good girl solving a murder while still trying to finish her capstone project and write her Common App essay 😂 I have to give her a lot of credit though for balancing all that she did because I would have gone crazy if I was her! It was kind of funny when she would be in the midst of solving the case—trying to piece things together—-and then in the back of her mind she would be telling herself she needed to work on her personal essay. I also loved how her parents were very jokey with her about how she studied or worked too much. They never really cared if she did rebellious things because they trusted their daughter to do the right thing. I’m also kind of wondering, did the parents know she was solving a murder? If I was a parent and knew my daughter was solving a murder, I would be highly worried for her safety and would have put a stop to it. But it also goes back to that idea of how she really was a good girl. I remember that moment when her dad/mom said to leave the door open when Ravi came over, and then Pippa was like, “He’s just a friend,” and they were okay with it😂 Her parents were the best.
She was also likable with her spunk, her finesse, and her boldness. For a good girl, she sure is brazen and is not afraid to fight for what she wants even if it puts her in danger or an uncomfortable situation. But what I loved the most about Pippa: was how relatable she was. She was just an everyday girl going through everyday struggles in just an abnormal state.
“What’s wrong with me? she wrote. I might seem like the ideal student: homework always in early, every extra credit and extracurricular I can get my hands on, the good girl and the high achiever. But I realized something just now: it’s not ambition, not entirely. It’s fear. Because I don’t know who I am when I’m not working, when I’m not focused on or totally consumed by a task. Who am I between the projects and the assignments, when there’s nothing to do? I haven’t found her yet and it scares me. Maybe that’s why fo ray senior capstone project this year, I decided to solve a murder.(pg. 334)
As a “good girl” and high achiever myself, I completely understand where Pippa is coming from. Because sometimes when you pour yourself into your work so much, you forget to focus on yourself and what makes you you. I also think it’s hard because, personally, I know when I did all the extra credits or put my 10000% effort into my work, I knew that it didn’t come from a place of true passion, but this want of being the best for myself. But now I think maybe it also came from fear——-fear of failing, fear of letting myself or others down, fear of not being good enough. When I didn’t focus on myself, I also felt like I didn’t know who I was or what I liked. Who would I be if not for my work? kind of thought. But I think Pippa—-as outlandish for an average person—-solving a murder was her way of balancing that love of work but also fun? I don’t know how Pippa got into enjoying solving mysteries, but that would be interesting to find out one day with the Good Girl series.
I do know that her solving the alleged killing of And Bell by Sal Singh was her way of understanding the situation. I liked how she gave us a connection as to why she cared so much about this case because it would be kind of awkward if she just was like “I’m going to solve a murder,” and she chose a random case. But she knew Sal and believed that he was a good person in the way he stood up for her as a kid. I thought that was completely cute because it highlighted how he was a caring person. Before hearing that story, I could see why people thought Sal was the murderer because of all of the evidence. And sometimes the most innocent people can surprise you and sometimes the good people change, but I also thought the evidence was too convenient. I mean, Andie Bell’s blood was in his fingernails, in his car/trunk, and he had her phone on him. And supposedly he left at just the right time to kill her in secret and dump her body in the woods. And supposedly a few weeks later he went into the woods, took his own life with sleeping pills and a bag over his head. Honestly that last part gave me chills because even if he did do it, the way he took his life was just . . . I don’t know. There are no words.
I don’t know about you, but on Netflix (I don’t know if it’s still on there), there’s this show called Making a Murderer with a guy named Steven Avery who was charged with murdering someone, I forget who. But my high school teacher would play it for us because it was “good content to write a paper about” or so my English teacher said 😂. Anyway, if you haven’t seen it or have, it really reminded me of Sal’s situation and that’s why I wasn’t buying Sal being the murderer. In the show, there are all these pieces of evidence that the police keep finding as they investigate, which doesn’t make sense because before they never saw any of these things, but somehow when they looked again, there it was—-something to tie Steven Avery to being guilty. And all the evidence in the show builds him as a murderer—-making a murderer. His friends and family were also kind of fishy because you could tell some of them were lying about certain things. And don’t even get me started on how the police would word questions to get the family to say that Avery was a murderer. Like, how is that even right? I would get so thoroughly heated about it because it was clear he was set up. And it was clear the same happened with Sal. He was set up. No way do I think he was dumb enough to lay all the pieces back to him. That’s like asking to be jailed. But it also made no sense because he had no motive. Okay, Sal was mad at his girlfriend because she was doing something he didn’t like. Big whoop. Doesn’t mean you go murder her so obviously. And then doesn’t mean you take your own life like a living Romeo and Juliet to death do us part thing.
No way JOSE.
Just didn’t make sense.
Pippa knew what was up. I also highly admired how intuitive and inquisitive Pippa was because those kinds of skills don’t come naturally. She was sooooooo good with piecing everything together. Like I can put things together, but no way do I think I can solve a murder on the first go. That’s TALENT.
The thing about me and murder shows or books, I tend to get lost. There are so many names, so many places, so many things that I have to think about because, DUH, I want to solve it before the end. But it’s hard to keep up sometimes. But with this book, I really liked the way Holly Jackson laid it out for the reader in a way that’s not overwhelming. I liked that she would have those graphic bubble charts with all the people who were on the possible suspects lists because then it gave the reader a recap of the person and why they were on the list. For me, it was helpful to also actively think about the case and solve it. The possible suspect list was also such a good touch because it helped the reader follow along on Pippa’s thought process and it keeps reminding the reader who it could be. But, obviously I knew that none of the people who were at the top of Pippa’s list would be the actual murderer because that would be too easy. It’s a thing with all shows and books. I liked how they point all the evidence in one direction, but it’s clearly not because if it was, how boring would the show/book be. They try to trick you and drive you in circles. Man, was I DRIVEN THROUGH THE GUTTER, THE MERRY-GO-ROUND, THE RACE TRACK with this case. One moment I would think of this person and then next another person and then the next back to the other person. I WAS LOST.
I also liked how in the beginning she sets up all the legality and things so that the reader can understand what it takes to file a missing persons report or to get evidence from the police. I thought it really was done in a nice way so that people who aren’t well-versed in criminology could have a basis. I also enjoyed the interviews and the log format. The capstone logs were probably my favorite because it highlighted Pippa’s thought process and it brought back all the evidence for the reader to know what was going on if they were lost (i.e. me) 😂 The map was also a cool touch because it’s good for the visual learners or for people who want to understand how Sal could have logically done it given the time and space. So all the elements in the book were so well done in enhancing the storyline and making it engaging.
Now I just want to ask, who did you think murdered Andie Bell?
Please comment below because I would love to know.
For me, this might sound dumb, but I legit thought Ravi did it.
Now hold your eye rolls, let me explain! I thought he was playing the “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer,” kind of thing. Because he knew Pippa was actively opening the case again and if she tied it back to him, he would be in the red. But if he kept her close, stayed by her side, or was even on her good side, it would give him an in as to draw her off path to make someone else seem guilty. Makes sense, right? He also had Pippa’s phone number to black mail text her and when Pippa’s house was broken into, the spare key under her mat was moved. When Pippa and Ravi were breaking into the Bell’s family home, Pippa told Ravi how all families hide a spare key. Ravi found the Bell’s key in the wind chime. Pippa’s house was broken into and someone went into her room to threaten her. When Pippa went to check the spare key on the mat, the key was taped right next to where the key was supposed to be. And who now knew the concept of a spare key? RAVI. And who was the one to eagerly give Pippa his laptop when she had to break hers? RAVI. But I didn’t understand if he murdered Andie Bell, why he would lend Pippa his laptop to help her. But in the back of my mind I thought it also wasn’t Ravi. It’s just the true crime in me that thinks it’s the person you least expect it and that was Ravi.
But Ravi had no motive. Absolutely none as far as I knew. For the longest time, I thought he was the older brother, but he was the younger brother. But when I thought he was the older brother, I was thinking he could have been the older man Andie was seeing and that he was jealous of his brother and Andie’s relationship, so if he couldn’t have Andie, no one could. So he did it and then his brother found out or saw him do it and he couldn’t live with the guilt so he took his own life. Or Ravi coerced him to take his own life. I don’t know. But it also didn’t make sense why Ravi would do it when he didn’t know Andie. But man, I don’t know. OBVIOUSLY, I am no detective and am not going to be 😅
As the evidence started piling in, things got really interesting.
Andie Bell reminded me a lot like Alison from Pretty Little Liars. Andie was the typical, blonde enigma. She was pretty on the outside, but dark and scary on the inside. Her storyline was complex too.
I have a blog post, called Hurt, which I’ll link below, but there’s this saying, “Hurt people, hurt people,” and I feel that Andie represented this idea well. Her home life was sucky and her dad, Jason Bell, was toxic verbally and I’m still not sure if he was physically. But the demeaning way he would talk to his daughters and pin them against each other was HORRIBLE. I also know what that’s like to be compared to a better, prettier sister or to a smarter sibling and it really hurts your confidence because you feel like you’re never going to be good enough. It hurt Andie, and that’s why she hurt other people. I also didn’t like the way the dad talked to the wife about how he would joke that the mom married him for riches and he married her for looks, but she wasn’t keeping up her end of the deal. I WANTED TO SMACK A BELL! Like how rude!!! TO your wife no less. I would have left that sucker if he didn’t appreciate me. I mean, Andie Bell’s mom gave birth to two kids—–her body changed—–so EXCUSE you (Jason Bell) to tell her she was looking like a hag. Dang, he was a rag!
Anyway, it made it understandable as to why Andie acted the way she did. First, she sold drugs, which I thought was really sad because she didn’t need to resort to selling to get money. I mean, why did she need that much money anyways.
One of my favorite parts of the book had to be when Pippa went to a party and tried to talk drugs to figure out who was Andie’s distributor
“Just came out here, looking for Mary Jane.”
“Dunno who she is, sorry,” he said, finally pulling out a new green lighter.
“Not a who.” Pip gave him a meaningful look. “You know I’m looking to blast a roach.”
. . . “You know, looking for some herb, the door, a bit of hippie lettuce, giggle smoke, some skunk, wacky tobaccy. You know what I mean. Ganja.”(pg. 164)
Wacky tobaccy 😂.
Never in my life have I heard anyone refer to drugs as wacky tobaccy. Then again, I don’t know a lot about drugs or hang around people who use them to know these things. But that seems kind of out there to call it that. But Pippa is me and I am Pippa because we would both make ourselves look like idiots if we talked about drugs.
I couldn’t believe Pippa tried the drugs though. Pippa No! But she was very clever in getting the dealer’s number, but it was highly risky of her to follow him. I thought it was interesting though, when the drug dealer, Howie met with that writing guy, Stanley Forbes. I still don’t understand why Stanley Forbes was so secretive to Howie. Maybe he was buying drugs? I don’t know. But something still feels sketchy about that relationship. Couldn’t believe Pippa also followed Howie to his house. It reeked of bad idea, but at least she went with Sal. I’m more surprised that he actually let her inside and talked to her. She had leverage though so it’s not like he had a choice. Again, you can’t say Pippa was demeaning and tenacious. Honestly, I love her.
After talking to Howie, I don’t think he would do it because he literally just seemed content with his drugs and like he wouldn’t murder anyone, but I didn’t know him well enough to fully say that. But he did become a contender as to the “older guy.”
Something about Andie was also seeking love and validation from others. She had a secret thing going with Max and some “older guy,” which if you ask me wasn’t fair to Sal who was so loyal to her. Sal wasn’t into her selling drugs and I thought that was why he didn’t talk to her the night before she passed away, but maybe Sal also figured out she was seeing an older guy and that’s what she needed to stop too. I’m not sure if that was mentioned or not.
When Pippa was interviewing people, you could tell who was lying and who wasn’t. Sals’ friends were all keeping secrets in the way they said things that contradicted each other. It brings the question as to why they would lie or band against Sal in the first place. Because originally the friends said Sal left around 10:40 from this party Max Hastings had, but then all of the friends went to the cops to change the time and say 12:15. I mean, what friends to throw him under the bus untruthfully.
Max Hastings was someone I really did not like. He can lick dirt 😅 Besides the fact that he lied to Pippa and would give her a hard time, I also thought there was something sketchy and wrong that he had a naked photo of Andie Bell on his cork board after five years! I mean, why would he just hide it on his cork board, let alone keep it there. You SICKO! I also thought it was ridiculous when he said that he randomly found it in the back of a classroom, which now makes sense, but at the time I was like, “Sure you did.” But that photo made me think he had a secret relationship with Andie and he could have. But for some reason, I really didn’t see it being him killing Andie.
Then there was Naomi Ward, Cara Ward’s (Pippa’s best friend) older sister. She was one of the people who threw me for a loop. She seemed the most suspicious to me. The book is called a “Good Girl’s Guide . . .” so I was starting to think maybe it was Naomi because on the outside she could be seen as a good girl because of her grades and things. She was also a suspect because she lied about where she was that night Andie was murdered. But then she had the whole sob story, which is a sob story indeed, about how Max, Naomi and all of the friends got into a car crash one night and they badly injured a guy and fled the scene. Someone knew this and blackmailed Max, Naomi, and the other friends to no longer be Sal’s alibi or that person would tell the police what they did. I understood why they would give into the blackmail, but they could have told Sal why. At least owe him that. Still it was highly wrong. Naomi was all shook up about it because it could ruin her reputation. Pippa couldn’t go to the police and tell them Max and Naomi lied because then that would throw them under the bus. After Naomi and Cara’s mom passed away, the last thing Pippa wanted to do was split up their family with this revelation. It really put a damper on this whole situation because Pippa finally had a strong lead that Sal was innocent and she couldn’t even do anything with it.
I also want to applaud Pippa for using A+ detective skills (of course A+, no less for Pippa) to blow up that photo to look at the time and who was taking the photo. She was clever! I would have not thought to do that. When she went to Max and Naomi with it, you could just feel their stomach’s drop. They were done for. And Pippa was ready to rage on them and I was here for it.
With the sob story, Naomi was no longer on the suspects list because it explained why she was so secretive, but then there was the whole SIM card being the same SIM card that connected back to Andie’s planner Ravi and Pippa found. So she was up there on my list again. And then things really hit the fan, but before I go there, if it wasn’t Pippa, I really was onto the Da Silva guy.
I didn’t think the sister, Nat Da Silva. She was violent and brash, but I don’t think she would have actually murdered Andie even if she gave Andie a death threat in high school. She just gave me the vibes that she was done with Andie and letting her ruin her life. I don’t think Nat cared to murder her. Was she hostile? Definitely. Murdering type? Eh, I don’t think so.
The brother, however, was fishy. He had a wife, so he could have been the secret older man that Andie could have ruined. He knew about the car crash Max was in, so he could have had a reason to threaten Max and Naomi about it. He was also the primary in person in Andie’s case so like in Making a Murderer, he could have tampered with the evidence or did something to point fingers at Sal. I also didn’t like how Ravi said that when he asked Daniel questions, he would ignore it or shut them down. Only a person who has something to hide would shut down questions that make him/her uncomfortable. So there’s that red flag. I also didn’t like the vibe he gave off when Pippa went to that town meeting and was trying to talk to him about the case. Pippa can come off a bit pushy sometimes, but I think as a cop he could have handled this better. And if he was innocent he wouldn’t have felt super uncomfortable or angry with her. The only reason he was angry was because there was something he was hiding. Then there was the whole Stanley Forbes meet up. This Stanley does not let up. Again, I still don’t know what Stanley Forbes’s game is and these secret conferences with these suspects were, even after the murderer was revealed, I don’t know. But I think there’s something more to his character that I would love to be explained.
So if there was anyone besides Ravi who I thought did it, it was Daniel Da Silva.
But I did not, NOT, think it was Elliot Ward, Naomi and Cara’s dad.
I was CONFUSED.
Pippa thought it was him in the beginning too, but I think like her, he seemed like an innocent teacher with no real motive. But then the red flags showed when he was caught in a lie saying he didn’t really have a relationship with Andie—-which was far from true—-but still, I didn’t question him because he was a teacher who was a widowed man with two daughters. Why would he kill Andie and blame sSal? He didn’t have a bone to pick with either of them. I also think Pippa overlooked him because she wanted to believe the best in him. It was because she had a personal connection to the Ward family so she also let that blindside her as to his faults and lies.
When Pippa went into his office to see what was last printed and that printer sheet came out with the last threat she got telling her to stop. I kid you not, the chicken skin came out to play! I mean, CHILLS. What a creep of a man.
But when he came home, my inner horror movie girl in me was like, “PIPPA YOU BETTER RUN AND GET OUT!!!” There’s a murderer in the house! Gosh, I was thoroughly creeped out by him and how he came home all smiles like she didn’t kill Andie—–a teenage girl. But it always has to be the older, unsuspecting male, doesn’t it?
I give Pippa a lot of credit for going through with the whole putting the phone in his car idea to track where he was going. I also give her a lot of credit for putting the ideas together. I would have not thought that Elliot Ward tutoring would mean anything, but Pippa knew something was up because Elliot and his family were rich, so why did he need extra money to tutor? Which made sense. You know, if I’m being honest, there was a hunch in me that felt Andie never really passed away because if shows like Pretty Little Liars and Riverdale taught me anything, it’s never say someone is fully dead in a show unless you see the body. We never saw Andie’s body now did we.
Can we also give Pippa a round of applause for putting herself in such risky situations? Wait, I don’t know whether we should applaud her or smack her upside the head. I don’t know. Because in one respect, how utterly dumb was she to be in the same space as to the person who was threatening her and her family. But also how courageous of her to go to the ends of the earth to solve this case.
When she went to Elliot’s house, I honestly thought it was more dumb than smart, but who am I to judge? What I didn’t get was how forthcoming Elliot was in telling Pippa everything. It just seems too willing and easy. If I were him I would have resisted telling her anything or made her confused, so I don’t know why he just spewed it all to her. But him doing so emphasized to me how he really never wanted to hurt Andie or Pippa. I think he just felt defeated and guilty about the situation that he just wanted to tell someone. So I get it, but man was he also dumb.
I get it, he secretly was seeing Andie and they kinkly met at a hotel, but then he wanted to stop seeing her, but she never let up. So she went to his house and raged on him—-throwing things around. Then she hit her head, which explained the blood evidence Elliot was able to get. But after, Andie ran out of his house all angry. No one heard from her after that, so it looked like she passed away or was taken. So she wasn’t dead.
So here’s the big million dollar question: did he really need to kill Sal? Like did he REALLY need to? REALLLY?
H-E- to the double hockey sticks no he did not need to kill Sal. Like what kind of sicko, twisted person are you???! Couldn’t you have let poor, innocent Sal free???? Or at least pin the murder of Andie on him, but don’t kill him for it. I don’t care what type of sticky situation Elliot was in, but nothing justified how he deliberately drew Sal to the woods, drugged him with sleeping pills and then tied a bag around his neck.
Oh, but Elliot was “helping him.” More like helping yourself, you SICKO! Eat dirt!!!!!! I also felt like I didn’t pity him because he wanted to save face so his daughters would be okay. Because if he was pinned for murder, Naomi and Cara would lose yet another parental figure and they didn’t need that.
I also thought the whole Andie in the attic thing was bizarre as heck!! He kept a girl who wasn’t even Andie up there in his attic, feeding her Butterfingers and everything for YEARS. Dude, it wasn’t even her. It also gave me Pretty Little Liars dollhouse vibes. But man, WHAT A CREEP. I can’t fully judge him because he was a delusionally stressed man who felt completely guilty for what he did, so his mind created this idea that the girl in the attic was Andie, when it wasn’t. The mind does crazy things when we’re stressed; we believe what we want to believe. That kind of sucks for the real girl, Isla Jordan, he had housed up there because I wonder where her parents thought she went or why she was walking down that same street, looking like a distressed mess as to look like Andie?
I would like to know more about this Isla Jordan.
What I kept thinking about long after Elliot was arrested, was who the heck killed Barney, the poor dog.
OOOOOH! Don’t even get me started on the dog! I mean, you can threaten anyone and do anything, but if you take someone’s dog and kill it, there’s an all out war coming towards you!!!
Oh, I guess I should talk about the threats Pippa was getting before I move on.
If I was Pippa, I would have stopped my investigation the minute I felt like I was being followed and the moment I received that threat.
What I liked about Holly Jackson was how she mixed light-hearted moments in the midst of the heavy mystery. She balanced it well with the jokes here and there about Pippa being the “good girl,” but I also thought it was a nice touch that she added fun social moments for Pippa with her friends. The camp scene was one of the first social moments and you really get to see Pippa just be a young teen doing what teens do: letting loose and gossiping with friends. I also appreciated how she had a mix of guy and girl friends, it really emphasized how loved Pippa was by all.
When Pippa saw the tree move and the light behind it, I was like, someone’s out there! I wouldn’t have gone to hunt that person down because, DUH, that would obviously chase that person away. But when she got the note in her sleeping bag, dang, my heart sank for her. I felt bad too, because she thought it was a joke when it wasn’t. I would have liked to believe it was a joke if I was in her shoes. But then she started to get these texts. And texts aren’t so harmless because anyone can get your number and bully you—-sad, but true.
The deliberate notes were what scared me for Pippa. Especially the one where the person broke into her house and wrote on her laptop four pages about telling her to stop. At the moment, Pippa was impressed with how much the person wrote, but my writer’s mind was like, they could have copy and pasted that sucker onto four pages and not type it all 😂. Not impressive at all to me. There’s something so sleazy and greasy about someone who’s threatening you invading your personal space, let alone going into your own room. I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself or stay in that room without getting the heebee jeebees. It was cute though, when Pippa went to sleep with her brother because “he” needed protection. I wanted to hug Pippa.
But then Pippa went on that run one day, and Barney, her sweet golden retriever, went ahead in the woods and never came back. I was like, “HE WAS TAKEN!” Darn. Pippa was going to get the dog back if she complied with what the Unknown texter told her to do. So she did, and she stomped on her hard drives and laptops and all. I wouldn’t have had the guts to do that, but then again if I was put into that situation, I don’t know what I would do. I mean, do you choose a dog or a laptop?
I would choose a laptop because you can back all those things up somewhere somehow, but a dog is like a person and irreplaceable.
I thought she was going to get the dog back, but when she didn’t, I shook my head because she was done dirty!!!!! She just wanted her freaking dog! Man, the dog.
BUT MAN THE DOG DROWNED.
WHAT KIND OF SICKO DROWNS A DOG?
I couldn’t get over it.
If Pippa’s next big case is solving the murder of someone else’s dog, I am here for it 😆
Well, this ties into Elliot because he said he didn’t kill the dog.
And a lot of things still didn’t make sense even if he did confess.
Where was the real Andie?
Who killed Barney?
But Pippa, the genius, realized the text and message threats she got were from two different people. Elliot Ward never threatened to actually kill her because he cared. So at least, he’s got that going for him. But the other messages she got had this violent undercurrent to them. Which leads to Becca Bell. I was kind of confused though as to how she was able to just look at a picture of Becca Bell and know it was her.
But I guess it’s called a gut-feeling for a reason.
Pippa: Queen of going into risky situations that might get her killed.
That should be her slogan because when she went to Becca’s house, my gosh, I was screaming how much of an IDIOT she was. She should have brought back up!!! She was going into the house of a murderer. But Pippa had such a good moment when she started pricing things together in telling Andie everything she knew about. Reminded me of those mystery shows where they sit the criminal down and say their peace. Pippa was thriving.
Becca went to a calamity party where she was drugged by dumb Max Hastings. Then she figured out her sister sold drugs. Andie went home after her fight with Elliot Ward—-head concussion and all—-and she unintentionally pushed her sister to the floor and her sister passed away. Becca had a violent side. I felt Becca was very defensive and closed off whenever Pippa would see her or talk to her, but I always attributed it to Pippa being too pushy about something so sensitive to Becca. But it literally hit differently in Becca, now did it.
I thought this was an easy explanation for what happened, but I also thought it was really sad. Out of all the things that could have happened to Andie, she was pushed by her sister’s heat-of-the-moment anger. I couldn’t live with myself if I was Becca and I knew that I did that to my own sister. I know Becca didn’t mean to kill her, but still, there’s something deeper in there. What’s also kind of sketchy about Becca was how she managed to hide the body and deliberately set the situation up to make it look like she was innocent. I also didn’t think it was kind to put Andie’s body in a septic tank in an old house in the woods. She could have at least put Andie somewhere peacefully.
At this point, I still didn’t like Becca. She was capable of killing her sister and Barney. And she still threatened to hurt Pippa with all those messages.
So when Pippa started to slur her words and get dizzy, I was like, OH NO THE TEA!!!! Pippa you NEVER ACCEPT A DRINK FROM A MURDERER. That should be at the top of a person’s life lesson list. DON’T DRINK FROM STRANGERS!!!!
My gosh, I was so scared for Pippa, my hands kept flipping through the pages and my eyes flying on the pages because every word literally had me on the edge of my seat. My seat on the floor because gosh knows if I was on a chair I would have fallen off by now.
I thought Pippa was done for and that Becca was going to kill her because she figured it out. I was like “NO, NOT PIPPA.”
Thank gosh Ravi tracked her phone and helped her in this situation!!! And I thought he was the murderer 😂
The ending was highly satisfying.
I liked how it left you with a cliff hanger and the words drifting down like Pippa’s thoughts. I also liked how the end was staged two months later with Elliot Ward and Becca Bell being charged. But also Max Hastings being charged with sexual assault and Howie charged with selling drugs to minors.
I also thought it was highly deserved that Pippa got a whole gymnasium type of presentation for her capstone project and how different news outlets came to see her.
But can we all talk about how Holly Jackson subtly gave the fans what they wanted!!!!?
Ravi and Pippa.
Pippa or Rappi. I don’t know. But they sure do make a good team and they are cute. I liked how it wasn’t obvious because it made the falling in love, or at least confronting their feelings, seem authentic. I also thought it was a good decision to make it a subtle romance because I don’t think this book should have emphasized romance compared with the mystery, so I appreciated how it didn’t take the focus away.
It was beautiful when Pippa first proved Sal’s innocence, and Sal/Ravi’s parents and him all went to Pippa’s house with food as a thank you offering. It was sweet because everyone thought Sal and his family were bad people too, but they weren’t. There was that time Pippa was at the grocery store with Ravi and the cashier didn’t even want to touch the money Ravi had because she knew who Ravi was. I mean, please, take your rude attitude elsewhere. But I also understand it to some extent because people associate that person with a negative idea. I think we all need to remember that people are not who they are related to. There was also that big fight between Pippa and Ravi after she lost Barney and smashed her laptop. She didn’t want anyone else getting hurt, so for a moment of absolute defeat Pippa called everything off. But I know Pippa’s not a quitter. Ravi did too, but in the heat of the moment he walked away. My mind that thought that Ravi killed Andie, thought he came back the next day because he was trying to still be in her good graces again. But you know, Ravi didn’t do anything 😅 He was a legit nice guy.
I really enjoyed how Pippa had Ravi say a few words about Sal. Now that he was innocent, I think everyone in town was starting to regret being rude to him and his family. Ravi and his family had every right to be angry at those who painted Sal and his family as monsters, but he didn’t make his speech this huge, “AHA, you were wrong and I was right, you suckers” kind of speech. He talked about the good moments of Sal. Who he really was. And I thought that was beautiful. It could give people a good starting point to remember who Sal was.
Then Ravi? Pippa? asked the audience “Any questions?”
I mean, yea I still have more questions
1) What’s going to happen to Naomi and Cara?
Because poor them! They lost their mother and then they find out their father killed an innocent teenager and kept another locked up.
I mean, sometimes teens do not have it easy.
2) What’s with Stanley Forbes?
Still wondering about his connection to Howie and Da Silva. You know, if Stanley was dating Becca, did he know she killed Andie? Was he helping her keep it a secret through Howie and Da Silva? Is that why he was a firm believer that Sal did it, so it would drive attention away from his girlfriend? Or were they working together in some violent way?
3) What about the Da Silva’s?
I bet they still have something to do with this case that wasn’t explored. But I don’t think you can explore everything in a case by yourself.
Does Daniel Da Silva have the burner phone or did Becca?
4. Did they ever recover Andie’s body and are they going to have a proper service for her? What happened to the Bell’s parents?
They just found out one of their daughters was responsible for the author’s passing. That’s rough. I also still don’t like Mr. Bell because he’s verbally abusive so somethings wrong there.
5. How did Elliot or Becca know Pippa was in the woods that night?
6. How did Elliot or Becca also know about Max Hastings supposed car crash?
I don’t know if it was mentioned or not, but I’m still wondering. Maybe I missed something as I was rushing to read every page at the end (rushing to finish because I wanted to know what happened next!).
5. What’s next for Pippa and Ravi?
Well, I guess we’re going to find out with the next book, now are we?!
I’m super hyped and excited because apparently my girl Pippa made it to the big leagues and got her own podcast!!! If there’s anything I love, it’s a good podcast. Not too big on true crime podcasts for my sanity, but I do think it would be interesting.
Can’t wait to solve another mystery with Pippa and Ravi. And hopefully we can still see Pippa’s friends and how they’re all doing.
Overall, there are no words to describe how AMAZING this book was. I don’t read a lot of mystery books, but I think Holly Jackson just sparked a love for them. Who knows, maybe my next book will be something chilling to read.
Anyway, what was your favorite part? Least favorite part? Anything I said that you thought the same about or not? Were you surprised at the ending? Any mystery book recommendations for me? Let me know below in the comments as I love hearing from you all 💕
I hope you have a beautiful day whenever and wherever you might be reading this.
And NEVER DRINK FROM STRANGERS 😂
And as always, with love,
5 Full Bloom Flowers
Characters: I love love love Pip. Such a cute, good girl, with above average spunk and resilience. She’s someone who has such a bright mind to solve mysteries because gosh knows not anyone can just do that. I also liked the range of characters you meet and the depth of their stories
Writing: If you never read mystery books, Holly Jackson makes it easy for you to fall in love with it and to follow the process
Plot: It’ll leave you lost, then confused. And then when you think you know who it is, you’ll be wrong and then even more confused. And then you’ll be lost all over again. But that’s the fun of it, right?
Mystery: I can’t say I know a lot about mysteries, but as someone who doesn’t watch a lot of them or read a lot of them, this thoroughly had me enticed and engaged the minute I read the first word.