Review By Veronica

The It Girl is a gripping thriller that will have you trying to guess whodunnit it right to the very end.

Favourite Quote:

But the other door, her door, was open. That was the last thing she remembered. She should have known something was wrong.

But she suspected nothing at all.

She knew what happened next only from what the other told her. Her screams. Hugh following her up the stairs, two at a time. April’s limp body sprawled across the hearth rug in front of the fire, almost theatrically, in the photos she was shown afterwards.

Goodreads Synopsis: 

April Clarke-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford.

Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the second, April was dead.

Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide…including a murder.

I hate to admit this, but this is my first Ruth Ware book. I have heard fantastic things about her other books, but as I am sure more book bloggers will tell you, my TBR list is long. I just hadn’t had time to read them, which meant that when The It Girl was pitched to us, I knew this was the perfect opportunity to finally dip my bookworm toe into one of Ruth’s novels.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. Ruth crafted an edgy and intriguing mystery story that was hard to put down. The book is told from a dual timeline, one is present day, and the other is set during Hannah’s time at Oxford. I LOVED the timeline that took place in the past. It was faster-paced and full of fascinating characters, and the geek in me was excited to spend time as a student at Oxford. I felt more on the edge of my seat while reading chapters that were set in this timeline; I knew that something was going to happen to April; I just didn’t know when. So I was like, every chapter that took place during that time, is this the one where April gets murdered. The present-day timeline was much slower-paced, and I felt it dragged a bit. Hannah doesn’t start to investigate April’s death until we are halfway through the book. As much as I liked Hannah as a character in the past timeline, I felt like for half of the book; present-day Hannah took a bit to like.

Besides creating a thrilling mystery story, Ruth also touches on other societal issues like PTSD, assault, and how toxic the press can be. I thought Ruth did an excellent job at addressing these issues in a well-thought-out way. The characters in this book are raw, authentic, and exist in this morally gray zone. They all have past secrets that drive their actions in this book. As Hannah investigates April’s death, she realizes that she doesn’t know her friends as well as she thought, which causes her to question everything that leads to April’s death.

The It Girl will have you up all night long just so you can find out who the real murderer is.

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.