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The It Girl by Ruth Ware Book Review

Reason For Reading This Book:

As a dedicated Readhead I read The It Girl by Ruth Ware. What is a ReadHead you ask? The Readheads is a podcast book club that reads a book each month and then puts out a podcast episode where the four hosts discuss, rate, and choose actors for the characters. The episodes are put out the first Thursday of every month. 

Content of This Book:

10 years after Hannah helped put away her friend and Oxford roommate's killer she is thrust back into the world of April and her murder when the man convicted of the murder died in prison and public opinion that he was innocent increases. Total opposites Hannah and April became fast friends after being randomly selected to room together their freshman year at Oxford. Hannah and April are just two of the friends in their friend group that also includes Will, Hugh, Ryan and Emily. Its been 10 years since the murder and Hannah is now happily married, has a job she enjoys and expecting her first child. Upon learning that John Neville the porter she testified murdered April died in prison Hannah begins doubting she testimony as he proclaimed his innocence until he died. With newfound interest in the case by the public Hannah's investigation into finding the real murdered begins. Along the way she connects with a journalist who's goal is to proclaim John Nevill's innocence and her friends from Oxford. Everyone has secrets and one might just be murder.

What I Liked About This Book:

I found the aspect of the college to be very interesting. The author did a good job of bringing to life the school by including it's traditions, staff, testing schedule, rules, and even the descriptions of the property. As a somewhat recent college grad I applaud Ruth Ware for correctly depicting what it is like to be a first year. As a reader it was fun to hear from the perspective of a seller at a book store. It was interesting to read about her tactics for when and when not to approach a customer. As you will read in the disliked section, I feel like the length of this book was unnecessary. With that being said, the author did a phenomenal job describing everything. Aside from the things that I had never heard of like food and other British things, I could picture everything that was being described. I could clearly picture April's messy room and the costume she wore in the play. The last things that I will say that I liked about this book was the character development. Having finished the book and reflecting on it I can see how things were laid out to match the ending of the book through what the author decided to detail in describing who the characters are, their motives, and what their life looks like ten years after the murder. 

What I Disliked About This Book:

One thing that bothered me is that every taboo teenage drama or action happened in this book. What I mean by that is cheating in school, cheating in relationships, drugs, alcohol, a makeover, and more. Every time one more of these things happened in the book I felt more and more like the author was just piling on all the 'bad' things that were happening. I get that it was a good sized friend group and these things are bond to happen, but it felt like it distracted from the real point of the book and made me feel like I was watching a high school drama show on Netflix. For me this was a change of pace for thrillers because half of the book took place while the characters were in college. I have never read a thriller centered around this age group. I was turned off by all the pregnancy and baby talk. I have never been pregnant but I can imagine that it does take up a lot of your thinking, but in the case of this book it mortified into a storyline that was just as prominent as the storyline of discovering who was April's killer. I would have liked less focus on the pregnancy storyline since Hannah seemed to only use it as a crutch to why she had certain feelings and actions towards Will. She clearly cared about the health of herself and the baby but not enough to stop investigating. When it comes to the sections of this book there is the 'Before' and the 'After'. 'Before' is before April's murder and 'After' is ten years later and after the man found guilty of her murder died in prison. In the 'Before' section as it was getting closer to the murder the author began adding unnecessary stories and sequences of events in what felt like a way to drag it out and make the sections more equal in length. I found this annoying and so did one of the hosts on the podcast. Going off of that, this book was way longer than it needed to be. I really had to push myself to finish it. I was intrigued by the story but not enough to really think about it outside of reading or to try and theorized who I thought did it. 

Would I Recommend This Book?

I thought it was okay for the most part but would ultimately not recommend it as a thriller. I believe there are much better thrillers out there. I would say this is a good book to read on a long flight or car ride as its an easy read just long. 

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