Review: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder- Don’t Get Your Hopes Up Too High When Reading “BookTok” Books

TikTok, one of the leading apps in the world of social media, has a huge influence on every aspect of teenagers’ lives. Whether it is what clothes they should wear, music they listen to, and now, books they should read, teenangers will heed to whatever advice TikTok gives them.  The ‘for you’ page is a content-generated section of TikTok where popular videos from users appear.  The “for you” page bases its content off of how interested the user is in specific videos, and further personalizes this page by using app data and usage statistics.  For instance, many who ‘like’ or comment on makeup videos will have a beauty-based feed.  There are all sorts of TikTok niches, and a popular one on the rise is called “BookTok” (described in this Legacy article).

BookTook is a side of TikTok where books are suggested to users who interact with videos about reading.   It is a “for-you” page designed to show active readers videos of creators who recommend books.  The most popular recommendation on BookTook is A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson.  This murder-mystery is geared toward teen readers, most of whom have loved this read.  It currently has a 4.34 star rating on GoodReads, and lots of positive feedback from readers. However, I strongly disagree with these readers.  

Caution: spoiler alert ahead

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder was one of the biggest disappointment reads. I heard much praise from TikTok users, only to find that this book was completely random, unrealistic, and extremely confusing.  In summary, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is about a high school senior, Pippa Fitz, who decides to investigate the murder of Andi Bell (which happened five years prior), which she believes is still unsolved.  Andi’s convicted, deceased killer, Sal Singh, was one of Pippa’s role models, and she believes he was innocent.  The whole story followed Pippa’s investigation, but it was quite out-of the norm.  Pippa composed a list of around fifteen suspects.  Being that this novel is relatively short, it was extremely hard to follow considering there were so many different character/potential killers you had to keep up with. I often was confused while reading this novel, having no idea who was who and who was involved in what, not to mention that there were dozens of pieces of random evidence that were essentially handed to Pippa that all somehow perfectly connected. In addition, every suspect Pippa questioned compliantly gave her all of their information and alibis.  Apparently, the police had not questioned half of these people, which would never happen in real life.  In reality, if a girl comes up to you wanting to know about the death of a girl she thinks you’re involved in, you’d be absolutely insane to testify all of your information, that she could use against you, to her.  In the end, the murderer confesses his entire crime to Pippa after she asks him if he did it merely once.  He basically gave himself up to the police, which is once again, a common theme in this novel: unrealistic.  

In my opinion, these TikTok “readers” have not read many quality novels, considering that 

they found this one to be ‘amazing’.  In summary, don’t trust everything the Internet tells you, especially when it comes from teenagers who have no idea what a decent plotline is.  Stick to GoodReads, book clubs, and our school librarians for suggestions, and refrain from gathering information from TikTok. Otherwise, you will waste your time and money on amateurly constructed, terrible books! If you do decide to read it, I want to know what you guys think about this read.  Regardless of my opinion, you should still give it a shot if you are interested. 

One comment

  • I haven’t read this one, but I’m glad you are open to other opinions about it! Thanks for the shout out to school librarians in your closing paragraph. We always say that even if a book isn’t for you in particular, it may be just the right book for someone else. We are looking forward to more book reviews from the Legacy!


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