Book Review – This Book Kills

Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing my review for This Book Kills, a recent YA release.

“I’ll make it clear from the start: I did not kill Hugh Henry Van Boren.

I didn’t even help. Well, not intentionally.”

When Hugh Henry Van Boren, one of the most popular and richest kids in Jess Choudhary’s school, is found dead, the student body is left reeling and wondering who the murderer could be… Jess, a student under strict instructions to keep her record clean or risk losing her scholarship, finds herself at the centre of the investigation when it’s revealed that Hugh died in the exact same way as a character in a short story she wrote.

And then Jess receives an anonymous text thanking her for the inspiration.

With time running out, Jess knows if she doesn’t solve this mystery she’ll finally have something in common with Hugh Henry.

In the author’s bio, she comments on having discovered Agatha Christie in her teens, and you can see that reflected in this book. The ‘cosy crime’ vibe that makes Christie so popular is well captured, and turned into a young adult novel, perfect for those first entering the murder mystery department as well as long standing sleuths.

Jess is a very likable character, and I felt a lot in common with her. I am white, however I was also a scholarship student at a major private school, and the pressures to do and be everything perfect was huge. I could relate hugely to that aspect of her struggles, and it was a total throw back to being a teenager all over again (although thankfully there were no murders to solve in my year!). In this case, it puts her at both an advantage and disadvantage for investigating: it works in her favour as she can exist in the back ground, but puts her at a loss trying to get other students to speak to her.

The dynamics that shift and change throughout the pages, with the discoveries made and suspicions growing are fascinating, and well plotted. The characters feel real, as do the ways in which they behave and react, in all their eccentricities and flaws. Guron’s clever writing makes this an accessible, intriguing mystery, leaving you to wonder at the darker side of academia, and what exactly people might be willing to kill for.

Overall, this was an easy, enjoyable read, and one that will certainly go down on the list of books – and authors – to watch when it comes to young adult mysteries. A very welcome addition to the shelves, and I look forward to what the author produces next.

Thanks for stopping by for this review today. If you’ve got something you think I should be reading and reviewing, let me know in the comments below!


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