Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Release Date: July 12, 2022
April Coutts-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.
The It Girl follows Hannah as she attends the prestigious Oxford university and meets a new group of friends including her new roommate, April. Told from Hannah’s perspective, but from the past and present, The It Girls tells the story of murder and friendship within a university setting.
The It Girl has slight dark academia vibes. Ware’s descriptions of the university creates an unsettling atmosphere housed within the academia setting. Though, academia is not the central focus of the novel, the setting cannot be ignored and was one of my favorite aspects of the novel.
The It Girl is fairly slow paced as Ware introduces the cast of characters central to the murder mystery. Readers follow present tense Hannah as she dissects her past to try to discover the truth of what happened ten years ago. This is another aspect of the novel I enjoyed. Though slow at times, Hannah’s introspection of her recollection of events was fascinating and paired well with her quasi-investigation.
Unfortunately, The It Girl is too long. The slow pace is due to the fact that around 100 pages of the novel could have been cut. Hannah’s working life and doctor’s appointments could have been cut down, though I suspect they were included for a reason. There was also a specific character that was introduced later in the novel that went nowhere and was only used to push the plot along.
Overall, The It Girl isn’t my favorite Ruth Ware novel, however it does feature an interesting enough mystery with an atmospheric setting despite its slow pace.
*** I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Will you be reading The It Girl?