Cover Image: This Book Kills

This Book Kills

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Member Reviews

If you have a teenager in your life who, when younger, was a fan of Robin Stevens’ superb 1930s-set Wells & Wong series, then you can’t go far wrong with giving them a copy of This Book Kills. 

While the setting is contemporary, many of the same themes - privilege as exemplified by the British boarding school system, race, belonging - are present in this debut novel. And the murder mystery is as twisty and satisfying as Stevens’ best. 

Highly recommended for teens age 13-14 up. Fans of Karen McManus will also find much to enjoy.
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3.5 stars

I was super intrigued by the concept of This Book Kills, mainly because I'm a huge fan of thrillers and this sounded so interesting. This book definitely lives up to my high expectations going into it! The pacing was done incredibly well, which meant I ended up flying through the pages, and the constant twists and turns in the plot kept it fresh and exciting. All the characters are developed amazingly and I particularly enjoyed reading from Jess's perspective because of the writing style and unique voice.

Though I had no clue who the murderer was for the first half of the book, I think it became more obvious in the latter half due to the deliberate framing of certain dialogue and actions. When the reveal happened, I found it difficult to be too surprised. Luckily though, this mostly didn't affect my enjoyment of the book.

Overall, a strong entry into the YA thriller scene, and I'm definitely excited to see what this author writes in the future!
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Scheduled for release in January 2023, thanks to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this early…a debut influenced heavily by A Good Girl’s Guide and the Truly Devious series. Great fun, and definitely one to recommend.
Jess Choudhary is a scholarship student at an elite school. She’s used to feeling on the outskirts of things, but when one of the wealthiest and most popular boys in the school is found dead things get difficult. Though it’s hushed up, his murder was carried out almost word for word like the story Jess and another student wrote for a school assignment. When Jess receives a text thanking her for the inspiration, we know things are about to become difficult.
Impeded by the stipulation that their behaviour is exemplary, neither Jess nor Summer can take the risk of stirring up too much trouble. With a secret society stirring trouble for the ‘poors’, it’s apparent that someone is exploiting the institutional issues for their own gain.
With its dark undertones of institutionalised racism, and the very apparent exploitation of status for personal gain, this gave a rather derivative book a real bite. Jess and her attempts at investigation are well-meaning but rather inept…and she comes to depend on the very people who are so keen to ostracise her just a little too much for my liking.
While this didn’t exactly offer anything new, it is still a great read. I can’t wait to see how it fares when it’s let loose on the world.
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This is the sort of book that reluctant readers can really get on board with! 
I am reviewing this book as a professional librarian not as a fan of YA because I think that is fairer and more helpful.
Overall the basic premise of the book is good. A murder at an elitist boarding school with a relatable protagonist is an easy sell to a YA audience!
 The text is not simplistic but the language is accessible, the plot contains twists and turns without being overly complex and the narrative voice is believable as a teenager. All these aspects make it very successful in my opinion. 
Personally, I found some characters almost caricaturish particularly Millie, and the ending was almost too neat (although got to love a kiss in the fireworks) but this does not take from the positives of Guron's writing.
Definitely a must buy for librarians who have mystery fans from KS3+
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Perfect for fans of Truly Devious, This Book Kills does a great job of combining the most popular themes in boarding school fiction, like relationship drama, elitism and secret societies, with a well-paced and intriguing murder mystery that keeps the reader turning pages.

Boarding school books are very popular in my libraries, whether they are mysteries or otherwise. I'll definitely be purchasing copies and recommending them to readers of Murder Most Unladylike and Truly Devious.
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There's a murderer on the loose in an elite boarding school... But who is going to be next? This Book Kills is the YA thriller of 2023, perfect for fans of Holly Jackson and Karen McManus."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. She'll be dead too.
Really enjoyed this book totally recommend 
Thank You NetGalley and Usborne Publishing 
I just reviewed This Book Kills by Ravena Guron. #ThisBookKills #NetGalley
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What an amazing book!
The book is super exciting and would love to read more from the author!

Thankyou netgalley for the ARC
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Wow, this was an incredible debut novel! The writing was phenomenal; the setting was very immersive and the perfect setting for a murder mystery. During one particular scene, my heart was thumping and I had to turn the lights on, which never happens to me! That just shows how well written and gripping this novel is. I did guess the murderer quite early on, however this did not take anything away from my experience of reading this book which I was very happy about as this is a common issue I have with YA mysteries.  I absolutely adored the interactive element before the final reveal; it was so cool to turn the page and get to watch a video from the author them self giving you a recap of the clues. The note pages were also a great addition  and I think that more books should add this as it makes the whole experience really engaging; it feels like you also solved the murder!

As for the characters, I thought they were really well developed, despite there being so many of them. You got given just enough knowledge about the background characters to make them familiar, but not too much so that mysterious atmosphere remains. Overall, I thoroughly  enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it to everyone! 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Usborne for the ARC!
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This was an excellent YA thriller that had me gripped from the start, to the point where I barely wanted to stop reading until I finished and was disappointed that I had to eat and sleep in between.

There was a very strong narrative voice and the main character was even snarky and sarcastic at times which did provide some effective comic relief in the storytelling. Jess was portrayed very realistically, allowing you to relate to her struggles, and the prejudices she sometimes experienced were sensitively handled. All of the characters in this novel were believable, realistic and multi-dimensional. 

The plot itself was crafted brilliantly - I was not able to guess who the murderer was, and upon finding out it was still believable enough that I wanted to go back and reread the book to spot all the clues that I had missed, which to me is a mark of a great murder mystery - it takes the reader by surprise, but there were enough clues planted that you could have figured it out earlier. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and would love to read anything that Ravena Guron writes next.
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This Book FASCINATES. I could not put it down, even when I knew I should and get ready for bed I just could not. I wanted to know what was going to happen next, it has everything a thriller should - prestige, mystery and well written characters!
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Jess Choudhary co-writes a short story for the Gifted & Talented class at her elite boarding school. When her classmate Hugh is murdered in the exact same way as the protagonist of the story, suspicion falls on her. Not only is her scholarship position at risk, but she also receives death threats from an unknown number. And the police don't seem to be getting anywhere. If she wants to stay in school, and more importantly, stay alive, she has to solve the murder herself.

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It's hard to get the pacing in mystery novels just right and, in my opinion, this book definitely achieved it! It never got boring or so fast paced that I felt left behind. And, some mystery books either make you feel dumb for "not getting it" or make you feel bored or frustrated because the whodunit was too obvious and the red herrings laughable.
This book was neither!
The story evolved naturally and continuously, while also diving into the character's lifes and still being entertaining and surprising.
What's more, I didn't get the sense of the author speaking for the characters or blatantly pushing them in a certain direction, but like they all had their own voice and behaved of their own accord (maybe that's why the twists in the story never felt out of place).
It's as if the author created some personalities, put them into a setting and let them loose. And I LOVED following them along!

The book also discusses certain social issues and pokes fun at set traditions (e.g. how posh people tend to name their kids - it's done very over the top, but it's absolutely hilarious).
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Jess is a scholarship student at an elite boarding school, when Hugh, one of the wealthiest among the already affluent student body, is found dead. Jess has a personal interest in the case, not least because of her best friend having an affair with the deceased - but because a short story that Jess wrote formed the premise of the murder.

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This was a really addictive read, I read it in two sittings over the space of twenty four hours. Fast-paced, compelling and well thought out - this had all the elements of a successful murder mystery. Given how well-populated the “student gets killed at elite boarding school” genre is, i was pleasantly surprised at how unique the authors twist on the tale was - it takes real skill to pick a familiar genre and put your own twist on it, let alone for a debut novel.

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I will say I think this book weakened in the middle. I guessed the murderer pretty early on (which I didn’t actually mind, because I was so intrigued by the storyline) but it felt like, in an attempt to create red herrings, the author didn’t know how to create filler content and it sort of just… went all over the place. It wasn’t badly written per say, but it definitely distracted from the main storyline and felt wholly unnecessary.

Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced readers copy xo
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You know when you pick up a book, start to read the first few pages and instantly know it’s going to be great? It was an immediate hit with me, and I mean immediate. First page down and I knew it was going to be a big one. One I didn’t want to put down, couldn’t tear myself away from and couldn’t stop thinking about. 

I do love a Murder mystery, high school drama, private school centred plot and this one was great. I did have to laugh at the characteristic and stereotypical ‘Toff’ like last names of a lot of the characters though, if you didn’t know most of the characters came from money and a privileged background, their names would give it away! 

I also loved that there was an interactive element for you to mirror Jess, the main character, near the end of the book to brainstorm and write down who you thought the murderer was. Physical copies of the book have a few dedicated notebook style pages for you to jot down on as well as the e-book version having a QR code you can scan which takes you to a YouTube video which sums up some of the facts gathered from throughout the book. What a fab idea!
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Hugh Henry Van Boren is murdered at his very posh private school. Jessminder, one of the scholarship students is sent a text message soon after thanking her for the inspiration. What follows is a brilliant YA book full of red herrings and edge of your sweaty mystery. 

This enjoyed this immensely.
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You know when you pick up a book, start to read the first few pages and instantly know it’s going to be great? It was an immediate hit with me, and I mean immediate. First page down and I knew it was going to be a big one. One I didn’t want to put down, couldn’t tear myself away from and couldn’t stop thinking about. 

I do love a Murder mystery, high school drama, private school centred plot and this one was great. I did have to laugh at the characteristic and stereotypical ‘Toff’ like last names of a lot of the characters though, if you didn’t know most of the characters came from money and a privileged background, their names would give it away! 

I also loved that there was an interactive element for you to mirror Jess, the main character, near the end of the book to brainstorm and write down who you thought the murderer was. Physical copies of the book have a few dedicated notebook style pages for you to jot down on as well as the e-book version having a QR code you can scan which takes you to a YouTube video which sums up some of the facts gathered from throughout the book. What a fab idea! 

There was a tonne of plot twists and turns and I was so eager to find out whodunnit at the end. I didn’t guess who it was! A few elements I found maybe a little far fetched and fortuitous but I suppose there needs to be some part of that for some of the storylines to add together. But overall it was a great book. I really enjoyed!
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I went into this book with very little knowledge and I was so glad I did. If you like a YA mystery this book is for you. The story is a great addition to the genre. I also like the added elements where it breaks the fourth wall.
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