In this story of secrets with a life of their own, a return to college stomping grounds reveals the lies that bind us.
Good to know
April Clarke-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.
Why I love it
Author, All the Dangerous Things
When I was asked to read an early copy of The It Girl by Ruth Ware, I almost fell out of my chair. I’ve been a Ware fan since her debut, In a Dark, Dark Wood, and it seems that every story she’s told us since has not only hit the mark, but surpassed it. Her latest is no exception.
Everybody knows the “it” girl: smart, funny and beautiful to boot, April Clarke-Cliveden is the very first person Hannah Jones meets at Oxford. The two roommates become instant best friends, but when April is found murdered in their room, it’s Hannah who points the finger at John Neville, an elderly porter who had been giving her an uneasy feeling all year. The case is closed and Neville is incarcerated . . . but a decade later, after he dies in prison, new evidence emerges that suggests Hannah’s testimony may have wrongfully convicted an innocent man.
While the plot is compelling enough, The It Girl is about so much more. Happily married and expecting her first child, Hannah is racked with guilt for not only putting a potentially innocent man behind bars, but for living a full life after her best friend’s was cut so short. And while she’s determined to find the truth and finally lay April to rest, she’s simultaneously sick with memories of a friend who was not only enchanting . . . but toxic, too.
If you’re looking for a story full of complex characters and stocked with suspense, Ware’s delve into dark academia is it.