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The It Girl by Ruth Ware
Mystery

The It Girl

by Ruth Ware

Excellent choice

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Quick take

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

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_WellKnownAuthor

    Famous author

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FemaleFriendship

    Female friendships

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Unsettling

    Unsettling

Synopsis

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.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of The It Girl.
The It Girl

BEFORE

Afterwards, it was the door she would remember. It was open, she kept saying to the police. I should have known something was wrong.

She could have retraced every step of the walk back from the Hall: the gravel crunching beneath her feet of the path across Old Quad, under the Cherwell Arch, then the illegal shortcut through the darkness of the Fellows’ Garden, her feet light on the dew-soaked forbidden lawn. Oxford didn’t need KEEP OFF THE GRASS signs; that lawn had been the preserve of dons and fellows for more than two hundred years without needing to remind undergraduates of the fact.

Next, past the Master’s lodgings and along the path that skirted round the New Quad (close on four hundred years old, but still a hundred years younger than the Old Quad).

Then up staircase VII, four flights of worn stone steps, right up to the top, where she and April slept, on the left-hand side of the landing, opposite Dr. Myers’s rooms.

Dr. Myers’s door was closed, as it always was. But the other door, her door, was open. That was the last thing she remembered. She should have known something was wrong.

But she suspected nothing at all.

She knew what happened next only from what the others told her. Her screams. Hugh following her up the stairs, two at a time. April’s limp body sprawled across the hearth rug in front of the fire, almost theatrically, in the photos she was shown afterwards.

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Why I love it

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.

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Member ratings (13,473)

  • Amanda S.

    Cedar Grove, WI

    Absolutely loved this!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️kept me guessing until the end, just when I thought I had it, twist. Very well written, loved the back and forth from before and after. Round of applause for Ruth Ware.

  • Brandy S.

    Zanesfield, OH

    We’ve all encountered an “it” girl at some point. April was the “it” girl at Oxford. Hannah the roommate who became a friend. But was she a friend? “She was the perfect friend - until she wasn’t.”

  • Cindy V.

    Santa Fe, NM

    Ruth Ware does it again! This book is full of twists and turns and just when you think you know who is the killer, you don’t! I loved this book I couldn’t put it down! Bravo I can’t wait for the next!

  • Ashley T.

    Ogden, UT

    It Girl had the best “rich people problem’s” drama and dark academia vibes! I loved it and really thought I knew what was happening and where it was going several times - but we love a surprise ending

  • Rachel D.

    Henrietta, NY

    Just when you think you can guess what’s going to happen, totally blindsided. I couldn’t put this book down honestly. Such a great read and constantly kept me guessing!! Thoroughly enjoyed this book!!

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