The IT Girl by Ruth Ware | Book Review [spoiler free]


Premise: April Coutts-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford. Taking the timid Hannah under her wing, April introduces her to a whole new world of glitz and glamour. Together they form a close knit group of friends – Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily – but not everything is as it seems. Being the IT girl seems to go hand-in-hand with toxicity for April. So it's no surprise that by the end of the school season, she's found dead. 

Now, a decade later, it has been brought into question whether the man who was convicted of April's murder was actually innocent. Being the main witness to the crime, newly pregnant Hannah begins questioning her own memories and sets on a mission to once and for all find out who killed April.

In the past I've had good experiences with Ruth Ware's books. For me they've always fallen into the category of junk food reading. They aren't exceptionally written and usually fall flat in some areas, but are nevertheless fun to read. And I always devour her books within a short time period. However, The IT Girl didn't do this for me. It instead resembled a dry granola bar that was marketed a fun flavor.

It's hard to explain what felt different about this book without giving away minor spoilers, but a large part of it was most definitely the university setting and Ware's lack of ability to write younger characters. You could quite honestly stick this book in the YA mystery section of a bookstore and it'd fit right in. But while saying that, the 'current day' chapters of the book felt more adult. It often seemed like Ware wanted to go the dark academia route but was instead told she had to make it a domestic thriller. It simply had no cohesive vibe. 

If you've read other Ruth Ware books you'll already know that her protagonists are usually duller than dull. But Hannah took that to another level. She was such an infuriating character to read from, and not in a thrillery 'ooh, she's mysterious' way. She was simply bland. You'd think reading from younger her and adult her would be interesting as surely she's matured even a smidge, but alas, nope. Her character continued to be dumb in any decision making and somehow became more whiny with age?

April, however, was interesting. While yes, she was a very stereotypical IT girl from a thriller standpoint, she did have layers and I was interested in reading more about her character. All the other characters, you ask? One of the same. Think The Secret History character list but without the eerie atmosphere surrounding them.

But what is a thriller review without a non-spoiler discussion on the twist? Well.. it was something. The ending of books has never been Ruth Ware's strong point (unless you're talking Turn of the Key, which I did wholly enjoy), and The IT Girl sadly continues that trait. It was lackluster and seemed to drag on without it needing to.

Basically, if you tend to read Ruth Ware's new releases, you may as well pick this up. It's more of the same. However, if you aren't that familiar with Ware's writing and are just looking for a fun thriller to pick up this Summer, skip this. It's not going to be a memorable read.

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