Thursday, 8 December 2022

This Books Kills by Ravena Guron

"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. 

📌 Publication date: 05/01/2023
📌 Disclaimer: I received a proof from the publisher for review 

Three reasons why I was excited to read This Book Kills:
⭐ Murder mystery
⭐ Set in a boarding school
⭐ Features a British Indian main character(!)

Jess Choudhary is a scholarship student at an elite boarding school. When a rich and popular student dies, Jess receives a text from the murderer saying they were inspired by the short story she wrote for her Gifted & Talented class. With it becoming increasingly obvious that there are forces set out to block the police from fully investigating, it's up to Jess to get to the bottom of it.

What I like about This Books Kills is that it's more than just a murder mystery. It explores class, privilege, and prejudice. Being one of the few people of colour, who is also from a less affluent background, Jess is held to a different standard to the other students. She is expected to work harder, behave better, and is at risk of losing her scholarship if she steps out of line. 

As a British Indian, this is the first time I've seen myself represented in a book in this genre. I found the things Jess faced so relatable, for example, the microaggressions. Like she's asked where she's really from when she says the UK, and her skin colour is described in terms of food. Her personality too was relatable. She's quiet and awkward, enjoys reading, and prefers to blend in rather than be center of attention. I also appreciated that she was okay with who she was, and wasn't embarrassed about her background and upbringing. Plus, her relationship with her mum was heartwarming.  

As well as being an engrossing murder mystery, I really enjoyed the overarching plot of the book, from the secrets society, to the revelations about people's true nature. The plot twist was great and I honestly did not see it coming. There is a notes section in the proof copy of the book, before the killer is revealed, where you can write down your theories as to who it is, which I think is a clever idea and hope makes it into the final copy. I also want to mention that I don't normally care about the romance in mysteries, if there is one, but this one was very cute and I was rooting for Tommy and Jess from the get go.

I hope Ravena Guron plans on writing more books, because I will definitely be checking them out. 
 
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