The It Girl

it girl jacketThe It Girl by Ruth Ware

Dark academia meets psychological suspense in Ruth Ware’s latest hit, The It Girl.

Hannah seems to have it all; a loving husband, a cozy job, and a baby on the way. Despite that, she is still haunted by the murder of her roommate April Clarke-Cliveden, ten years prior, as she was the one to discover April’s lifeless body in their dormitory at Oxford University, and immediately pointed her finger at the creepy and seemingly predatory staff member she had seen exiting the stairwell to their room. The staff member in question, John Neville, was ultimately charged and convicted in the death of the university student as a result of Hannah’s testimony, and spent the rest of his life in prison. Upon his passing in jail, interest in the case is instigated again and a member of the press isn’t completely convinced that John was actually guilty. Hannah is racked with worry and guilt when presented with clues that may prove the convicted man’s innocence. While stirring up decade old issues and rivalries amongst her friends from university, she proceeds on a mission to uncover what really happened that fateful evening, to the reluctance of those surrounding her. The drama doesn’t cease there though, as Hannah’s husband, Will, was dating the beautiful and poised Miss Clarke-Cliveden at the time of her strangulation.

Ware blends complex and well-developed characters as well as an engrossing setting to create a compelling read. By featuring dual timelines that are delineated as “Before” and “After,” readers are taken on a suspenseful journey to figure out who the real culprit is, alongside the story’s protagonist. While written with intensifying pace, “The It Girl’” is quite lengthy (at 420 pages) due to the amount of detail that Ware provides.

Readlikes include The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn and The Maidens by Alex Michaelides, with readalike authors being Paula Hawkins and B.A. Paris.


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