The It Girl is Ruth Ware’s latest novel about a murder at Oxford and the woman who may have been responsible for the conviction of the wrong man for the crime.
When Hannah Jones started at Oxford college 10 years ago, she was worried she wouldn’t fit in because of her working class background. But luckily, April Coutts-Cliveden, the poshest of the posh and an IT girl on Instagram, is her roommate. Even luckier, April immediately takes Hannah under her wing and introduces her to the mates she knows from school. They become the best of friends, but April has a proclivity for mean pranks and making her friends angry, so when she is found strangled in their suite, it could be many people who killed her. But Hannah and Hugh see John Neville, a 50-year-old porter, leaving the dormitory. John has been stalking Hannah since her term began at Oxford; showing up in her room, tackling her on a walk home late at night and appearing in places she is at frequently. So when they see him leaving, she determines he must have been after her. Neville is convicted and 10 years later, he dies in prison, still proclaiming his innocence.
Hannah is now married to Will, April’s ex-boyfriend, and is pregnant with her first child. They have both spent years fending off the press regarding April’s murder, and now, after the death of John Neville, journalists are eager to hear their side of the story. Feeling guilty for providing the testimony that prompted the jury to convict him, she wants to make it right and determine if he was truly April’s murderer, or is the actual killer still out there?
Another masterpiece from Ruth Ware! This novel is told in dual timelines; before and after. The before follows Hannah, April and their group of friends navigating their first year at Oxford, and the present as Hannah tries to find out if her testimony convicted the wrong man. The IT girl has it all; suspense, interesting characters, red herrings everywhere, and what may or may not be an unreliable narrator. All the characters are suspect in one way or another, which adds excitement, as the reader looks deep into each character.
I have only read two of Ware’s books; One by One and In a Dark Dark Wood, both of which are a touch shorter than her latest. I felt invested in the storyline and it was definitely a page turner. The ending is exciting and fast-paced. I know some reviewers found the plot “un-original” but I have never read a book like this, and am definitely a fan of dark academia. I can’t wait to read more by this author!