Cover Image: The It Girl

The It Girl

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Member Reviews

Ruth Ware is really cementing her place on my favourite thriller authors list! Although quite different to others I’ve read in this author’s backlist, this one still really impressed me. While it was a bit of a slow burn, the atmospheric writing and palpable tension kept me engaged, not to mention that ending.. did not see it coming! An original and fresh twist on the standard whodunnit!

I did think it was a bit too long; Hannah’s inner dialogue started to became quite repetitive and as a result I lost interested at some points. Other than that minor critique though, I really enjoyed this one and would definitely recommend it, especially if you like thrillers with dark academia vibes!
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One of my most anticipated thriller of the year! I have loved all Ruth Ware books, and this one was no exception.

April was an IT girl and Hannah’s roommate. Hannah found her dead body ten years ago, and it changed her life forever. She testified against the murderer who went to prison, but he insisted that he wasn’t the killer. Had Hannah sent an innocent person to jail?

I loved the Oxford setting and the details described in the book. I appreciated that they weren’t just info dump; they were functional as I could picture the settings vividly in my mind - the gate, the door, the room and the bedrooms.

While I was a bit disappointed that Instagram didn’t make a more prominent involvement in the story, April Clarke-Cliveden was an IT girl indeed (with a name like that, she had no chance). In the beginning, I was more attracted to the ‘After’ chapters because I didn’t have too much interest in the student interactions in the ‘Before’ chapters. But I understood they were important to establish the relationships between the characters so we’d feel the impact of April’s death to everyone around her and why they would still react strongly to it many years later.

Around the 40% mark, I was hooked. The plot was amazing, the characters were greatly developed, the writing was so tight. I suspected everyone, just like Ruth Ware wanted, and I was still surprised by the reveal. The conclusion was great.

I loved this and I couldn’t stop thinking about it after I read the final page. Ruth Ware has done it again!
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Considering the title, The It Girl has very little to do with April. Of course, it's all about solving her murder, but we only get a very narrow glimpse into her life. There are no earth-shattering secrets or hidden truths - April seems to be exactly as she appears, leaving the narrative feeling shallow.

I know this is supposed to be twisty and full of dark academia vibes, but it's primarily spoiled rich kids and lacklustre red herrings. Everyone is supposed to be a suspect when really, Ware focuses on the scholarship kids, the staff, and anyone without money. Because they worked so hard to get there and have the most to lose, they must have... committed murder? Yeah, the second you stop to think about it, nothing makes sense, and the whole thing falls apart.

There are a few good moments, but overall I found The It Girl to be pretty average.
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A group of students from different backgrounds come together at Oxford and a friendship group is formed with April, the IT Girl, at the centre.  April comes from a privileged background, something that she takes for granted.  She directs the groups activities and loves nothing more to push her friends boundaries and prank them.  April is murdered and her roommate, Hannah gives evidence against one of the College staff.  The story jumps between past and present as Hannah gives us the history leading up to the murder and how she is questioning herself about that night.  Hannah is questioning everything, and you will too!  A real ‘who done it’ which culminates in a hectic climax.  Thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review. #netgalley #simon&schuster #ruthware
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Thanks to #netgalley for the ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. Omg what a fantastic read! It had everything I want in a thriller, likeable characters, a building feeling of suspense throughout, twists, dual timelines and a well developed plot. I was hooked from the start and couldn't read it fast enough to discover just who had killed April and if Hannah had really helped send the wrong man to jail. This book literally became unputdownable towards the end, I am pretty sure I stopped breathing for a few pages there. Another addictive read from Ruth Ware.  It was perfect in every way. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #ruthware #theitgirl #netgalley #litsy #thestorygraph #amazonaustralia #amazonkindle #tea_sipping_bookworm #bookqueen #bookstagram #thriller
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This is a very well crafted book, it started out as a slow burn but after the first few chapters I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Ruth Ware writes a intriguing and compelling thriller. I didn't really like or feel for any of the characters but nevertheless it is still a fantastic storyline. Thank you netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

My rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4/5

Everyone wanted her life
Someone wanted her dead

It was Hannah who found April’s body ten years ago.
It was Hannah who didn’t question what she saw that day.
Did her testimony put an innocent man in prison?

She needs to know the truth.

Even if it means questioning her own friends.
Even if it means putting her own life at risk.

Because if the killer wasn’t a stranger, it's someone she knows…

#netgalley #theitgirl
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Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this book for an honest review.

I think this is it for me with the author. 
I enjoyed her early work but they seem to have gone downhill from there. Just bored!
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Everyone wanted her life. Someone wanted her dead. 

Introducing Hannah – Her friend April was found murdered in the room they shared at Oxford University.  Now a decade later Hannah thinks she has sent the wrong person away for the murder of her friend. Former Porter John Neville has died in prison and has Hannah going back to that night she will never forget especially when a journalist tells her they have new theory that points to John Neville being innocent. Everyone had a motive for April’s death. April loved playing games with her group of friends - Hannah who is heavily pregnant and married to Will who was April’s college sweetheart and then we have Hugh, Emily and Ryan. Hannah wants to get to the bottom of what happened that night even though her blood pressure has skyrocketed. Who killed April and why?

The book is told in Hannah’s perspective both then and now. We get an insight of the university days and why April was called the “It Girl”. I enjoyed this Psychological thriller and I am sad to say that this is my first Ruth Ware book – This definitely won’t be my last. I found this book fast paced and quite enjoyable. 

Thank you Simon & Schuster and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Loved this story. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough as Hannah’s magical world at Oxford unfolded. 
As Hannah's world came crashing down around her at the death of her best friend, the reader was plunged into the uncertainty of whether Hannah got the details of that night wrong, sending an innocent man to jail to spend the rest of his days wrongfully accused.    

As Hannah explores the possibilities of what really happened that night, it feels like everyone could have felt they had a reason to murder April, but the final twist came with a bang as it was revealed who might have acted on it, and whether they'll kill again.
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Ruth Ware’s The It Girl is a well-written, action packed dive into dark academia. The characters are complex and the plot twists surprising, but credible. Highly recommended. Thanks to Ruth Ware, NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the ARC.
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This is my first Ruth aware and definitely not the last one. The It Girl kept me hooked to it and I enjoyed this one thoroughly. 

With narration moving from past to present, we are introduced to the two main female protagonists, Hannah and April. Roommates at Oxford, coming from entirely different family backgrounds, the two girls enjoy the life at Oxford. April is the It Girl. She has everything that anyone and everyone wants. 

It Girl made me fall in love with different characters but mostly, I loved the depiction of Oxford and I really really felt like I’m missing out on not having visited the gorgeous place. 

This was a slow burn but still had its cliffhangers and twists that made me gasp. It was intense and well-written. It’s a brilliant mystery worth falling in love with.
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Ruth Ware is one of my favourite authors, so I was really excited to read this book and it did not disappoint. The story goes between past and present timelines and I really enjoyed how the story unfolded and kept you guessing. Hannah becomes friends with April when they meet at Oxford but then April is found murdered. Hannah helps with convicting one of the Oxford porter’s John Neville with the crime, however years later she finds out he has died in Prison. Then Hannah is contacted by a journalist who feels there are some loose ends that do not add up, which has Hannah wondering if she helped convict the wrong person. I found Hannah’s character really interesting and enjoyed when she would delve into what happened at Oxford and how all the characters are connected. The book was a slower-paced thriller but it held my attention throughout. I loved the twists and turns of this book and I think if you are a fan of Ruth Ware or enjoy twisted thrillers you will love this one.
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Thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia, Netgalley and the author for an ARC of this book.  I am leaving this review voluntarily.

I can completely understand why there has been so much anticipation and buzz about this book.  This is a well-crafted, completely original thriller.  I won't give too much away because it really has to be experienced page by page but I will say that the characterisations are spot on and the way that the story twists and turns made me gasp aloud (to the consternation of my pets and children).

I highly recommend you buy this book if you are a fan of academic mystery thrillers - it's the very clever sorts you have to look out for ;-)
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If you’ve followed me for a while you’ll know that I’m a huge Ruth Ware fan. She is one of my auto-buy authors, so I was extremely excited when I received a copy of her new book, The It Girl, to review! 

Synopsis: When wealthy, beautiful and intelligent April is found murdered in her university college room, Hannah’s life is changed forever. Not only has she lost her best friend, but she is a key witness in the murder trial and must live with April and the trial haunting her as she moves into adulthood. When her testimony is called into question years later, Hannah must pick apart what she thought she new about her past to discover the truth. 

I found The It Girl quite a different read from Ruth Ware’s other books. It’s a bit more of a slow burn, offering a shift away from her usual plot-driven thrillers to more of a character-led piece. I enjoyed getting to know the backgrounds of her characters more deeply than in some of her previous work. The chapters alternate between present day (or “after”) and before April was murdered (or “before”), so if you enjoy alternating timelines as the story unfolds then this will work for you. 

It’s a compelling portrayal of how we must live with the consequences of the decisions we make. It dives into the importance of trust and friendship when relationships are tested and discovering the truth at all costs. I loved the academic setting and the staging across Oxford and Edinburgh. 

The It Girl is a gripping new story from our queen of the page-turner, Ruth Ware!
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This book took me nearly three months to read because of its length and superficiality. I was consistently bored up until the last fifty pages and I know it didn't save the book for me at all by knowing the killer in the end. I had great expectations for this book as many others have, since it is so highly anticipated, but I'm rather disappointed. I had high hopes due to the reputation of the writer, and I hadn't read any of her work before. I really wish this could have been shorter, snappier. The sentences and thoughts meandered and for what? To get to a place in twice the length of time as necessary? Also I didn't feel close to any of the characters at all, which is bizarre considering the amount of time I spent with them. This was such an average, average story.
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Set in Pelham College, this is the story of six students in their late teens who come from different walks of life to meld in the melting pot of the prestigious Oxford University. Hannah arrives in the high-status university in October 2011 and finds to her good fortune that she is the room-mate of the eponymous "It girl", April Coutts-Clivden. Rich, generous, extraverted, clever April has it all, and beauty to boot. As the cliché goes, every girl wants to be her, and every guy wants to date her.

There's April’s boyfriend Will de Chastaigne, witty, brash Ryan, his straight-speaking, straightforward girlfriend, Emily, and tongue-tied medical student Hugh. There are a slew of other Oxford characters, Slimy Oxford porter John Neville, and equally-slimy, mysterious good-looking professor whose dorm is across the aisle from Hannah and Emily. Surely, there should be a rule against this to prevent lecherous professors from encroaching in the space of their female students?

But April had her dark side. Each of her 5 friends had been the brunt of this to a lesser or greater extent. Flirty, smart, multi-talented she may have been but April loved playing pranks on her dearest friends, sometimes to devastating effect. It's only after 10 years that Hannah realises how ingenuous she had been to April's malevolent surprises wrought upon her Pelham friends. Distraught, Hannah discovers that nearly everyone had a motive, not least of all, her beloved Will, April's then boyfriend.

As the blurb notes, Hannah finds Emily's body in their room after a campus show in which Emily starred. John Neville was convicted of April’s murder on Hannah’s evidence that she saw him emerge in the dark and in the distance from her dorm's building. Soon after, the friends disperse. The death had such a profound effect on Hannah that she aborted her studies and moved to Scotland to work. She forgot about her crush on Will and hoped to move on. However, Will moved to Scotland, sought out Hannah, reciprocated her love and married her. In 2021, ten years later, they are expecting their first child.

John Neville, however, protested his innocence from the start, through until his death in prison, also in 2021. His appeals had been unsuccessful. Hannah is sick to death of the publicity surrounding her, every time April's death comes up in the media. She hopes that Neville's will put a stop to the media circus, the emails in her personal inbox and journalists' calls of the past 10 years.

Then, a journalist, Geraint Williams, seeks Hannah out, claiming to have fresh information about April's death, which he requests her to look into. One of Hannah's worst nightmares is that she may have put an innocent man in prison. The only information she had was a blurred sight of John Neville in the middle of the night some distance away.

Ruth Ware has written a page-turning, academic, love-story-cum-murder mystery. I guessed at – aka clutched at straws suspecting – every one of the friends plus the side characters, and failed. This is a much better version of The Maidens by Alex Michaelides. Same milieu, slimy professors, young entitled people. But the The It Girl by Ruth Ware has superior plotting, brilliant red herrings, amazing character-building of April and of Will, and an excellent resolution. Brilliant murder /psychological mystery, thriller, written from the past and present. Thoroughly recommended. Thank you to NetGalley, Ruth Ware Simon & Schuster Australia for allowing me the opportunity to read and review.

This review also appears in https://thereadersvault.blogspot.com/2022/07/the-it-girl-ruth-ware-5.html and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4884696710.
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4.5★s
The It Girl is the seventh novel by best-selling British author, Ruth Ware. When Hannah Jones arrives at Pelham College in October 2011 to begin her three years at Oxford, the last thing she expects is to be part of a group of six funny, clever students, but sharing a suite with intimidatingly beautiful and conspicuously wealthy April Clarke-Cliveden turns out to confer automatic acceptance.

“Now, as she stood there, her head spinning a little from the champagne she had drunk, she had the strangest feeling— almost as if she were surveying herself from a distance, marveling at the fact that she— Hannah Jones—had found herself surrounded by these exotic, clever, glamorous creatures.”

About the only fly in the ointment is that the guy who renders her weak at the knees, Will de Chastaigne, hooks up with April. None of them could ever have predicted that, less than a year later, April would be strangled to death. And Hannah would find her body.

Ten years on, Hannah and Will are expecting their first baby. Will is working crazy hours, trying to make full partner: they’re gong to need the income when Hannah has to give up her bookshop job. The nightmares and PTSD have finally decreased to manageable levels. Hannah has always felt guilty, both for surviving when April didn’t, and living the life April should have been living, with the husband she should have had, and now the baby she could have had.

Then, the news that the man convicted of April’s murder on Hannah’s evidence has died in prison. John Neville was absolutely resolute from the trial onward that he had nothing to do with her death and mounted several unsuccessful appeals. Will his death finally put an end to the media circus, the emails and calls that surround every appeal?

It seems that journalist Geraint Williams wants to look further into claims that the police and the court got it wrong, and his words have Hannah wondering, as do remarks made about the whole awful incident by others in that close group who re-establish contact: did she get it wrong? Did she put an innocent man into prison?

Hannah recalls that while brilliant, luminously beautiful April could be charming, beguiling and kind, she also had a malicious streak, revelling in cruel pranks, and what Hannah now learns from those friends has her guessing and second-guessing about who might have had motive and opportunity, other than John Neville.

Ware has crafted a dual-timeline mystery that is hard to put down: plenty of clues and red herrings and a brilliant twist to distract the reader in the lead-up to a nail-biting climax. It does lose half a star for a poorly-researched factual error that is integral to the resolution, but the Oxford scenes cannot fail to strike a chord with anyone who has lived in the residential college of a long-established university. A gripping thriller.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Australia.
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The it girl by Ruth Ware
4⭐️
𝘐’𝘷𝘦 𝘴𝘢𝘪𝘥 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨. 𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘪𝘵’𝘴 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘩𝘶𝘵 𝘶𝘱—𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘰𝘯.
———
A very well written academia mystery thriller. Kept me on my toes throughout the whole story; constantly guessing, but little did I know I would always be wrong - you have to expect the unexpected. 
Hannah starts at prestigious Oxford and shares her dorm with the beautiful, ever adventurous April Coutts-Clivden. Hannah joins April’s inner circle, and only a semester later she finds April dead in their dorm. It is ultimately Hannah’s testimony that puts Aprils killer behind bars. However, a decade on, Hannah is living in Edinburgh with her husband (April’s collage sweetheart) and a baby on the way. She is approached by a reporter who believes the killer, now dead, is innocent. Sent into a spiral, Hannah is determined to find out if she put an innocent man behind bars. 

I suspected almost every character of Aprils murder throughout this book. Everyone had motive, but the ending blew my mind. A psychological thriller, written from both past and present perspectives gives a great insight into each of the characters. Very well written and highly recommend. 
Thank you to netgalley and Ruth Ware for allowing me the opportunity to read and review.
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**3 1/2 stars**
I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I love Ruth Ware’s gothic style of books ie Turn of the Key and The Death of Mrs Westaway and her others not as much. This book falls in the middle.
Hannah meets April at Oxford and they quickly form a friendship group. Hannah is the one who finds April murdered in her room and with Hannah’s testimony a man is arrested. 
10 years on, Hannah has married Will from the group and they are expecting their first child. It’s in the news that John Neville, the porter who was convicted for April’s murder has died in prison and he has always maintained his innocence. 
With a phone call out of the blue, all is turned on it’s head and Hannah is questioning wether she helped put an innocent man away.
This book is told in two time lines, time at Oxford and the present day. These chapters were easy to follow but as a personal preference, I found the past didn’t really hold my attention and maybe that’s because I didn’t feel invested in the characters. Where as I quite enjoyed the present day.
It was a very slow burn of a book and if I was wasn’t choosing to review this book I may have put it aside BUT I am really glad that I kept with it because the pace really stepped up in the second half.
In the end, I’m glad I persisted as the conclusion was satisfying.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy to review.
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April, the life of the party, the epic prankster the It girl. Life changes for her 5 close friends when April is murdered in their Oxford University digs. But what if the convicted killer, a Porter named Neville might be innocent? Years later when Neville dies in Prison, Hannah must uncover the truth. What did she see that night? Who of their closest group has the answers?

With this story being told in two timelines we get a really nice look in the Before and After throughout the book. Its gripping with loads of what-if's. We get to know April very closely with the Before looks and you really get a sense of her character. We also get good looks into the other four friends lives. The book flowed well and kept you gripped and wanting more. I do feel there were some part that was unnecessary and irrelevant and made it a bit too long. 

I really like the ending as it hit me for a six, definitely did not expect that outcome. Overall I enjoyed it and can't wait for the next Ruth Ware bestseller to come out!

Thank you Netgalley and Simon & Schuster (Australia) for the opportunity to review this ARC.
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