Kill Joy by Holly Jackson

Posted 02/28/2023 by Charli in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from NetGalley to facilitate my review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Kill Joy by Holly JacksonKill Joy by Holly Jackson
Also by this author: A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, Five Survive
Series: A Good Girl's Guide to Murder #0.5
Also in this series: A Good Girl's Guide to Murder
Published by Delacorte Press on February 28, 2023
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Mystery, Young Adult Fiction / Thriller, Young Adult Fiction / Thrillers & Suspense / General
Pages: 208
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley
Buy on: Amazon CA // Amazon UK // Amazon US // Author Direct // The Broken Binding

Pippa Fitz-Amobi is not in the mood for her friend’s murder mystery party. Especially one that involves 1920’s fancy dress and pretending that their town, Little Kilton, is an island called Joy. But when the game begins, Pip finds herself drawn into the make-believe world of intrigue, deception and murder.

But as Pip plays detective, teasing out the identity of the killer clue-by-clue, the murder of the fictional Reginald Remy isn’t the only case on her mind …

Find out where it all began for Pip in this prequel to the best-selling A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and Good Girl, Bad Blood.

I’m back with my third review of a Holly Jackson book. This time it’s for Kill Joy, the prequel novella to the A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder trilogy. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a big fan of Holly Jackson’s books. So suffice it to say, yes, I liked this one a lot. So let’s get into the review.

Kill Joy – Characters

There are several characters in Kill Joy – seven characters that we’ll be dealing with for the majority of the story.


Pip is our main character. She’s one of those super serious, super studious girls that if you ask her what her idea of fun is, she’ll tell you doing her homework or planning out a project. She’s that annoying girl who has to be right all the time, but yet you still manage to like her. I like Pip – she’s obnoxious, but she’s also a cool character.


Connor is kind of hard to get a read on. The problem is that he’s in character for most of the book, so you don’t get too much of an idea of what he’s normally like. But for what I was able to see of him in this novella, he’s an OK kid.


Jamie is Connor’s older brother. Again, he spends the majority of the novella in character for the murder mystery party, so you don’t get too much of a read on him either. But he wasn’t an unlikable character by any means.


Lauren was kind of annoying. We got to see more of her out of character than we did Connor or Jamie. She’s the kind of girl who has to be glued to her phone and in contact with her boyfriend constantly. She kind of grated on my nerves because I don’t have patience for that kind of girl.


Pip’s best friend. You get some glimpses of her out of character. From what I can tell, she puts up with Pip because she simply knows how Pip is. Then again, that’s kind of the feeling you get from all of Pip’s friends. Cara can be a smart-ass, which is nice to see and balances Pip out.


Zach is another character who spends most of the novella in character. You get a few shots of him out of character and you realize he’s just that good friend/neighbor that everyone is just used to having around. He’s part of the friend group because why wouldn’t he be? He’s a pretty cool guy.


Ant is the character that annoyed me the most. He couldn’t keep his mouth shut – he makes a couple of annoying outbursts that just grated on my nerves. He’s the friend in the group that makes you wonder why they’re willing to hang out with him as obnoxious as he is. Not a big fan of him.

Kill Joy – Atmosphere

For a mystery/thriller type book, Kill Joy didn’t really have too much of the spooky, creepy vibe to it. For the most part you’re just in the dining room of someone’s house with the exception of when they get up to look for something or investigate something. Some people might not think it’s a great atmosphere, but for this novella, it works and it works well.

Kill Joy – Writing

By now we should all know that I love Holly Jackson’s writing style. She keeps the plot for Kill Joy moving along and doesn’t let it drag out. Dragging along is one of the things I don’t like about most novellas – too many of them are just a chore to get through. But Kill Joy is easy to read – I think I read it in a couple of hours at most.

Kill Joy – Plot

Ok, the plot to Kill Joy is fairly simple. Pip and her friends are having a murder mystery party and they’re going to solve a “murder” in the course of a couple of hours. It’s a fun, simple plot designed to be a vehicle for how Pip decides to do what she does in A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. It’s well written and fun. What more do you want or need?

Kill Joy – Intrigue

So when we start looking at intrigue for Kill Joy, the biggest part of it is wondering about the murder mystery the friends are going to be solving. The game is meant to be sort of a live-action game of Clue. You’re kept wondering what’s going to be revealed next and who committed the murder. I really enjoyed this as you don’t actually see too many books or novellas built around these murder mystery games.

Kill Joy – Logic

Now logic is where Kill Joy kind of loses it – but it is that way to further the story and help set up A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. Once you understand that, you realize that there’s a ton of logic in the way the story is set up and the way it ends… it’s just not entirely obvious at first.

Kill Joy – Ending

The way this ends will tie everything together in a nice little package. The ending is what really ties this to A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. The murder mystery party is a fun way to set everything up, but the ending really brings it together. I loved the ending to this.


If you’ve read A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, I highly recommend you read Kill Joy. It gives insight into what prompted Pip to take a second look into the murder of Andie Bell. It’s quick, fun read that will leave you wanting to read1Or re-read A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and its sequels.


Tags: , , , , ,