Reviews tagging Drug use

As Good As Dead, by Holly Jackson

190 reviews

bellagreeneeee's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional mysterious sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.5


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kingrosereads's review against another edition

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dark emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

The YA mystery thriller series has come to an end. 

An interesting conclusion to the AGGGTM trilogy. I have to say it had its ups and downs. It was my least favorite of the three books but it was still good and entertaining. 

While it still is on the “unbelievable, this is definitely fiction” side of things, it does deal with a lot of serious, really dark issues of mental illness, PTSD, and self-medicating. 

Pip is reeling from witnessing Stanley’s murder from the previous books. She’s experiencing severe PTSD and can’t sleep. Her anxiety is on a whole other level. When he doctor stops prescribing her Xanax so she can learn to cope without them, she begins buying them off of Luke. The first third of the book does lean into this darkness Pip is stuck in and it’s also when she begins to notice strange things around the house. She’s noticed dead pigeons and strange chalk drawings in front of her house. Then she gets another creepy message from what she believed was a troll at first, but now it seems like this troll is connected to the dead birds and drawings, which means she has a stalker. 

She attempts to bring this to the attention of the police but classic Detective Hawkins let’s us down again. So Pip takes it into her own hands to investigate with Ravi by her side. And god I love Ravi so much. Too good for this world that kid. On a whim she finds a very flimsy connection to a case 6 years prior. It’s a serial killer case about the DT Killer, who everyone believes is behind bars now. But in a offhand comment made by one of victim’s family members, Pip made a connection to the birds and drawings. Then the prank calls started. Just like the victim’s sister mentioned. 

As Pip looks into the DT case, she sees how the police coerced a false confession out of a man, Billy, who is now imprisoned for these murders. She then starts drawing connections between the DT killings and Andie Bell (the murder that started it all). Andie reached out to one of the victim’s sisters using a secret email, one that Pip gained access to and saw that Andie knew who the DT Killer was and that she was doing everything she could to get her and her sister, Becca, out of Fairview. This sheds a new light on Andie (though I thought it was fine having a victim not be perfect or likable but I digress). Pip recognizes that Billy and Daniel de Silva worked for Jason Bell’s company. Pip begins to believe that Daniel is the real DT Killer. And it’s clear, the DT Killer is the one stalking her. 

She keeps everything from her family and friends, only Ravi knows everything that’s going on. She’s carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders and at any moment it seems like she’ll crack under the pressure. 

And this is when the spoilers come in, so read the book first and come back. 

Pip is abducted by DT and it’s revealed that Jason is the killer (just as I predicted back when his company was first mentioned). He takes her to a warehouse, does his whole “villain revealing his plans and past crimes” thing, and he duct tapes her arms, feet, and wraps her head with tape. Then he leaves her there for some good ol’ psychological torture. I’ll admit I was freaking out from the moment she called his number and until she was trapped in this warehouse. Even with 200 pages left in the book, I just assumed she’d be get free and deal with Max Hastings. And I wasn’t wrong. After crying through Pip being utterly terrified, she frees herself, arms herself with a hammer, and escapes. Then she hears Jason return and in a split decision she doubles back. She keeps thinking how the police won’t believe her, Jason is a prominent member of society, a pillar of the community if you will, and they believe the DT Killer is in prison. They’ve never believed Pip before so why would they now? And Pip kills Jason with the hammer. It’s oddly satisfying. 

Then she calls Ravi (which the entire time I’m like okay your DNA is all in the warehouse, duct tape, and the trunk of his car even if they don’t believe he’s DT the evidence that he kidnapped you is pretty damning) and together they come up with a plan to erase Pip’s existence from the crime scene. And at this point I’m like “Pip, what are you doing? The cops need a killer regardless. What are you gonna do? Frame Max? Lol.” And a few pages later, Pip chooses Max to frame for the murder. 

The rest of the book is pretty much Pip and Ravi manipulating the crime scene to make it appear that Jason died much later, gathering evidence to frame Max (with a vindicating moment where Max gets roofied), and then establishing ironclad alibis. And yes, she recruited her friends to help without telling them anything they didn’t need to know. Then it’s just stress the rest of the book. To be honest, the whole thing was stressful. Waiting with Pip to hear news of the murder and the police investigating Max. There was an “oh shit” moment when it seemed like Pip was about to get caught, but it worked out. Pip decided to cut off her friends, family, and Ravi to protect them until Max if found guilty, on the chance he’s freed again and police continue their investigation that will point to Pip. With Jason’s DNA and fingerprints, as well as trophies he took from his victims, Billy was exonerated, and now people know Jason was the DT Killer. 

Pip had her moments, where the decisions she was making seemed wrong and impulsive to the point she second guesses whether there was a better way. Either she’s maturing or learning from her past mistakes or both. Regardless, Pip is only 18, still a kid, and making bad decisions comes with the territory. It makes sense for both her and Ravi to distrust the system and take matters into their own hands. 

It’s all quite dramatic and unrealistic in a lot of ways. I know these books are inspired by actually crimes, but it does seem so out there to have the DT Killer be the catalyst for Andie’s death, Sal’s murder, Max raping Becca, Howie going to jail, Stanley being outed and murdered, just to come full circle and end with the DT Killer being murdered himself. A lot of shit happens to Pip, and yeah she inserts herself into these investigations, and at least with this one, it came to her, but can this much coincidental, bad shit happen to one person? Also, very dumb on Jason’s part though. After being careful for years, he chooses a victim he knows, has motive to kill, and is close to home? I mean he could’ve just been spiraling which is what it seemed like when he was talking to Pip, but come on man. 

It was the most predictable of the three books, which is unfortunate because I like to be surprised like I was in the first two books, but maybe I just remember too much from the other two books to be taken by surprise? And while I like that we don’t know what happens to Pip and her mental health, her and Ravi, Becca, or Charlie Green, I’m still a little peeved I don’t have the answers. I’m spoiled I guess. 

I think the book did well showing what it’s like to be a woman trying to report stalking or sexual assault, especially when the assailant is a rich white man. It gives a little highlight on how privileged white men have an advantage over everyone when it comes to the criminal justice system. Whereas of Jason or Max were POC, it’s likely the white victims would’ve been believed almost immediately. 

And just the conversation of false confessions was really important. Reading that transcript was just so hard cause I’ve heard it so many times in real cases where a false confession was coerced out of poor people, minorities, and those with mental/intellectual disabilities. Honestly, as someone that studied criminology in undergrad, I could see this book getting a lot of young people interested in criminal justice reform, maybe inspire some to pursue a career in changing it. 

I also think it did a good job explaining how trauma can affect even the strongest of people. However, I did not like that Pip was yet another female character that is so anti-therapy after an extreme trauma. I just don’t think, especially as a YA, that this trope should continue. 

While all the books stand on their own, you definitely can’t read them out of order, and really there are bread crumbs in each one to lead to the next book that I think it’d hard not to be curious. If YA mysteries are your thing, give this series a read. I wish I had it when I was in high school to read! 

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daijastoughton's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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luananki's review against another edition

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dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

i’m not sure how to rate this book. i loved the series and the first two books were amazing but this one was just a bit disappointing. 
i still very much enjoyed pip and ravi as characters and how both of them work together so perfectly but it took me forever to finish and it just didn’t grasp me the way the first two stories did.
i wish this one would’ve been kept shorter. i really really loved the ending though and am glad i decided to read all three of the books.

definitely check tw before picking up as good as dead!!

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kstericker's review against another edition

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dark emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0


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smkelly1997's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional mysterious sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

This book is not for the faint of heart I would recommend reading the TW if you are concerned. 

I feel that this book wrapped up the AGGGTM series perfectly. Pip is an ever evolving character. Throughout this book I hated, loved, admired, and feared Pip. She is such a complex character it really made this book different that others. In this book you were constantly left wondering how is Pip going to get herself out of this? While I do think the DT killer was a bit obvious, there were still many plot twist leaving the reader on there toes. 

Trigger warning which may contain a spoiler:
Spoiler the murder which takes place in this book left me with a visceral reaction. I struggled reading the words repeated over and over again. I do think this one page could be skipped if it will induce issues.

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sophie04_'s review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional funny mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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anyepagan's review against another edition

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dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0


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chloek608's review against another edition

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adventurous dark informative mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

I recommend this book if you like:
-the first 2 books (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder and Good Girl, Bad Blood)
-an amazing, intricate, well thought out thriller
-YA mystery

This book plot was insanely good! I cannot recommend enough! I actually think this third installment of the trilogy is the best out of the three and they were all fantastic. This has easily made my favourites list. 

Pip has a stalker, a potential serial killer. But he's locked up in prison, right? So is she imagining things? Looking for clues that aren't there? Pip isn't the same girl she once was, before the previous two books. She's seen things, heard things, been through events that are tough to forget, impossible to leave in the past.

SpoilerPip received messages, who will look for you when you disappear? Pip wasn't sure at first but comes to an answer during the book; her boyfriend Ravi, her family and friends.

She gets abducted by the Duct Tape (DT) Killer. She goes through a horrific experience of being tied up and left in a work garage. Pip manages to escape, climb shelving, break a window and get to the forest before Jason Bell returns to kill her.

Pip makes a choice, she returns to the garage to finish him off, takes a hammer to his head nine times; overkill. But now she's the murderer.

Here comes the mind blowing, detailed plan on how to get away with murder. Slow down rigour mortis, delay the time of death and then get an airtight alibi. All which she achieves with the help of her boyfriend and friends. She uses a cars air con then heater to artificially control the effects of death on the body.

It goes one step further. Implicate and set up Max Hastings, the local drug dealer and rapist. Plant evidence at the scene to make him go down.

It all nearly unravelled due to a stray pair of headphones found in Jason Bell's bedroom. A trophy he had stored to remember his 6th victim to be. But thankfully Ravi stepped in with an explanation which was believed.

Pip moved away from home and went to uni and had to cut contact from all her friends and Ravi. In case the trial didn't go the way they planned, she needed to ensure the ones she loved didn't get into trouble.

After a long wait, the trial ended and Max was found guilty. Ravi immediately messaged Pip. That's where the story ended.


Pip thought right and wrong was so explicit. Black or white. She discovered first hand that there are many shades of grey and that sometimes the truth should stay hidden. 

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clairehreads22's review against another edition

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dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

Spoiler
This trilogy is over! Omg wow! 
This book still has me shook like what did I just read? Did I read it right?! Is this really the end?! 

1) Full circle moment when Jason admits he is the DT killer to Pip after stalking her. The stalking was so so creepy and I’m still mad that Detective Hawkins did not believe her about it. Dead pigeons and chalk drawings are definitely creepy, sir. Jason Bell also killed Barney :-( I’m glad Pip got closure about who killed Barney, but me sad :-( 

2) Luke ran Pip off the road. She didn’t even question it when he said sorry about that. Like wtf?! Bro no :/

3) Pip killed Jason and framed Max. She had such an in-depth plan and well it did pay off. 

4) Ravi is too sweet for Fairview. Sal was too. 

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