Truly Devious

Truly Devious

Author Maureen Johnson weaves a tale of murder and mystery in the first book of a new series. Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. "A place" he sa...

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Title:Truly Devious
Author:Maureen Johnson
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Truly Devious Reviews

  • Emma Giordano

    I LOVED THIS BOOK. If you need a new YA mystery novel, this is the one for you!

    totally took me by surprise. I had no idea I would love this book as much as I did!

    Cw: murder

    I loved our main character, Stevie. I wish this book existed in high school so that I could have had a female protagonist interested in true crime to relate to. I feel Stevie is extremely competent, self-aware, and has a really great head on her shoulders. I also loved her best friends, Janelle – we need more b

    I LOVED THIS BOOK. If you need a new YA mystery novel, this is the one for you!

    totally took me by surprise. I had no idea I would love this book as much as I did!

    Cw: murder

    I loved our main character, Stevie. I wish this book existed in high school so that I could have had a female protagonist interested in true crime to relate to. I feel Stevie is extremely competent, self-aware, and has a really great head on her shoulders. I also loved her best friends, Janelle – we need more black girls who like girls in STEM fields in media, and Nate – he’s such an apathetic lil bean who I hope gets more development in the sequel. I wasn’t a crazy big fan of David (I guess he is considered the love interest?

    is FAR from a heavy romance story, but there is definite attraction). He just sort of weirded me out; Motives unclear half the time, sometimes annoying, sometimes charming. I can’t really feel out his character at this point, but I did enjoy him more towards the ending and I’m hopeful he’ll grown on me more in the future.

    I am not a huge fan of dual timeline books where it jumps from present to past with a completely different set of characters, but it worked well for this book. The scenes set in 1936 do not overtake the present story, but are a great addition to the story. It does not feel “info-dumpy”, rather, it is like reading two mysteries unfolding at once.

    I adore the mystery of the story. You truly CANNOT TELL who is “Truly Devious”, if the same killer has returned, or else how these two crimes are really connected! There are so many twists and turns and unanswered questions that you will be on the edge of your seat trying to figure out how everything fits together.

    I will add, I do feel like the pacing was a bit slow at some points. There are not many significant plot points until about halfway through. That being said, I keep reminding myself that most thrillers are condensed into one book, whereas this will be a trilogy, so I understand the decision/need to have a more fleshed out beginning before diving into all the drama. I am anxiously anticipating book two and am extremely hopeful that things will be nonstop action from here.

    is truly amazing. It is a MUST READ. Book #2 is already going to the top of my most anticipated releases for 2019.

  • April

    That cliffhanger though.

  • Kassidy

    Um what?!?! I need book 2 right now. The end was such a teaser, things were just starting to come together. I need answers! Haha

  • jessica

    i swear, there is no better feeling in the world than getting to a big reveal in a murder mystery and being able to shout,

    maybe that makes the story too predictable and easy, but wow, what a confidence boost and what an enjoyable book! for a plot revolving around a murder, this was surprisingly light? the story had a very easy going and game-like feel to it. this was also a slow burn mystery (nothing really happens until about halfway in), but it was done in a really effective way w

    i swear, there is no better feeling in the world than getting to a big reveal in a murder mystery and being able to shout,

    maybe that makes the story too predictable and easy, but wow, what a confidence boost and what an enjoyable book! for a plot revolving around a murder, this was surprisingly light? the story had a very easy going and game-like feel to it. this was also a slow burn mystery (nothing really happens until about halfway in), but it was done in a really effective way where you didnt feel like the story was dragging. i was impressed and cant wait for the story to continue!

  • Erin

    3.5 Stars

    I don't think I'm suppose to like this book. I mean I should like it and I did like it but I don't know why I liked it.

    The plot sounds great Stevie is a True Crime fanatic (something we share in common) who's bookcase is filled with the great detective novels, such as Sherlock and Poirot. She listens to True Crime podcast and is obsessed with the ID channel (again something we share in common) and hopes to become an FBI agent when she grows up. Stevie applies to and is accepted into El

    3.5 Stars

    I don't think I'm suppose to like this book. I mean I should like it and I did like it but I don't know why I liked it.

    The plot sounds great Stevie is a True Crime fanatic (something we share in common) who's bookcase is filled with the great detective novels, such as Sherlock and Poirot. She listens to True Crime podcast and is obsessed with the ID channel (again something we share in common) and hopes to become an FBI agent when she grows up. Stevie applies to and is accepted into Ellington an exclusive private school with an infamous past. Stevie sets out to solve the mystery.

    That sounds like a great premise and it is but nothing really happens. We meet what felt like every student at the school(its a lot of people) and we get glimpses of the investigation into the mystery that surrounds the school and we get a brand new mystery that Stevie also investigates. It felt like both mysteries were B-Plots though. Truly Devious spends way more time on teen angst then on the murder mysteries that the book is allegedly about.

    I know what you're thinking

    It sounds like you hated this book, then why the 3.5 star rating?

    Because Truly Devious was fun!

    I never for one second thought about putting this book down. I enjoyed reading it. I got caught up in the atmosphere of Ellington Academy and I found Stevie's battle with anxiety completely believable. I have never suffered from anxiety but my mother did and sister does. The way Stevie described how an anxiety or panic attack feels is the way they described them. So for that alone I really enjoyed reading this book.

    Also the ending was great and I can't wait to read book 2. Since I have such conflicted feelings about this book I won't make any recommendations.

    Around the Year in 52 Books: A book Featuring a Murder.

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