Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Truly Devious was such a fun mystery to read! I haven’t read many YA mysteries/thrillers but I LOVED this one!?

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My friend Ashley (@ashleythereader) RAVED about this trilogy a few weeks ago and I knew it was time for me to pick these up. I’m still new into the thriller/mystery genre and I’m loving it, but haven’t known where to really start. I am so glad I picked up Truly Devious. It was a great place to begin.

Going into this book I knew that it was about a girl going to this school for smart people who basically got to study whatever they wanted. Stevie wanted to go to the school to finally solve the murder that took place the first year the school was open.

What a fun time! I love the private school setting. And I really enjoyed how there was a dual timeline, showcasing the present with 17-year-old Stevie at school right along with the night of the kidnapping + murder that took place in 1936. They go together so well even though they are different. I was on the edge of my seat but I didn’t get super scared as I read this one ?? I just wanted to know what was going on!

Stevie, our main character in Truly Devious also has anxiety. I thought that the representation for anxiety was spot on and done really well. It wasn’t a plot point like mental illness is used in some books, but rather it was just part of her character and I related to Stevie so much! I felt for her during her panic attacks and rooted for her the whole time!

I FLEW through Truly Devious and I really just want to drive to the library right now so I can pick up book two. There was some closure at the end, but there are a lot of questions still and I NEED ANSWERS!

I gave Truly Devious 4 stars.

More about Truly Devious

Pages: 416

Publisher/pub date: Katherine Tegen (an imprint of Harper Collins)/ Jan 2018

Romance: some kissing

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 said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder. 

The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three.

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Have you read Truly Devious? What were your thoughts? Any other YA Thrillers/Mysteries you’d recommend?!

  1. I will have to add this to my (nearly endless) TBR list as it sounds like something I would dig. Thanks for sharing 🙂 Also, I’m glad I came across your site! Very cool!

    1. Thanks for visiting!! My TBR is nearly endless too Ha! but this is a great one, so I would definitely recommend picking it up at some point!

  2. I really want to get back into reading and will definitely be adding this to my MUST-READ list!

    1. This one would be great to get you back into reading! It’s fun and quick and there’s a mystery to solve! It’s such a great time!

  3. I’m always looking for a great read! This one looks great. I’ll have to add it to my to-read list.

    1. I hope you enjoy it!! I had the best time reading Truly Devious!

  4. I can relate to an anxious character! This sounds right up my alley.

    1. Same! I love it when there’s good mental health representation.

  5. Ah! Prepare for a wild ride! I love this series! I still have to read the third one though.

    1. It’s already been a wild ride! I’m so excited to read the other 2 books, because the first one was so delightful!

  6. One of Us is Lying and One of Us is Next! I’ve heard this series is good.

    1. OOo! I’ve heard those are great too! I’ll definitely bump them up higher on my TBR

  7. This series was so phenomenal! I loved the process of solving the case along with Stevie 😀

    1. It’s been so much fun. I keep thinking I have something solved but then she’ll get more insight and keeps me guessing!

  8. I haven’t read it, but I love a private school setting! Thanks for a detailed review.

    1. The private school setting is so much fun and sort of adds a bit to the creepiness of the mystery!

  9. Great review! I’m definitely interested in this one!

    1. Thank you!! I definitely recommend picking it up!

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