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...

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

Truly Devious Reviews

  • Michael

    I didn't know this would have a sequel I AM SHOOK. With most books that switch back and forth between timelines, there is usually one I like more than the other. That wasn't the case here. Between present day and the past, we were presented TWO intriguing murder mysteries to solve. Though I didn't love the conclusion here and felt we weren't exactly given enough clues to solve the present day mystery until the very end, I literally gasped out loud no less than three times while reading, and that

    I didn't know this would have a sequel I AM SHOOK. With most books that switch back and forth between timelines, there is usually one I like more than the other. That wasn't the case here. Between present day and the past, we were presented TWO intriguing murder mysteries to solve. Though I didn't love the conclusion here and felt we weren't exactly given enough clues to solve the present day mystery until the very end, I literally gasped out loud no less than three times while reading, and that's for sure a five star book to me.

  • 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!

  • شيماء ✨

    *reads the last page and closes the book with a loud thump*

    with that in mind, let’s get into the THEORIES.

    First of all, if I think about it hard enough, my physical form isn't even an objective fact of the universe and if I want the sequel to this book right now, I should have it.

    Second of all, I still don't have the barest idea of who did it....but I suspect aliens were involved.

    At Ellingham Academy, Stephanie “Stevie” Bell find

    *reads the last page and closes the book with a loud thump*

    with that in mind, let’s get into the THEORIES.

    First of all, if I think about it hard enough, my physical form isn't even an objective fact of the universe and if I want the sequel to this book right now, I should have it.

    Second of all, I still don't have the barest idea of who did it....but I suspect aliens were involved.

    At Ellingham Academy, Stephanie “Stevie” Bell finds at last a scope to equal her abilities. Stevie is fascinated by crime and tends to throw herself at locked doors even when she’s sure they will never open. And there isn’t a more notorious locked door than the decades-old kidnapping and apparent murder of school founder and industrialist tycoon Albert Ellingham’s wife and daughter—a crime that exhaled enigma for years because of a malicious poem modeled in the style of Dorothy Parker that was signed “Truly, Devious” and sent to Mr. Ellingham. Stevie is all nerves and fascination and unabashedness and a deep, stirring hope: that, in Ellingham, she would be herself, apart from the watchful eyes of her conservative parents, and that she might solve the “Truly, Devious” crime and put the last specter of the past where it belongs.

    But while Stevie was exploring the school, mining for answers, tragedy strikes in the form of the murder of one of her housemates. Stevie is churned under by an overwhelming dread as her new reality sinks in:

    . Now, attending Ellingham Academy is starting to feel less like an opportunity and more as though Stevie's life had chased her down a dead-end corridor and trapped her there to taunt her.

    Flipping the last page of this book felt like waking up and feeling the last tendrils of a dream melting away and leaving you there, in your bed, alone, stranded in the merciless intransigence of reality. I picked it up with no expectation at all, and it was like an unsuspected vault of delight spilling open. I couldn’t put it down. “

    ” became my mantra and the later at night it got, the further into another world I went.

    begins, as so many good stories do, with a

    . Then, it dives into a tightly engineered plot that zips along in short chapters entwining two different timelines—between 1936 and the present day. The author paces her twists very well and keeps you riveted with a slow-drip revelation of the real mindsets and motivations of her key characters. This is not the kind of novel where the author sets up the basic points of the plot early on, rather, Johnson turns up the heat so gradually that you don’t notice the water is boiling until it is too late. It’s the kind of novel that drives you into doubt, that keeps you wondering and fretting, stumbling behind its dancing feet.

    There’s an awful presentiment throughout the book that the pall of doom of the past had been leading to this moment. You know you’re missing crucial pieces of the puzzle and you’re trying to hold every word tight in your head, sifting it for meaning, but the book, ever so stubbornly, refuses to turn over its pockets for you. You keep reading, not because you want to reach the end, but because

    .

    The author deepens every delight with her engaging characters and the relationships between them occupy the bristling center. I loved Stevie. She is prone to trouble and any challenge, she would run to meet it. She is determined to solve the mystery and she spoke each word as if it were a stone she built her plans with. Her morbid fascination with crime is also so relatable (my hobbies include watching crime documentaries for an unhealthy amount of time and regretting it at night). Stevie also suffers from anxiety and is often plagued with panic attacks and that part was depicted so vividly that it felt so real.

    But this world wouldn’t be as fascinating if it was just Stevie soaking up the spotlight. Aside from her, we meet Stevie’s genius friend

    who’s black and a lesbian and her girlfriend uses they/them pronouns,

    who’s perpetually grumpy, has zero communication skills, is uncomfortable in every social situation, wears a shirt that says “IF YOU CAN READ THIS SHIRT, YOU ARE TOO CLOSE” and is therefore my spiritual animal,

    who’s on that point on the spectrum of personality where “douchebag” becomes “nice guy” or “nice guy” becomes “douchebag” and I still don’t know how to feel about him,

    who’s a Youtube star with an online show about zombies and an unremarkably unpleasant attitude, and

    who seems like a cool person to hang out with but only for two hours at a time, otherwise you’ll probably end up being talked into committing a felony. Secondary characters include a Hijabi Muslim girl and a girl in a wheelchair and the casual diversity warmed the cold hollows of my heart.

    Overall, with a strong denouement and a deftly laid out ending that should segue well into the next installment, the author sets up the foundation for a very exciting sequel and I can't wait!

    |

    |

    |

  • 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.

  • Hamad

    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found

    🌟 I usually read contemporaries or mystery/ thriller novels when I want to take a break from the Fantasy genre! This was like 60% Mystery and 40% Contemporary and I am not sure if that was a good combination.

    🌟 The writing style was good, not too poetic, not too bland! It was right for a story of this kind. I think wh

    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found

    🌟 I usually read contemporaries or mystery/ thriller novels when I want to take a break from the Fantasy genre! This was like 60% Mystery and 40% Contemporary and I am not sure if that was a good combination.

    🌟 The writing style was good, not too poetic, not too bland! It was right for a story of this kind. I think what the author was trying to achieve here is to show us the writing process for a mystery kind of novel which is something I appreciate as I am trying to learn more about writing.

    🌟 The idea seems interesting because it is a school for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists according to the synopsis! I expected the mystery part to be a little bit better to be honest.

    🌟 The characters are mediocre in my opinion. I wasn’t a big fan of any of them. I expected to have more mature and smart characters from my imagination of what this could be. Like the characters in Death Note for example!

    🌟 The author looks like a big fan of Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes! I loved the Agatha references but since the author is well versed in those stories, she should know that a huge part of their success is because they are fast, short and to the point. The mystery in this book does not happen until after half of the book and it is not even solved!

    🌟 I also left reading this closer to the release date of the second book because many said that the cliffhanger was good and they can’t wait! I expected something more from all the hype tbh!

    🌟 Summary: Reading this book was a strange experience, not much happened as I expected to for a mystery novel, but it was intriguing at the same time that I finished it quite fast. Maybe I prefer short, fast reads as Agatha’s books and I don’t know why this is a trilogy too?! I will continue book 2 but will go with different expectations!

  • Chelsea Humphrey

    I’ve tried this one on three separate occasions and it’s just not working for me. I think it’s just my fault and not the book’s; I’m not connecting and keep putting it down to read other things. On to the next!

Best Free Books is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Free Books - All rights reserved.