Review: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

TDAs with many books I’ve read, I was drawn to Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious because of the cover. (Seriously, look at it. Can you really blame me? 😍) But then I was hooked by the synopsis, which appealed to both my love of stories about quirky high school kids and my combined interest in/fear of true crime. (Speaking of true crime, my co-worker recently recommended a podcast called And That’s Why We Drink, and it’s both a paranormal AND true crime podcast! I’ve been binging episodes on Spotify. 10/10, would recommend. Just don’t listen to it at night, in your empty house, right before you go to bed… Bad idea. 😱)

Not sure what this book is about? You can find a short synopsis here! 🙂

What I Liked: Despite my fascination with true crime, I don’t actually read many mysteries. But I was especially intrigued by the setting of this one. I don’t know why, but I’m always fascinated by stories that take place at boarding schools, prep schools, or old, prestigious colleges. (Maybe it’s the stuffy academic in me. 🧐) Ellingham was one of the most interesting parts of this book, and while I enjoyed the descriptions of the Great House, Minerva, the Art Barn, and the various secret passageways, I wanted to see even more of the campus. Hopefully we’ll return to the school in the next book. (Although, considering the events of this one, I suppose that remains to be seen… 🤔)

I liked Stevie a lot, as well as Janelle, Nate, and Pix. I’m still not sure how I feel about David, but I do have a soft spot for characters with complicated backstories, and I’m curious to see what happens with him in the next book. I didn’t really like or dislike the other characters — they were sort of just there, and that’s actually fine with me. I think they worked well to keep the plot moving and establish a group of potential suspects. And I think Johnson handled the two separate timelines very well. In books with multiple timelines, I often feel drawn to one more so than the other(s), but I was equally interested in both.

What I Disliked: I knew going into this book that it had a cliffhanger ending, and that it was the first book in a series. But I almost feel like there are too many unanswered questions at the end of Truly Devious, and that — had this book been a little longer — some could have been addressed. 🙁 While a big part of me is looking forward to reading the next book… another part of me wishes that this had just been a standalone. And this is a small complaint in comparison, but there’s something that Stevie wonders if she actually saw, or if her sleepy brain merely conjured it, and I have to say, I wanted much more finality regarding that. (I’m being vague to avoid being spoiler-y. If you’ve read — or when you read — the book, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.) Was it really there? Was it not? I NEED TO KNOW. I absolutely think that’s one of the things that could have been firmly resolved in this book.

I finished this book in two days, so it’s clear that I enjoyed the mysteries enough to keep going! And like I said, I’m definitely interested in reading the second book when it comes out. But I’m hoping that it answers more questions than this one.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

About the Author: Maureen Johnson
More Books by This Author:
The Shades of London Series
The Scarlett Series
The Blue Envelope Series
The Key to the Golden Firebird
On the Count of Three
Girl at Sea
Devilish
Let It Snow (co-written with John Green and Lauren Myracle)
The Bane Chronicles (co-written with Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s