Interesting concept, poorly executet
*** Minor spoilers *** * I really wanted to like this book. The blurb on the back/premise of the book sounded so promising. I really liked (and still like) the idea/storyline. Unfortunately, my interest in the plot and the case per se was the only thing that stayed throughout the book. Well, this and the fact that I like the ... *** Minor spoilers *** * I really wanted to like this book. The blurb on the back/premise of the book sounded so promising. I really liked (and still like) the idea/storyline. Unfortunately, my interest in the plot and the case per se was the only thing that stayed throughout the book. Well, this and the fact that I like the author's style of writing. In my opinion, the pacing was just off. There's too little happening for too long and it felt like this book was just setting the tone for what's to come which, as I see it, isn't what the first book of a series should do. Granted, we need to get to know the characters first but that's not what I'm talking about because I normally really enjoy reading about character development, etc. With this story, it just felt like the information were spoon fed and dumped on the reader. Rather than the author taking us on a journey to finding clues and making descoveries. Ultimately, I didn't even connect with the characters which is a shame. I didn't really care for what happened to them individually. And although I wanted to know what happened to Hayes and the old case, and how they would react to new clues, most things didn't move me. In short, I wasn't emotionally invested in the characters or the story. This fact and the author's way of dumping information rather than letting us experience them made the "love story" (if we can call it that) quite unauthentic. I never developed any feelings with the MC. In conclusion: I can see why people might like it but unfortunately it wasn't my cup of tea. I'm glad that I read it with a bookclub as the conversations there were very interesting. The story still intrigues me, so I might read book #2 nontheless.
New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson weaves a delicate tale of murder and mystery in the first book of a striking new series, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and E. Lockhart.
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.
Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2018 * Junior Library Guild Selection * 2019 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Nomination * 2019 ALA's Best Fiction for Young Adults Nomination * Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books 2018 * Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fiction 2018 * 2018 Nerdy Book Club Young Adult Winner * Seventeen Best YA Book of 2018 * Lincoln Award Nominee * 2020-2021 South Carolina Book Awards Nominee * 2020 Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award Winner