Truly Devious (Truly Devious Series #1)
Truly Devious (Truly Devious Series #1)

Truly Devious (Truly Devious Series #1)

by Maureen Johnson

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062338068
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/04/2018
Series: Truly Devious Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 1,460
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Maureen Johnson is the bestselling author of several novels, including 13 Little Blue Envelopes, the Truly Devious series, the Suite Scarlett series, and the Shades of London series. She has also written collaborative works such as Let It Snow with John Green and Lauren Myracle and The Bane Chronicles with Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan. Maureen lives in New York and online on Twitter @maureenjohnson or at 

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Truly Devious 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a YA book that can be enjoyed by adults as well. The book weaves the past and present mysteries together in a way that that feels natural. The switch between the two murders keeps the book interesting but not confusing or jarring. Not only did I enjoy the characters but I also enjoy the concept of the school. I am looking forward to the next book. This is a light but truly entertaining read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this Russian doll murder mystery! Stevie is one of the most relatable characters I've ever read, and her exploits were a delight to follow. Loved the atmosphere, the tone, Stevie's internal monologue -- everything! Can't wait for more!
Lauren817 More than 1 year ago
*4.5* Maureen Johnson is one of my favorite YA authors. Not only have I devoured and loved the majority of her YA contemporary books (The Key to Everything, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, The Last Little Blue Envelope, and Girl At Sea), but they've always toped my "best of" lists. Therefore, when I caught wind that she was releasing a new series - one focusing on a teenage sleuth, a decades old murder mystery, and a boarding school setting - I was jumping-up-and-down-can't-contain-my-happiness excited. I had high hopes; however, I had faith that Maureen would deliver. As it turns out I was one 100% right. Truly Devious just may be Maureen's best work yet! Suspenseful, swoony, and incredibly well written, Truly Devious is a wild ride from start to finish. Truly Devious beautifully blends together two murder mysteries - one from the past as well as one from the present. At first I didn't know how Maureen was possibly going to stretch the murder mysteries over three books; however, now that I've finished the book it's crystal clear. There's A LOT at play and I can't wait to see how it unravels. Both mysteries are nail-bitting/edge-of-my-seat suspenseful. There's so many twists, so many turns, and so many more connections than I could have ever possibly imagined. Out of the two, however, I think the one from the past hooked me in the most. For one, I enjoyed the flashbacks Maureen offered. It gave insight to the key players from that fateful day - Albert Ellingham, the butler, the FBI detail assigned to Albert, etc - and each "confessional" introduced an exciting new clue. I also liked that details surrounding the case where slowly revealed. It offered up an extra dose of suspense, especially when Stevie took it upon herself to "re-open" the case. The setting also added a layer of chill to the novel. Ellingham Academy is by no means your typical boarding school. It's located in the middle of nowhere, cut-off from civilization in many facets. It also contains crazy artwork, secret hideaways/passages, and a mega mansion. Maureen did such a fantastic job of setting the scene. Stevie is great lead! She's smart, funny, and utterly charming. When the story begins, Stevie is beyond ready to have a fresh start. She never fit in well at home - her conservative parents never understand her, she always does or says the wrong thing, and the majority of her friends are online rather than in person. At Ellingham Acadmey Stevie slowly starts to get comfortable, finding an unexpected home. She makes friends, pursues a boy, and learns how to speak up for herself. I clicked with her from the start, and I loved seeing her embark on this journey. In addition to Stevie, I enjoyed the wide variety of other characters introduced in the past as well as the present. There were unique as well as complex. My favorite of the bunch, though, is Stevie's love interest. I could never quite figure him out but I loved how he made Stevie more adventurous, more willing to go with the flow. Overall, Truly Devious is yet another stellar book by Maureen, and given the crazy, I-can't-believe-this-is-happening ending I can't wait to see where it goes next.
Anonymous 13 days ago
Truly Devious is an exciting mystery novel that switched between the present and the past at Ellingham Academy. The plot of this story is incredibly interesting but in my opinion, the way the author wrote it made it kind of slow. It took me longer than normal to read this book but overall it had a good story. I really liked how the author switched from the present, focusing on Stevie (a student at Ellingham Academy) and the past, switching perspectives. Throughout the book I thought that it got faster and easier to read, compared to the slow beginning. Overall, I recommend this book for anyone who likes mystery novels and has a little bit of time on their hands. -Grace E
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did not expect the twist and turns this book takes. Can’t wait for the next one
AReadingRedSox More than 1 year ago
I've been addicted to a true crime podcast lately, so this murder-mystery was right up my alley. I've loved reading Maureen Johnson's novels ever since I picked up SUITE SCARLETT, and I really enjoyed the Shades of London series. I honestly can't wait until the next novel in the series comes out, because TRULY DEVIOUS was such a thrilling ride; I loved the dual stories and how well they worked together. The mystery hooked me from the very beginning, and Stevie was fantastic as well.
Samantha Federico More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading Truly Devious, but I didn't love it. The book had me guessing and theorizing who were the masterminds of two separate disappearances. I laughed at the character's witty dialogue and appreciate how Johnson kept her students speaking like everyday teens. I like how the story was told in article clippings, interview transcripts, and past and present day points of view. So I feel like I should've loved it since teen murder mysteries are my niche read. However, there were some parts of the book where I couldn't follow what was happening and had to re-read to understand the revelation or any possible clues. Truly Devious may follow two mysteries, but is more involved with a bunch of teen angst and questionable heart eyes emojis. The ending was unsatisfying, giving a small hint and a big reveal, but with those dastardly words "to be continued". The ending may have been jaw dropping for others, but it felt rushed and a little unbelievable how the police could miss such an obvious clue during their search. Book 2: The Vanishing Stair is set to come in 2019 and of course, I'll have to read it because I need answers. This book is giving me Pretty Little Liars TV adaptation feelings. I have few questions going through it, and then 20 questions at the end of it. Rating: 3/5 stars for a lackluster ending, but great character dialogue.
WhatANerdGirlSays More than 1 year ago
**Please note that this review is based on a complementary copy given to me in exchange for an honest review. This in no way had any effect on the integrity of my review** I feel like its been quite some time since I’ve read a Maureen Johnson book and I was pleasantly surprised to receive this in the mail. I’m not big into murder mystery but I seem to be reading quite a few of those lately. I remember liking the Shades of London series and that had some dark, murderous themes in it so I was excited to dive into this. I’m also a sucker for any book that takes place at a boarding school. I don’t know why! Maybe boarding schools totally suck but I’ve always been incredibly intrigued by them. What I immediately loved about this novel was the jump back and forth between the current time, with Stevie, and with characters that surrounded the disappearance of Albert’s wife and child. You get a sense of the murder from Stevie’s perspective, in modern times, as a person who has been obsessing over for so many years, but you also get different accounts of what happened from the characters back in the 30s. It was intriguing and it did an excellent job at building the mystery and creating more questions than answers. It also matched really well with the current story, especially once a death occurs in Stevie’s time. It felt like two separate stories at once, taking place in two different time periods, but intertwining. I thought that was incredibly clever and incredibly well done. I really loved the character of Stevie. I appreciated how real she felt and how she seemed incredibly unsure of herself. She knows her stuff; she’s been studying crimes and that sort of thing for as long as she can remember, and she’s smart as a whip. Her intelligence is never in question to me, but she’s constantly unsure of why she’s at Ellingham, other than her own desire to solve the mystery that occurred there so long ago. She battles with so much uncertainty and anxiety, wondering about her friends and boys and where she fits in and whether she’s actually truly capable of doing what she came there to do. I really liked that Maureen gave this character anxiety but did so in a way that felt genuine and familiar and also had the character dealing with it as best she could. Lastly, I really liked what Maureen did with pacing. She starts off slow, like a burn and gets faster and more frantic into the story as it goes on and your own emotions follow that in tandem. I went from enjoying it to clutching the pages, needing to know what happened in Stevie’s modern time and dying to know what happened in the past. When things start to unfold in a way that I had not expected, I was ready to find out more…just in time for the book to end with an incredible cliffhanger and, alas, now I have to wait until the sequel comes out to find out what happens next! But I thought that was a perfect way to write a murder mystery and that her pacing and storytelling is what got me addicted by the end and begging for the second book. I can’t wait for it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was pretty good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed it and can't wait for the next book. Maureen Johnson has a great voice, and it is easy to hear when reading her writings. Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The ending is incredibly frustrating and leaves the book feeling unfinished rather than just on a cliffhanger, but until that point I really enjoyed this. A great mystery with story lines in the past and present that intertwine nicely and a great narrator in Stevie.
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
When I saw this I wasn't really into it. It wasn't something that immediately jumped to the top of my TBR pile because it was by an author I haven't yet read. (Don't kill me lol) But I saw the phrase "True Crime aficionado" and I was super interested..... Because that's me. Stevie Bell is obsessed with the Ellingham case. This is what gets her accepted to the Ellingham Academy, where she plans to solve the cold case that the school has. But as she works on the cold case, another mystery comes up when the original jokester, Truly Devious, makes a return..... Y'all this book was super wild. There were two mysteries going on that made it difficult to guess who the killer was. Johnson also barely gives you any clues which also makes it hard to guess who the culprit is. She times it in a great way and because of that, I was thankful. One of my pet peeves of thrillers is being able to tell who did it, so I applaud Johnson for not making it easy on me. I also loved the characters. Stevie was so relatable. If you come to my house on any given day, the tv is on and it's on Oxyen or ID. I love True Crime and I find myself watching it all the time. I could definitely understand her wanting to be in everyone's business lol All of the others were interesting as well, which made the story so much more enjoyable. The only thing I didn't care for was the length and the "romance." I wasn't sure that it was neccessary, but I can tell it was at the "ending." (I'll get there in a minute lol) And I can't help but think that it was a touch too long. I'm not sure how to explain it because I think it was too long, but I also think it wasn't long enough to give us a real ending? I guess it was a bit too drawn out. Overall, there was so much more that I wanted to find out about this book! I can honestly say I am excited to find out about the rest of the series and I usually never say that with books that have cliff-hangers. This is one sequel I will definitely be waiting on in 2019!
ahyperboliclife More than 1 year ago
“There was something there. She could feel it under her skin. Stevie had no fears of the dead. The living, however, sometimes gave her the creeps.” I haven’t read a mystery in a while and I feel like this is a perfect one to make me crave more. We follow Stevie Bell, true crime junkie and newly admitted to the prestigous Ellingham Academy, a school with a msterious past of it’s own. Stevie is determined to solve the ellusive Ellingham mystery, but it seems that the past might be repeating itself and murder is making a return to the school. With a steadfast main character and a compelling mystery that spans decades, Truly Devious is an enjoyable and quick read. Things I Liked The mystery and the Truly Devious letter were fantastically eerie. They were smart, twisted, and well-established. The flashbacks worked so well captivating the unhinged tone and kept me engaged. The Ellingham mystery was probably my favorite part of the story. I liked Stevie. She was inquisitive and head strong and sure of herself. She was smart, capable, and confident in her abilities and that was great to see. There are some mentions of diversity that I hope will be explored more in the rest of the series. Janelle, Stevie’s friend is a lesbian, and Janelle’s crush/partner Vi, uses they/them prounous. Both have incredibly minor roles, with Vi only being mentioned 3 or 4 times, but I hope to see more from them. Things I Didn’t Like I feel like a lot of the side characters were just there. I honestly couldn’t remember half of them, and I had trouble keeping some of them straight. I would have liked to see them established more, especialy Stevie’s friend Janelle. For the first half of the story I loved how the mystery was being handled. Stevie, while passionate about true crime and mysteries, actively worked with police and school authorities giving them pertinent information. It was nice to see that she could continue her own investigation without hindering an official one. Unfortunately that changed after the two-thirds mark and Stevie was determined that she had to solve the crime on her own. I was upset, because the story reverted to every murder mystery ever. The story felt very much like a part one. It was mostly set up for a larger story and we really don’t get any answers. It wasn’t really a satisfying ending at all. While I absolutely loved the first half, I was disappointed by the ending and that brought the story down a bit. I was captivated by the flashbacks to the Truly Devious murders and the Ellingham kidnappings. The interviews, the characters, the mystery and tone were all perfect. Truly Devious is a fun mystery and definitly keeps you guessing. I received a copy of the book from Katherine Tegen Books via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
ruthsic More than 1 year ago
Truly Devious is a uniquely written mystery novel in that there is no mystery being solved as much as it being uncovered at the end. The main character of the novel, Stevie is an aspiring detective - she comes to Ellingham, an elite school for prodigies, because she wants to solve a cold case involving the school’s founder’s family. The story takes place in both times - the present where Stevie is going through the case and the newer murder that happens, and in the past, telling us the events leading to and right after the abduction and murder of the founder’s wife and daughter, and a student of the school. The atmosphere of the book is quite rich - it is an isolated boarding school, there is a small pool of students, there are creepy forests and lake craters and secret tunnels. But unlike a regular novel, it doesn’t focus on the mystery; it is about the people that surround the mystery. Stevie’s development is not to look at just the mystery like a puzzle, but look at it from an emotional perspective, too. For the most part of the book, it eschews traditional mystery tropes - there are barely any clues being uncovered, and as a reader, we are not solving the mystery. It felt a bit frustrating at times, not being the one uncovering the mystery along with Stevie, nor being intimate with what she is deducing from it. She also doesn’t look at a crime scene and catalogue what was unusual or anything - in fact, it plays out more like she is trying hard to be detective. But even so, she manages to solve the present murder of one of her classmates. On a character perspective, Stevie provides mental health representation - she has anxiety and has had panic attacks. There are her housemates, who are big mysteries in themselves. There’s the web series star who seems shady and gets murdered. The artist who has no filter, and no awareness of social constraints. The aloof writer who she befriends, and the builder who is her best friend there. There’s the coding prodigy, who for some reason, likes to insert himself into her life. All of their interpersonal relationships are as much a part of the story as the bigger mystery of whodunnit. For a pack of mostly outcasts, they don’t exactly band together either. Overall, it is intriguing, different and certainly has you wanting for more (it ended in a cliffhanger!) so this one is recommended for mystery lovers.