Review: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

5:23 PM

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson | Rating: ★★★★★ 

As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via Edelweiss by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

Where to begin, where to begin, about Truly Devious? I was not certain on what to expect with Maureen Johnson's latest offering. I truly enjoy her work, so it was definitely on my list from the time it was announced. Truly Devious has a premise that is intriguing, albeit a little generic, and naturally I was 100% here for it. What do you get when you mix a murder-mystery up a bit and sprinkle in the setting of boarding school? Jessica's idea of a good time, that's what.

There's a little something for every-one in terms of the mixing of the genres and honestly, the results are great! When I picked up Truly Devious, I had no idea that it was set to be the first installment of a new series but I can honestly say I am so relieved that it is because boy, did it hook me! Fans of Sherlock and of Brittany Cavallaro's Charlotte Holmes series will certainly find themselves compelled to read this book. There's something startlingly similar (yet entirely its own) about the atmosphere found in this book and I genuinely dig it.




Maureen Johnson does a fantastic job at tying in the separate plots and timelines; drawing up the one massive mystery and engulfing her readers with questions, answers and pure suspense. Not only is the mystery deliciously told, and explore, the characters and settings are superb in both timelines. As far as tones go, Truly Devious is a little mystery; a little coming of age, a little boarding school drama and a whole lot of compelling traits.

It's a satisfying story that is purely of Johnson's making, while still feeling familiar and classic. As I was reading it, I was quick to note the same series of emotions I got whilst reading A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro, Academy Girls by Nora Carroll and Private by Kate Brian, but for a variety of different reasons.

Let's talk about Maureen Johnson's prose really quickly.

It's good. Really good. There was something a bit more polished about Truly Devious than what I've come to expect from her in previous books--not to say that her earlier works were unpolished. There's just a definite shift in her prose that is fantastic to read.

She bounces between the two with an easy sort of grace that tells the story and paints onto a bigger picture with every chapter. In short, she leaves you wanting more. Truly Devious teases that bigger picture but leaves readers on the edge of their seat just as things are coming together--the perfect way to captivate them and ensure that they'll stick around for a sequel.

You're going to get attached. You're going to gt involved.

I'm here for the long haul. AND I NEED THAT SECOND BOOK NOW!

Other things to note!
  • CHARACTERS THAT ARE REALLY WELL DEVELOPED and are quite different from each other. Which is always a plus in fiction but not always a given. This goes for both of the timelines. Maureen Johnson has, in my opinion, always been good at this and Truly Devious is perhaps one of her best-examples to date. 
  • Romance that isn't overbearing but still quite dramatic and intriguing. This doesn't take over the central plots but it does sprinkle in something good to separate the tone a bit and I really, really liked it! What happens next?! I'm ready. 
  • The making of the mystery--and its climax. I loved the buildup! I love twists and turns in stories that leave you flat on your behind. Truly Devious is certainly one of those and I adored every minute of it. Like, 10/10 would allow it to kick my a** again and again and again. Just take my wallet, Johnson. Take it NOW. 
Overall, I loved Truly Devious and can already tell it's going to make my top books of 2018 list. Which is pretty fantastic given it was released in January. If you'll excuse me, I've got to go sit and stare at my wall while I wait for the sequel to come out.

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