Review: Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1) – Maureen Johnson

Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1) – Maureen Johnson

Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1)

Title: Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1)

Author: Maureen Johnson

Release Date: January 16, 2018

Publisher: HarperCollins

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 416

Source: Barnes and Noble

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.

4 out of 5 stars

I would give the first half of this book 3 stars, but the last 150 pages TOTALLY redeemed it. I couldn’t stop reading the last part of this book because I was completely hooked. Again, I find this to be a common trend that I’m having recently because of my lack of time to read. I always want to be reading and enjoying books, but I just don’t have multiple hours a day to spend reading, but when I have the time, I enjoy the book so much more.

I have a plan to read more consistently, though. I’m going to actually do the #readingafter10 started by Ariel Bissett on her Instagram, and I’m going to limit the amount of time I spend on my phone. I don’t know if anyone else uses the Screen Time setting on your iPhone, but it blows my mind. Last week I spend 18 hours on my phone. 18 hours of wasted time. I could have finished around 3 more books in that time!

Anyway, aside from the little tangent, I really enjoyed this book. It’s been awhile since I read a mystery so it was really fun to try and figure out everything that was happening in the book.

I really liked the characters of this book, and I was kind of shocked that they were so young. I guess that’s just me getting older, but it’s weird to read about 14 year old high school students when you’re 19 and in college. I, for some reason, just always imagine the characters I’m reading about to be my age even if they’re totally not. Again, that’s a me thing, not a this-book-kind-of-thing.

I REALLY can’t wait to read the second book in this series because this one ended on such a cliffhanger. I need to know about the murders, the dry ice, the tea box, the… everything. I want to know what happens next!

I think this was the perfect book to read around Halloween time *even though it’s technically the beginning of November now.* It was spooky and suspenseful, but not scary. Scary books just freak me the freak out, but I love a little spookiness around spooky season.

I can’t wait to read the next book, because the plot is thickening and I’m so excited for it.

Review: The Bane Chronicles (The Bane Chronicles #8-11) – Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson

The Bane Chronicles (The Bane Chronicles #8-11) – Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson


Title: The Bane Chronicles

Author: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson

Release Date: November 11, 2014

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 528

Source: Book Store

Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and illustrated material.

This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.

Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material.

What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (The Bane Chronicles #8)

5 out of 5 stars

I love Magnus and Alec together, and this is the story I was most excited for. Malec is my favorite ship from The Mortal Instruments and it’s super nice to see them interacting again. You’ve also never really seen their interactions clearly because of the multiple storylines, but it’s so fun. It’s really great to read about a relationship that is so new and so beautiful. I love Magnus and Alec so much. I love that they’re sweet to each other and that they love one another for who they are. Oh my gosh, it’s just so cute and romantic. Magnus went to all the trouble of imagining what Alec was feeling throughout the short story, and I just can’t handle how cute it was. So much love for them.


The Last Stand of the New York Institute (The Bane Chronicles #9)

4 out of 5 stars

This hasn’t been my favorite story, but I really enjoyed seeing Valentine when he started being who he is. I love seeing Magnus, and I get that this whole book is about him, but it’s cool to see him helping people instead of just being glittery. I also enjoyed seeing Jocelyn and Clary when they were younger. It was just so cute and Tessa was there. Tessa was wearing a shirt that said “William wants a doll.” Yes, it was about being a feminist, but it’s because she hasn’t strayed from Will and it’s just perfect. I love Tessa and Will from The Infernal Devices and it’s just… oh my gosh I love them.


The Course of True Love [and First Dates] (The Bane Chronicles #10)

5 out 5 stars

I don’t even know what to say about this because it’s been my favorite novella so far. I love Magnus and Alec together and they are my favorite couple from the whole Mortal Instruments series. I loved seeing them interacting on their first date and how perfectly awkward it was. I loved every second of it and I just want a whole book about Magnus and Alec. They make me so happy. I just get a giddy, girly, squealy feeling when I read about them. The kissing scene. My gosh. I just want them to be together forever and ever. I love them and I love their first date story. It’s so fricking cute.


The Voicemail of Magnus Bane (The Bane Chronicles #11)

3 out of 5 stars

I did not want to relive that traumatic experience of the situation that is not to be named between Alec and Magnus. I really did not want to deal with that pain again and I’m still not over that part. I literally hated reading that, but it was pretty okay. I love Cassandra Clare and I can’t wait to read Lady Midnight because more Shadowhunters. I GET TO MEET HER IN OMAHA AND IM SO PUMPED. Anyway, I really enjoyed this book overall, and can’t wait to read more from her!



What Really Happened in Peru (The Bane Chronicles #1)

The Runaway Queen (The Bane Chronicles #2)

Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale (The Bane Chronicles #3)

The Midnight Heir (The Bane Chronicles #4)

The Rise of Hotel Dumort (The Bane Chronicles #5)

Saving Raphael Santiango (The Bane Chronicles #6)

The Fall of Hotel Dumort (The Bane Chronicles #7)

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