Truly Devious Review

Ebook, 416 Pages
YA/ Mystery/ Contemporary
By: Maureen Johnson
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟.5

β€œYou have to take things as they are, not how you hear they’re supposed to be.”

🌟 I usually read contemporaries or mystery/ thriller novels when I want to take a break from the Fantasy genre! This was like 60% Mystery and 40% Contemporary and I am not sure if that was a good combination.

🌟 The writing style was good, not too poetic, not too bland! It was right for a story of this kind. I think what the author was trying to achieve here is to show us the writing process for a mystery kind of novel which is something I appreciate as I am trying to learn more about writing.

β€œWhen you have enough power and money, you can dictate the meanings of words.”

🌟 The idea seems interesting because it is a school for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists according to the synopsis! I expected the mystery part to be a little bit better to be honest.

🌟 The characters are mediocre in my opinion. I wasn’t a big fan of any of them. I expected to have more mature and smart characters from my imagination of what this could be. Like the characters in Death Note for example!

🌟 The author looks like a big fan of Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes! I loved the Agatha references but since the author is well versed in those stories, she should know that a huge part of their success is because they are fast, short and to the point. The mystery in this book does not happen until after half of the book and it is not even solved!

🌟 I also left reading this closer to the release date of the second book because many said that the cliffhanger was good and they can’t wait! I expected something more from all the hype tbh!

🌟 Summary: Reading this book was a strange experience, not much happened as I expected to for a mystery novel, but it was intriguing at the same time that I finished it quite fast. Maybe I prefer short, fast reads as Agatha’s books and I don’t know why this is a trilogy too?! I will continue book 2 but will go with different expectations!


  1. Glad you finally got to read this one! I agree, it was probably more of a contemporary than I expected. (I think I was a little overwhelmed by the hype and gave it a higher rating than I normally would have, haha.) Hopefully the next one will be better!
    Also, I’ve never read any of Agatha Christie’s books, but I would like to – sounds like my kind of mystery.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review and I agree on the contemporary feel of this one. I enjoyed the plot and writing, but also agree some of the characters felt like cardboard cutouts rather than real people. I loved Stevie though, so I enjoyed the book more than you did! Will you be reading The Vanishing Stair?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All her books are standalones and you can start anywhere, you can start with the best (murder on the orient express/ And then there were none/ Murder of Roger Akroyd) but I think you can save them to a little bit later and start with the good ones such as Five Little Pigs.

    Liked by 1 person

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