Going into Truly Devious, my expectations were pretty high, since it seemed like exactly my kind of book: boarding school thriller. I don’t have much experience with Maureen Johnson’s books, but after reading this one, I will definitely have to check them out. This book contains two connected mysteries and many peculiar characters. I enjoyed the use of flashbacks, which is not a common occurrence, and the shocking plot twists. The ending bothered me, but I am all the more excited for the next instalment.
This book has a very intriguing concept. It tells the story of an unsolved kidnapping that occurred in 1936, and a girl from today’s society who is determined to solve it. However, the killer has made a comeback, and Stevie is caught right in the middle of it. Part of the story is told through flashbacks and interviews, which really piqued my interest. I also really enjoyed the setting of this book, since I am such a sucker for boarding school books, and a school for prodigies is so amusing to read about. The book is filled with non-stop action and countless plot twists, making for a gripping thriller.
There is a great variety of characters in Truly Devious. Of course, I liked Stevie because she is intelligent and quirky, but there are also plenty of notable side characters. Each of Stevie’s housemates have different skills, and their interactions are very enjoyable to read. I think I liked Janelle the most, since she is a female inventor. However, with so many characters (in both 1936 and the present), I found it hard to keep track of them all, and not all of them are that developed.
One of the most interesting aspects about this book is the fact that it is like two mysteries in one. The story switches between 1936 and present date with two connected crimes. Normally, I am not a fan of flashbacks, but they actually worked well in this case. The past complements the present very well, and it is so interesting seeing how the two connect.
Truly Devious is a whirlwind of a thriller with a quirky cast of characters. I loved the idea of a dual mystery and the plot twists associated with it. I would definitely recommend this to fans of the thriller genre, as this is a tense beginning to a new series.
There is nothing so serious as a game.
When you have enough power and money, you can dictate the meanings of words.
About the Author
Maureen knew from an early age she wanted to be a writer. She went to high school at an all-girls’ Catholic school and graduated from University of Delaware with a degree in writing. She now lives and writes in New York City.
Many of the adventures Maureen’s characters face in her books are based on real-life stories. Maureen has traveled all over Europe, and is a Secret Sister to vlog brothers Hank and John Green.