Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Can you guys believe it is already July??? LIKE HOW?? I felt like the new year just began!! It’s crazy!!! Can time slow down for a second? Please have mercy on this poor soul . . .

Ahem. So since we are mid way through the year, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to do this tag! Thank you so much to the lovely Jane @ BloggerBooks for tagging me! And please check out her blog, because it is absolutely amazing and I love all our bookish conversations!

This tag was originally created by ReadLikeWildfire and Earl Grey Books. Without further ado, let’s jump into the questions!

1. Best Book You’ve Read so Far in 2019

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Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

OMG. This was so far the best read of 2019. I loved everything about it: the plot, the characters, the setting, the banter, the character dynamics/ growth, etc. It was all done so well! This series definitely made Kerri Maniscalco as one of my favorite authors of all time! She is absolutely brilliant and if you have not picked up the series yet, I highly recommend it!

If you want to read my full review, you can find it HERE!

 2. Best Sequel You’ve Read so Far This Year

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Finale by Stephanie Garber

Another stunning read of 2019. GAHHH It did not take long for the Caraval series to become one of my favorite series of all time. Each book just got better and better! The world was so different and magical from any other fantasy book I have read and I loved the journey the characters go through with each book. I loved that the plot focuses on the journey of two sisters since this is something I can relate to since I have a younger sister myself. Just Brilliant!

If you want to read my full review, you can find it HERE!

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Really Want To

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Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

I am kind of bending the rules here since I am currently reading this but it still fits the category 🙂 The writing is exquisite!

4. Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year

There are so many upcoming releases for this year that its so hard to pick one. Even after attending BookCon, I was surprised to learn that there were so many new and upcoming titles so I have listed a couple here which I am eagerly anticipating!

 

5. Biggest Disappointment of the Year

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I don’t think I read anything this year which turned out to be a huge disappointment. The lowest I rated any of my books was probably a 3.5 out of 5. If I were to choose, I would probably say Girls with Sharp Sticks? While I did enjoy the plot, themes and twists, I was not a huge fan of the writing style and some of the characters. It was not a terrible read, but I thought it could use some improvements here and there.

6. Biggest Surprise

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Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Being a book in the mystery genre, I think this novel fits the question completely. I did see a few reviews for this book ever since its release and I never got around to reading it until early this year. I will say I was pleasantly surprised and it evoked my interest into the mystery genre. I can’t wait to read the next installment – I heard that one was even better than the first! AHHHH!!!

If you want to read my full review, you can find it HERE!

7. Favorite New Author (Debut or New to You)

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

I recently just finished this novel and OMG it was absolutely brilliant. I was hesitant since I saw a couple of mixed reviews but I ended up loving it! I understand that Brigid Kemmerer might be an author that a lot of other book bloggers know, but I recently just discovered her with this novel. I am definitely looking forward to her next book in the series (especially with that ending!!)

If you want to read my full review, you can find it HERE!

8. Newest Fictional Crush

LET 2019 BE THE YEAR I DISCOVERED THOMAS CRESWELL!!!! MWAHAHA

(I’m totally sane I SWEAR!)

9. Newest Favorite Character

Audrey Wadsworth – This girl is epitome of strength, intelligence and empowerment!

10. Book That Made You Cry

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Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Can we talk about character growth? THIS WAS PHENOMENAL! I was absolutely stunned at how well Sarah was able to showcase emotion, pain and struggle with this installment. After reading this book, I am really looking forward to read the next one ASAP.

If you want to read my full review, you can find it HERE!

11. Book That Made You Happy

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Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

WAIT! I have my reasons for this one!

To be honest, I did not know which book to choose for this question. I have not read any comedic or light-hearted contemporary books this year so its difficult to answer. However, if I were to choose one book, I would most like go with the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. The banter between the two leads always put a smile on my face!

If you would like to read my review of the first book, you can check it out HERE!

12. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought or Received This Year

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

I mean take a look at this cover:

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13. What Book Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year?

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Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

After marathoning the first three books (which were awesome), I had to step away from reading for awhile due to work/classes. I am finally at a state where I can read more books and spare more time diving back into this fantasy world so I can’t wait to see what happens next!

14. Favorite Book Community Member?

OMG! It’s really hard for me to choose one specific member within the book community as an answer. Ever since I joined, I met so many great bloggers who have been so supportive and inviting on this platform so I extremely thankful to each and everyone who have read my posts, shared their opinions and have showcased their support! Ya’ll are the best!! ❤

I tag these lovely bloggers:

Joanna @thegeekishbrunette

Becky @becky’sbookblog

Dini @dinipandareads

Kristi @Confessionsofayareader

Jennifer @sleepingsuburb

Jess @crowingaboutbooks

Macy @afictionreality

Grace @Sheheartsfiction

If I tagged you and you have already done this, so sorry! And if you do decide to do it, have fun! 🙂

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Auto Buy Authors

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Hello everyone! It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday and this week’s prompt is all about our favorite authors and which ones we would most likely auto buy from. I will say that it was a bit difficult to come up with 10 authors since I only thought of 6; but nevertheless, I find their work absolutely amazing and I hope you enjoy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Without further ado, let’s move on towards the list!

Marissa Meyer

The first author I thought of when reading this prompt had to be Marissa Meyer. Ever since her Lunar Chronicles series, I was absolutely addicted to her stories and writing style. I grew to be an even bigger fan after Heartless which was a backstory of the Queen of the Hearts and that was such an interesting take on fairy tale re-tellings since there is not a lot of literature which focuses on the villains. I am currently on the recent Renegades series and while it is not my favorite of her works, it is definitely one that I will be continuing on with.

 

Victoria Schwab

Now who doesn’t love Victoria Schwab? She is one of the authors I truly admire since she offers such diverse characters and intriguing stories/ worlds which we can’t help but drown into. Along with her writing skills and amazing story telling capabilities, it’s no wonder why she is so revered within the book community!

 

Stephanie Garber

The Caravel series by Stephanie Garber easily became one of favorite series of all time. The world is so different from anything else I have read and her themes of sisterhood, strength and love was beautifully interlaced throughout the series. Since this series has come to a close, I am so curious as to what project she will attempt in the future but I will for sure be picking up her next book!

 

Kerri Maniscalco

This series soon became a favorite of mine. After hearing many positive reviews about the first book, I really wanted to see what all the hype was. With the combination of amazing characters, hilarious banter and a thrilling plot line, I was completely hooked on this series and I can’t wait for the final book!

 

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Sabaa Tahir

The Ember in the Ashes series was an auto buy for me. I loved the first novel and as soon as I read it, I couldn’t wait for the next installment. She is amazing in developing plots where there are high stakes, danger and never ending twists and turns. I am eagerly anticipating the release of her final book to this series and I will for sure be picking up whatever future project she plans to do.

 

Sarah J. Maas

Ever since I picked up the first book of the Throne of Glass series, I was automatically hooked. Sarah is absolutely brilliant in building her world, creating stunning characters and writing addictive plots which we can’t help but be consumed by. I do understand that there is some controversies with her novels which she tried to correct with her latest releases but as a whole, I do think she is amazing in crafting superior fantasy worlds.

Hope you all enjoyed reading! Who are your auto buy authors?

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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A Curse so Dark and Lonely Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“I’m always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.” 

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Published: January 29th 2019 by Bloomsbury YA

Pages: 484

Rating: 4/5

GoodReads

Ok. That ending had me shook! OMG!! It’s going to make an interesting set up for the next book and I will definitely be reading the sequel! It took me some time to get used to the characters, but after a few pages, I found myself glued to the book eagerly anticipating what’s going to happen next. If you have not picked this one up, I highly urge you do because it was an awesome twist on the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale!

Summary (from GoodReads):

Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Characters

Harper – Expressive; Compassionate; Strong; – What can I say? I really enjoyed reading Harper’s perspective. She is a strong character but I liked her since she was different from the typical YA leads since she exhibits a balance of strength and emotion. She loves her family – her brother and mother  – and is persistent to find them. Despite having Cerebral Palsy, she is still a determined individual and that’s what makes her so inspiring.

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Rhen – Strategic; Disheartened; Trapped – Rhen was just the sweetest. In the beginning we see him to be a tortured soul whose glimpses of hope are constantly being depleted and we can’t help but feel for him.

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Grey – A character who slowly grew on me. Initially, it was hard to discern his qualities due to his stoic personality; however, as time went by he slowly started to reveal layers of his character and it made me appreciate him even more.

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Final Thoughts 

I will admit that it took quite some time for me to get into this novel. I am not sure why but it did progress quite slowly in the beginning. However, within the 100 page mark, I noticed a lot of interesting dynamics and plot elements being introduced and this caused me to grow more intrigued. Since this book was described to be a Beauty and the Beast re-telling, I already had preconceived notions on how the plot would play out but I was surprised to see the different elements which were being introduced into the story. I found it to be refreshing since it offered a new look into a world which was build within this fairy tale backdrop.

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I also appreciated the hilarious banter between the characters! It brought a lighter atmosphere to the novel’s dark ambiance. The novel also intertwines the themes of inner strength and resilience against the most overwhelming and gruesome tribulations. It was amazing to see these characters go through this incredible journey to become the best version of themselves. The romance was a slow burn and I loved seeing the progression of their relationship and how they grew to be bit more open with each other. It made everything quite believable. The only reason why I could not give this book a complete 5 star rating was because I ended up questioning a few plot details here and there and I did have a couple of questions on certain issues. But overall, I really enjoyed it and I personally think this is the best Beauty and the Beast re-telling out there!

Have any of you read A Curse so Dark and Lonely? What did you think of it?

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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Finale Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“A true Queen’s power isn’t in her crown.” 

Author: Stephanie Garber

Publisher: May 7th 2019 by Flatiron Books

Pages: 496

GoodReads

Rating – 5/5

OMG FINALLY!!!

Every time I pick up one of the books in this series, I’m whirled away to another realm drenched with magic, thrill and enchantment. There is no clear way to describe the magic of Caraval and I think that is what makes this series so unique and special. Its riveting, whimsical and dangerous but also grounded by themes of love and sisterhood.

Summary from GoodReads: (Since this is the final book in the series, there are some minor spoilers to the first two books in the summary below):

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…all games must come to an end.

It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finaly, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything. . .

Characters:

Scarlet – Scarlet now takes control and takes risks – something she never done before and it was refreshing to see that. While we do know that Scarlet has an inner strength to her in the first book, she expands on it with a touch of boldness in this one.

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Julien – Lord. This man. Confidence. Carefree. Jovial. And Witty AF. What’s not to love about him? I swear as soon as he appeared the amount of post it tabs I used increased exponentially!  I was living for the ScarletxJulien moments in this novel since they were all so satisfying. We do see an dynamic change in Julien from the first book and I liked seeing that growth. OMG and I absolutely adore the way he calls Scarlet “Crimson” LOVE IT!

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Tella – Well we all know that Tella is quite the firecracker! She is bold and sometimes rash in her decisions than her cautious sister which is probably why it gets her into some troublesome situations. Nevertheless, I have always appreciated her character for her fearlessness since its a trait that I wish I had!

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Legend – Hmmm what can I day about Legend? He is borderline dangerous with his manipulative nature but his charm, explosive magic and devious schemes have a way of entrancing us. I will say I was not a huge fan of the push and pull between Tella and Legend and I preferred the relationship between Scarlet and Julien but that’s just me 🙂

Final Thoughts:

Stephanie Garber really grew with her writing. The imagery is spectacular. The growth of the story and world is brilliantly done. The dialogue is amazing. The pacing is perfect that you can’t help but fly through the pages. Within the first chapter I was hooked! I also loved the abundance of quotes in the novel which are hard hitting!

“Occasionally, there are minutes that get extra seconds. Moments so precious the universe stretches to make additional room for them.” 

“She looked the way Love might have looked if Love in a mirror, infectiously happy and radiantly beautiful.” 

The concept of utilizing the Deck of Destiny and providing characterization for each of the fates/cards was such a phenomenal idea. Stephanie Garber continued to build on the story from the previous novels and as a reader you can feel the story lines intertwining and building upon one another. With the added intricacy of the story, it is clear that the author spent an enormous amount of effort devising the plot lines and developing a seamless flow to the story. There are just so many twists and turns which keeps you on the edge of your seat and I have to say that this series has now become one of my favorite series of all time! 

Side Note –  I also randomly bumped into Stephanie Garber at BookCon this past weekend and OMG I was FanGirling so hard HAHA She is just the sweetest person ever! And Stay Tuned for my BookCon Haul and Experience post coming soon!

Have any of you read Finale yet? What were your thoughts on it?

Until next time, keep reading and i will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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The Boyfriend Bid ARC Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Jodie Andrefski

Publisher: April 8th 2019 by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Crush)

Pages: 236

Rating: 3/5

Form: e-book

I received an ARC from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Summary (From GoodReads):

Sarah Campbell’s never bid in the soccer team’s charity auction to win a hot date with one of their players. And she’s certainly not going to start now––when she’s still hurting over a bad breakup. The absolute last thing she’d ever do is bid on Mr. Ego himself, Chance DuPont.

Chance just wanted to help out a worthy cause, not get roped into not one but six dates with someone who seemingly can’t stand him. But when Sarah’s friends bid on him on her behalf, that’s exactly where he ends up. Now a local blog is covering the story by following them on all their dates, too? 

Seems like everyone loves a good love story––except the two living it.

Characters:

Sarah Campbell – As a main female lead, I think Sarah was good character to follow due her intelligence, passion and kindness. I really wished we got to see more of her dreams and aspirations since it could have created a more dynamic and intense layer to her personality.

Chance DuPoint – Chance is a adorable. I have no other words. Yes, he is immediately misunderstood by Sarah due to his popularity and position in the School’d Soccer team but he really does show a caring side to him which you cannot help but adore.

Final Thoughts:

After reading a large amount of historical fiction and high fantasy novels, I was looking for a fluffy, contemporary read to calm my feels. That was when I noticed I had this ARC waiting for me and I found it to be the perfect opportunity to dive into it! While I will say it was not the most well written novel with fleshed out characters, it was definitely a cute read! If you are looking for a short, adorable and quick read, then I would recommend you try this one.

I guess my main criticism of this novel would be the plot and that it hangs on a string of disbelief. The story line itself was a bit strange since I do not think the high school administration would allow an event like this to happen but maybe I am just being nit-picky. In addition, I do think the author’s technique of writing resembled more of just telling what happens instead of showing and letting the reader infer the plot details. There were moments of flashbacks and I think these were key moments that could have been developed even more to give a deeper connection to the characters. Overall, I think there could have been potential for this novel if the plot was more gripping and the characters had more layers to their personality.

Otherwise I thought the developing romance was very cute. And my main girl, loves to read. What’s not to love? And there were a couple of library scenes which was an adorable touch. So Sweet! One of my favorite aspects of any novels are those which contain strong female friendships and I was so happy to see a strong and supportive sisterhood throughout this book!

If you are looking for a quick and cute summer/spring read, then definitely try it out!

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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BTS LOVE YOURSELF BOOK TAG

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What could be better than putting together the two things I love in life: BOOKS AND BTS ❤ I’ve been an ARMY since Day 1 and it’s so heartwarming and beautiful to see how much they have grown and accomplished! I am so proud of them! This was a group that helped me through the toughest points in my life and constantly reminded me to love myself and they will forever hold a special place in my heart ❤ As for my biases, it would most likely be RM (Namjoon) and Jin (Seokjin) but they are all so sweet and adorable I’m unable to choose between them lol

A huge thanks to Beaucoupbooks for creating this awesome tag! Please check out her page, it’s amazing!

The Rules

  1. Tag/pingback @beaucoupbooks in your post so I can see!
  2. Feel free to use the graphics on Jess’s page.
  3. Tag at least one other person to do this tag but really, you don’t need to be tagged to do this post, anyone can.

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harry potter

My love for books started with Harry Potter by J.K Rowling. Ever since the movies came out, I wanted to know what the hype around this series was so I picked up the first book, then the second and before you know it, I was not only Potterhead but also a book lover.


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Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi – If you have not read this book . . . THEN READ THIS BOOK. OMG. Everything about the world, the African culture, the characters and the plot was just brilliantly crafted. So fast paced and addicting! Plus – the author is also a fellow ARMY like me hahaha


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Edward Cullen  – HMM I think some people might disagree with me on this. Plz don’t hurt me!! However, I have to say that my reading taste has changed from 10 years ago. When I initially picked up this book I did fall into the Twilight craze but now when I look back on it, my feelings towards the characters are quite impassive, especially the relationship between Edward and Bella. I find it to be quite unhealthy due to his possessiveness.


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A Darker Shade final for Irene

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab – I absolutely devoured this series and it was so hard for me to part from it since I was attached to the characters. However, I do know the author is working on the Threads of Power series which is set in the same world as this one so it’s comforting to know we are getting more books! 🙂


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Levi in Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – What’s not to love about Levi? He’s so sweet and adorable. I love his relationship with the main character since she does remind me of my self. I don’t usually pick up contemporary reads but I really loved this one!


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Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine – The books that Gail Carson Levine wrote were one of my top book crazes back in day. I loved the spin she took on classic fairy tales and the pre-teen me absolutely loved them. Definitely makes me nostalgic about my middle school years hehe


SINGULARITY

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The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – I would read anything by Marissa Meyer and it would instantly make me feel better lol I think it’s safe to say that she is one of my favorite authors of all time! I started this series during a difficult period in my life and it gave me the escape I needed and most importantly: hope that things will get better in the future. And this pretty much mirrors the reasons why I love BTS as well 🙂


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An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – Another series which I am completely in love with. Am I the only one who loves the cover change? I finally got to see someone who looks like me on the cover! AHHHHH!!! That’s so cool!!! And this was a novel which taught me that I am capable and stronger than what I give myself credit for and I highly recommend it!

 

Thank you all for reading! I would definitely like to open this tag to anyone who wishes to do it! Keep spreading the bookish and BTS love!! I purple you!

And for all my fellow ARMYs out there, let me know your bias and favorite songs! ❤

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Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another Bookish post!

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Truly Devious Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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Schools may be famous for many things: academics, graduates, sports teams. They are not supposed to be famous for murders.

Author: Maureen Johnson

Publication: January 16th 2018 by HarperCollins

Pages: 416

Rating: 5/5

One of my reading goals for 2019 is to read novels of various genres and I am so excited that I picked up this one! Truly Devious completely strays away from the typical fantasy novels I usually reach for and it definitely surprised me!

Summary:

Amidst a late April night of 1936, a business tycoon’s named Albert Ellingham found that his wife and daughter were kidnapped and the only real clue was within a mocking riddle signed as Truly Devious. And now present day, Stevie Bell, a girl who wishes nothing more to have a successful career as detective, ventures into the Ellingham Academy as a student. She has one goal in mind: to reopen and solve this cold case. In a sudden twist of events, the past returns to the Academy and the students are surrounded by a death which has them shocked and bewildered – Was it an accident or was it murder?

Characters: 

Stevie – Goal-oriented, Diligent, self-driven – Don’t we all love a smart female lead? I was really thrilled to read about character like Stevie who is able to notice quirks that maybe we as readers may sometimes miss. I definitely found her relatable since she also seems grounded with her awkwardness in social situations despite having a brilliant and intuitive mindset.

Janelle – Smart, Kind and Driven – Janelle was a such a pleasure to read about and I loved that the author included diversity within the novel. Although we did not see too much of her within this book, I definitely found her to be a character who values relationships and her friendship with Stevie.

Nate – Distant, Secluded, Writer – As with Janelle, I felt that we did not see too much of Nate in this book and he did not have much layers to his personality as we see with Stevie. However, I did find him to be a great friend to Stevie even with his grumpy personality.

Final Thoughts: 

Written in a dual past and present day perspective, this novel is surely a thrill for fans of Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes. I would say that the present day narrative does flow slowly; however, the author does this for a reason as she tries to enable the reader to understand the present day characters, environment and circumstances. The flashbacks were interesting to read since we get glimpses of secrets and twists to the cold case. The author did create a good balance of when and how to switch from the past and the present so we as readers understand the case well enough to follow with the present timeline.

There is also a moment in the book where a major plot event occurs and after that, I couldn’t help but fly through the pages. I just could NOT put it down. That was how addicting it was! The author kept you on the edge of your seat and offered many twists and turns that had you scrambling to figure out who the culprit could be. AND THAT ENDING!!

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Overall, I think Truly Devious is a wonderful read for anyone who loves mystery novels and the second book is definitely on my 2019 TBR!

Until next time, keep reading and I will be back with another post!

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