Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1921
interesting overall
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
TRULY DEVIOUS is a YA mystery that takes place at an enigmatic high school. Ellingham was founded by a very wealthy man in the 1930s as a place where gifted students could learn without regard for money. However, not long after opening, his wife and young daughter were kidnapped and ransom was requested. Even though he paid the ransom, they were not returned. The wife's body was eventually found, and the daughter was never located. Ellingham wanted to believe that she was still alive, and the school, to this day, is still technically hers.

The perpetrators were never caught, and a poetic letter cut from magazine letters identified the criminal as Truly, Devious. In the present, Stevie is a budding criminologist who dreams of going to the FBI. She really wants to solve the crime from 1936, and is thrilled when given admittance to this exclusive school.

Once there, she picks up tidbits of the past crime, but her time is primarily focused on the many eccentric students there- and a new crime committed in the present.

The book gets off to a relatively slow start, but the pace picks up fast around the middle point. The characters were often hard to connect with, but it was still fascinating to hear about these crimes and speculate over who may have done it. Another major pitfall is the lack of a conclusion and a huge cliffhanger at the end. These books are continuous, and in such a series, it is helpful for pace for one crime to be solved and another to appear in the next. I think this one would have been better served as such, also to make the pace faster. However, I did really get into the story by the end.

Overall, this was an intriguing book, and I am definitely interested in continuing to the next. While it was a bit slow at first, the pace does pick up quite a bit, and I would definitely like to learn more about the characters here in future books.
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