mystery · suspense · Young adult

Truly Devious – Maureen Johnson ★★★★★

Blurb; 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. 

The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three.

My review; This is book one of four it is a great start to the series, introducing the characters, the setting and the past to the whole story. Welcome to Ellingham Academy set in a remote part of Vermont this is not a normal school. This is a free school for the gifted.

Meet main character Stevie she knows all about the past crimes of this school and the kidnapping and that’s why she got into the school she is determined to solve the mystery after all these years. But the past can soon turn into the present and when a deadly incident happens in the present she plays detective again. She is good at what she can do. Brilliant character. We meet her housemates along the way. A few dodgy characters there.

This is a young adult mystery which is full of suspense. It is gripping, fast paced and a easy read to devour. I am so glad I finally got around to reading this series. Its brilliant. Highly recommend. I cannot wait to dive into book two already especially after that huge cliffhanger. Grr. A well deserved five stars. A must read.

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Ghost story · Graphic Novels · Young adult

The Sad Ghost Club 2 – Lize Meddings ★★★★

Blurb: Ever felt anxious or alone? Like you don’t belong anywhere? Like you’re almost… invisible? Find your kindred spirits at The Sad Ghost Club. (You are not alone. Shhh. Pass it on.)

When two strangers meet at a party and realise they both feel different from everyone else there, they start the The Sad Ghost Club – a secret society for the anxious and alone, a club for people who think they don’t belong.

But when a third ghost wants to join the club, things get a bit more complicated. Can the two ghosts overcome their insecurities and uncertainties in their new friendship, and find a way to welcome new members to the club?

Stunningly illustrated, this is Volume 2 in a new graphic novel series, for fans of Heartstopper and Jennifer Niven, and for anyone who’s ever felt invisible.

My Review; This is a graphic novel meaning an easy read, beautifully illustrated throughout, not many words as such. But after loving book one I had to see what happened in book two. It’s such a simple story, but a beautiful one. I felt I could really relate to this story this morning. I just wanted to be left alone, shut the world off and read. Still do. But it’s a reminder you’re never alone. Things do get better. Someone is always there whether you know it or not.

It’s bringing together a community of people who feel alone. Left out. Forgotten and I love it. Would highly recommend to everyone. A well deserved four stars. We love the ghost club.

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romance · Young adult

Here’s To Us – Adam Silvera & Becky Albertalli ★★★★

Blurb: Ben has spent his first year of college working on his fantasy manuscript with his writing partner Mario, who is a great Spanish tutor, and an even better kisser. So why can’t he stop thinking about the fact that Arthur’s back in town two years after they called it quits?

Arthur is in New York for a dream internship on Broadway, with a boyfriend back at home that he couldn’t be happier with. But when he comes upon Ben cuddled up with a mystery boy, he starts to wonder if his feelings for Ben ever truly went away.

Even as the boys try to focus on their futures, they can’t seem to help running into each other in the present. Is the universe forcing them to question if they’re actually meant to be?

Possibly not. After all, things didn’t work the first time around.
Possibly yes. After all, the sparks are still flying.
Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and raise a glass.

Here’s to celebrating old friends!
Here’s to embracing new beginnings!
Here’s to believing in second chances!

My Review; Best read in order this follows straight on from What if it’s us? Both brilliant reads. Full of romance. Friendship. Summer. All familiar characters from book one. I was back with the gang spending my summer with them all including their new partners, new summer jobs and new secrets uncovered. But… After all this time do Ben and Arthur still have feelings for one another? I love them both so much!!

Brilliantly co-written. Addictive. Easy reading. A real page turner. Highly recommend. Fabulous, happy ending for everyone. Uplifting. A well deserved four stars. Highly recommend.

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