Truly, Devious

Ellingham Academy was founded in the 1930’s by Albert Ellingham in order to serve the brightest thinkers.  Not long after it was opened, his daughter and wife were kidnapped and presumed to be murdered.  The only clue was a riddle signed “Truly, Devious”.

Fast forward to present day.  Stevie Bell loves learning about murder mysteries and chooses to attend Ellingham Academy for the sole purpose of solving the cold case of the Ellinghams’ murders.  One night, a message is projected onto her bedroom wall signed “Truly, Devious”. At first she thinks it was part of a dream, but then weird things start to happen — and a classmate is found dead.  Now it’s up to Stevie to solve this murder.

I really enjoyed this mystery.  It was very interesting how the author intertwined the two mysteries – one from the 1930’s and the other from present day.  This book is the first in  a trilogy, and it ends on a major cliffhanger. The second book won’t be released until 2019, so it looks like I have a while to wait!


October 8, 2018 at 11:14 am Leave a comment

99 Days

Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything. She has every right to hate me, of course: I broke Patrick Donnelly’s heart the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college and be done.

This is how the book 99 Days by Katie Cotugno begins; there is a journal entry for each of the 99 days that Molly Barlow is home for the summer.

I read this book this summer, and I enjoyed it.  It’s fairly “fluffy”. I mean, there’s drama, and there’s an interesting storyline, but it isn’t one of those books that taxes your brain too much — and that can be a good thing.  For most of the book, Molly is dating Gabe, the older Donnelly brother, but she has a long history with Patrick.  It is obvious something is going to happen with Patrick; you wouldn’t be given that much back history on them otherwise.

I was sympathetic to Molly. You know how you make one mistake – even a big one – and you’re totally shunned from people you thought were your friends? That’s pretty much how she feels, and I think everyone can relate to that on some level.

August 20, 2018 at 2:47 pm Leave a comment


This summer, I finished the book Catherine by April Lindner.  Lindner writes books that are modern retellings of classics; before this one, I read Jane, which is a retelling of Jane Eyre.

Catherine is told from two points of view: Catherine (through her journal) and her daughter Chelsea.

Catherine is the daughter of the owner of the famous Underground club – the hot spot for musicians to get their start and to be seen.  There, she meets Hence, the brooding and passionate musician who steals her heart.

Chelsea is Catherine’s daughter; she always believed Catherine died when she was younger, until she finds a letter that her father had kept hidden for her.  Chelsea then sets out to New York City, in search of the Underground and of the mysterious Hence.

I did enjoy this book; there were some details that I had to overlook, but nothing too major.  (Seriously.  Chelsea is a teenager, and she goes to New York City alone?  Her father probably could have tracked her down, knowing she was off to find details about her mother’s disappearance.  He would have had an idea of where to look.)

September 18, 2017 at 8:42 am Leave a comment

Girl, Stolen

Okay, another suspense book – and the sequel just came out!

Cheyenne Wilder is asleep in the back of the car while her mom goes into the pharmacy to pick up medicine; in the short amount of time her mom is gone, someone jumps in the car and steals it.  Cheyenne remains motionless in the back seat; she is obviously frightened — but, even worse, she is blind.

How will she escape?  Will she even be able to escape?

This is a pretty quick read, but it will definitely hold your attention until the end!

August 14, 2017 at 9:41 am Leave a comment

Pretty Girl-13

I normally am not a suspense fan.  I’m that girl who reads spoilers – even though I don’t really want to.  I just can’t handle not knowing.  The fact that I love this book so much is surprising, even to me — and I didn’t even flip to the end first!

Pretty Girl-13 starts with Angie, standing on the street, staring at her house.  She’s in a daze and doesn’t really know where she is, but she decides to walk in her house anyway. She’s greeted by her parents who are crazy excited to see her, but she doesn’t understand their excitement.  She’s only been camping for one night.  Turns out – she’s been missing for 3 years.  She left to go camping when she was 13.  She’s now 16. As you read on, you’ll see she has developed multiple personalities to help her deal with the trauma, and you’ll try to figure out what happened to her for all that time.  This was the first book in a long time that I read that and couldn’t put down.  Try it.  You’ll love it.

August 23, 2016 at 8:18 am Leave a comment

Everything, Everything

I recently read Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon — in one day.  The main character, Maddy, has a rare autoimmune disorder that will not allow her to leave the confines of her house.  She has spent her entire seventeen years essentially in solitude, and one day, she sees a family move in next door — a family with an attractive teenage boy named Olly.  Soon, she and Olly begin texting and messaging one another, and Maddy begins to fall in love with Olly.  But how do you fall in love with someone you have never met face-to-face?

At first I thought this book was going to be like The Fault in Our Stars, and it does have definite similarities, but it definitely holds its own and has its own merit.  I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a realistic fiction book with some romance in it.

January 14, 2016 at 9:45 am Leave a comment

The Selection Series

This is probably my very favorite series right now; there are currently four books – The Selection, The Elite, The One, and The Heir. The entire series reminds me of a dystopian version of The Bachelor.

Illea (formerly the US) operates on a caste system; royalty is a One, and illegitimates, runaways, and addicts are Eights. America is a Five and is one of thirty-five girls invited to The Selection, where they will compete for the heart of Prince Maxon.

However, America doesn’t want to be part of the Selection, as it will separate her from her love, Aspen. It will earn money for her family, so she reluctantly agrees to participate. Then she meets Prince Maxon, and she begins to question all the plans she made for herself.

If you are a fan of romance books, try this series. You’ll love it. It’s fluffy – but with substance all at the same time.

August 7, 2015 at 1:48 pm Leave a comment

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