Review: Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1) by Maureen Johnson

A girl from Pittsburgh came to Ellingham Academy and she wanted to see a dead body. She got her wish.

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★★

HarperCollins | 2018

Filed Under: Youtube as a career path


As you may have picked up by now because of all the not-at-all subtle clues I keep dropping that goes something like: “I hate YA thrillers!” and “I’ve never read a good YA thriller!” or “Please stop recommending me YA thrillers because I don’t like them!” – I am not a big fan of YA mystery/thrillers.

I’m not sure why I keep reading them other than the plot summaries and beautiful covers continue to reel me.

I’m so goddamn naïve. “This one will be a good one!” I think to myself about a book I will end up not liking at all 🤡

Is that the case with Truly, Devious?

Umm…

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I’ve had my eye on this novel for a while mostly because of the goddamn plot summary. A private school famous for a decades-old unsolved kidnapping/maybe-murder suddenly sees a new murder and the possibility that the original Big Bad, know as Truly, Devious, is back to wreak havoc on the students and faculty of Ellingham Academy.

As concise as a summary can be, the blurb was actually a lot more interesting than what the plot turned out to be for my tastes. I typically hate private school shit. That setting is just an excuse to allow children to not have any real parental supervision like they would/should so they can do shit most teenagers would never fucking do. And I think I’m too old for that.

But, whatever. You all know I’m a grumpy reader.

Continue reading “Review: Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1) by Maureen Johnson”

Review: Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus

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★★★

Delacorte Press | 2019

Opening Hook: Jamie Lee this Prom Queen ain’t.

Main Character: A Murderino Nancy Drew.

Plot Twisty-ness: Boiled chicken without seasoning.


Ughhhhhh…

Here we are again. Welcome to yet another edition of “Krystin tries to read YA!”

Aside from Undead Girl Gang, which I totally fucking loved, I feel like I’ve been trying for 84 years like that lady from Titanic to get into YA mystery/thrillers and it’s just one disappointment after the next.

That’s not to say that the books aren’t good. Okay? Calm your energy. I’m not here to shit on your genre of choice. In almost every case, it’s has been an “it’s me, not you” situation. I am just not the right audience for this genre.

I wish I was! I would love to relax with a YA thriller because the R-rated shit can get to be a bit too much. Being constantly inundated with the most heinous plotlines can warp a person who also watches too much news. This planet is a dumpster fire. Yes, I see a therapist regularly, thank you.

I feel like a YA thriller would really help me unwind. Alas, of the 55 books on my “young-adult” Goodreads shelf, I have like 3 of them.

THREE.

Overall, these books make me feel very much like…

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Continue reading “Review: Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus”

Review: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

“People live through such pain only once; pain comes again, but it finds a tougher surface.”

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★★★

Dutton Books for Young Readers | 2017

Opening Hook: Start your egg timers.

Main Character: A fish-out-of-water, almost literally.

Plot Twisty-ness: Too busy writing characters making out to remember the twists.


I’m going to try to be nice.

And I’m going to try to be nice because while I didn’t really love this like I wanted to, I also didn’t hate it on its face. It’s not a bad novel in terms of writing, in fact, I think Stephanie Perkins has a promising narrative voice, she just doesn’t know what’s she’s doing with a horror novel.

I read this as part of my search to find a YA thriller that I actually want to rave about after I finish the last page, and I had high hopes this would be that novel.

It’s supposed to be a horror/thriller. It’s supposed to be, as per the promotion, Scream meets YA.” The title, the cover – it’s all saying READ ME SO I CAN SCARE YOU!

You compare something to Scream and I say GIMME NOW.

I love Scream. I love all teen slashers. I grew up on that shit. It’s an important part of my developmental stages from child to teen to adult… which probably explains a lot.

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Booknerd Wednesday: My TBR’d YA Mystery-Thrillers! #YAWeek

I’ll be honest, I enjoy YA fiction, even though, I am no longer included in the targeted demographic and haven’t been for almost two decades a while. You know what, let’s not get into specifics about ages and dates. Those are all technicalities.

Sometimes I can feel a little bit weird when I have some interest in a YA books. A feeling of “I know I’m 30-something, but please don’t judge me for reading this” can wash over me from time to time.

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I try to let myself like what I like, but there is a sense that YA is my “guilty pleasure” because it’s really not intended for me. And sometimes it’s painfully obvious that I am not intended for it.

I can also feel a little bit weird in reviewing YA books, because usually if the book didn’t work for me it’s because the 16-year-old main character says/thinks something along the lines of, “I’m not child!” And I immediately think, “oh, yes you are young lady!

Or the 18-year-old who works at a grocery store part time is decorating her warehouse style loft apartment and it’s total bullshit because I didn’t buy my first piece of new furniture until I was 30 years old. That sense of utter and complete bullshit about how teenagers on their own would truly live annoys me because no one ever plays within the boundaries of real life, at least not of what I’ve read so far.

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Nevertheless, I remain dedicated to my search for an amazing YA mystery-thriller that I actually like; one that feels honest and genuine and manages to pull some punches on someone who is hard to please. (Me. That’s me who’s hard to please.)

In honour of #YAWeek, I’m going to be taking a look at what’s floating around my YA TBR pile; what books I’ve come across and thought, “yes, you could be THE ONE.”

Continue reading “Booknerd Wednesday: My TBR’d YA Mystery-Thrillers! #YAWeek”