Category: Blog Tour (page 1 of 17)

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: GENES (International Sensory Assassin Network #3) by Mary Ting

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: GENES (International Sensory Assassin Network #3) by Mary Ting

I’m so ecstatic to be on the GENES blog tour because I am obsessed with this series. So check out my 5 Star Review below and enter a fabulous giveaway. Enjoy ♥.

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: GENES (International Sensory Assassin Network #3) by Mary TingGENES (International Sensory Assassin Network #3)
by Mary Ting
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Allegiances will be tested. Identities will be revealed. No one is safe.

While searching for the HelixB88 anti-serum on the black market, Ava uncovers valuable intel that may help the rebels in their fight to bring down ISAN—the location of a hidden facility. But first, the insurgents must find the female citizens unexpectedly displaying powers without use of the Helix serum before ISAN captures them. As the rebels join forces with other sectors, ISAN plans their destruction by using someone they don’t suspect at the rebel home base: a traitor within.

Review:

“Bravery comes in all forms. You just have to know which suits you best.”

GENES was an explosion of action and adventure, I was beyond addicted.  With characters I loved, new twists and turns, being on the brink of war and so much unknown, I was glued to the pages.  The story was gritty and rugged, so it was impossible not to have tears in my eyes at times.  But love and friendship floated throughout the pages and added so much light and hope to their dark and dreary world.  So if you’re a fan of dystopian, characters that leap off of the pages and a story line that keeps you saying just one more chapter then this series is for you!  Some of my favorite things were…..

I would move mountains for you. I would shatter the world to bring you home to me. Love is a powerful thing. – Rhett

✮ Teamwork:

Against all odds, we had made it. I was here with him. Beside each other was where we belonged. Our home.
My throat clogged. “My wish came true when I remembered you.”

One of my favorite aspects of this story was how friendships felt like family.  They would do anything for each other and continually had each other’s backs, I loved watching them work together.  Especially when a few of them combined their powers.  And with different groups merging, it wasn’t always easy.  There were struggles at times.  But the devotion, commitment and trust that came from all of them created such huge feelings for me.  Which ultimately made me nervous lol.  No one was safe in this book and I found myself caring for even more people which terrified me.

 

✮ Action and Adventure:

I will not die today. We will not die today.
Like a dandelion, be resilient.

This whole series is action packed from that first page to the last.  Yes we got lots of moments where we could breathe and watch beautiful moments unfold between the characters.  And those added so much joy in my heart,  I loved catching myself sighing out loud.  But in the next instant we were up and going again. My pulse was pounding and this is the type of book that is easily devoured.  Emotions and tensions ran high and I loved every single minute of it!

 

✮ The Whole Picture:

“I know. It’s okay. Whatever it takes, remember.” I tried to sound strong for the both of us, but my voice cracked.
“I love you.” Rhett held me tightly as if I was his lifeline, and then he kissed me with desperation.

While Ava was still our main point of view, I loved how we got moments with Rhett again.  I’m obsessed with his thoughts on everything, especially with how he saw Ava.  But we got a few other characters point of views mixed in a little bit.  I won’t mention who, so it’s a surprise, but it was truly genius.  The peaks we got into a few other people’s heads rounded out the story so perfectly. There was so much at play, with so many moving parts, and it made me feel like I was watching a movie play out.  It. Was. Fabulous!

 

✮ The Characters:

“Why does it have to be another one of us to die? Why doesn’t ISAN die?”
Oh, my heart. Air left my lungs in gasps. I fought back the sting in my eyes and sank to my knees.

Whether it was Ava being brave and fierce, always protecting those she loved at all cost. To Rhett’s love that shined as bright as a star and being the voice of reason.  To Ozzie’s teddy bear ways that made me just want to squeeze him.  To Mitch’s complexity that pulled me in again and again, I loved learning a few more of his secrets.  To Tamara and her knife wielding ways.  To Momo, Bobo and Coco, oh I came to care for those kids so deeply.  Even to Mr Novak’s creepy and nefarious ways. These characters came alive.  They were complex and stood easily apart from one another.  Each one was so pivotal to this story, I loved it!

 

I fought the sting in my heart as I leaned back into Rhett’s arms. Moments like this were rare. We had to take all the good offered to us. No one knew what would happen tomorrow, or even an hour later.

GENES was my favorite book in this series!  I loved how even more pieces of the puzzle came together and the bigger picture is becoming more clear.  But it still felt insurmountable at times.  Thankfully as the story progressed, hope bloomed in my chest.  But beware, because there were setbacks that had me whispering no, no, no.  I found myself crying for death and being terrified over the fate of those I cared for.  But I also cried tears of happiness too.  So if you’re looking for a story that you can get completely lost in, definitely add this one to your tbr!  I can’t wait to see what happens next, especially after that ending!

PS I knew it!!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

 

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About Mary Ting:

International Bestselling, Award-Winning Author Mary Ting writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers all over the world. Her books run a wide range of genres: science fiction, fantasy, and swoon worthy stories. Her storytelling talents have won her a devoted legion of fans and garnered critical praise.

Mary was born in Seoul Korea and resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two dogs—Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Becoming an author was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, she retired from teaching after twenty years.

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Schedule:

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REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Ember Queen (Ash Princess Trilogy #3) by Laura Sebastian

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Ember Queen (Ash Princess Trilogy #3) by Laura Sebastian

I’m so excited to be a part of the Ember Queen tour! So check out my review below, along with some of my favorite quotes. And enter in a fabulous giveaway. Enjoy! ♥

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Ember Queen (Ash Princess Trilogy #3) by Laura SebastianEmber Queen Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The thrilling conclusion to the New York Times bestselling series "made for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sabaa Tahir" (Bustle), Ember Queen is an epic fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people.

Princess Theodosia was a prisoner in her own country for a decade. Renamed the Ash Princess, she endured relentless abuse and ridicule from the Kaiser and his court. But though she wore a crown of ashes, there is fire in Theo's blood. As the rightful heir to the Astrean crown, it runs in her veins. And if she learned nothing else from her mother, she learned that a Queen never cowers.

Now free, with a misfit army of rebels to back her, Theo must liberate her enslaved people and face a terrifying new enemy: the new Kaiserin. Imbued with a magic no one understands, the Kaiserin is determined to burn down anyone and everything in her way.

The Kaiserin's strange power is growing stronger, and with Prinz Søren as her hostage, there is more at stake than ever. Theo must learn to embrace her own power if she has any hope of standing against the girl she once called her heart's sister.

Review:

Ember Queen was a beautiful weaving together of friendship, trust, tears, love, and sacrifice.  This series completely enchanted me and I devoured it in no time at all.  I fell in love with these characters.  They held my heart in the palm of their hands during their action packed journey!  So if you’re a fan of young adult and fantasy, definitely add this series to your tbr.  Here are some of my favorite things about this final book…..

 

✮Sacrifice and Tears:
Oh, Ember Queen made me cry.  Not only was life and war brutal and unfair.  But the way some of the relationships played out tore my heart apart.  These characters became real to me.  I felt everything they did and I was with them every step of the way.  So it was impossible for them not to mark my heart with their emotions.  It was impossible not to find tears in my eyes or falling down my face.  The sacrifice and certain moments in this story made me cry sad and happy tears.  It was tragically and beautifully emotional.  I loved it!

 

✮Friendship:
Friendship has played such a strong part in this trilogy.  And in Ember Queen, it got even more complex.  There was hurt because of decisions that were made.  There was deep love between some of the friendships.  And there was trust threaded through some of my favorite friendships.  Through it all, it was fascinating watching how they protected each other.  For those around Theo, my favorites were definitely Søren, Artemisia, Blaise, and Heron.  Plus some from the previous books and ones we met in Ember Queen…but those names I’m keeping a secret.

 

✮Trust:
Just like sacrifice played a huge part, so did trust.  In this final book, trust was put on the line and tested.  And some of the things that happened, oh, I didn’t even see coming.  I felt the knife to my heart, right along with Theo.  But it all made for an exciting journey, plus I loved getting to see exactly who we could and couldn’t trust as things unfolded.  It left me always wanting to know what happened next.  So while there was tension, fighting, politics, and strategizing, there was always trust.  And sometimes it took my breath away.

 

✮Love:
I don’t feel like I can say much about this, because of spoilers.  But just know that the love in this trilogy was epic, heart felt and I was rooting for it from that very first book!

 

I absolutely loved this series and can’t recommend it enough.  I binged this trilogy in a matter of days.  And that never happens with me.  I’m usually a much slower reader.  So now I can’t wait to see whatever Laura Sebastian releases in the future, she’s definitely made a lifelong fan!

 

 

Goodreads I Amazon I Book Depository I Barnes & Noble I iTunes: I Kobo I Google Books

 

Favorite Quotes:

“I died the Queen of Peace, and peace died with me,” my mother told me. “But you are the Queen of Flame and Fury, and you will set their world on fire.”

✮✩✮

When the world turns on its head and I’m not sure of anything, I’m sure of you. No matter where we are or who we fight against, I am always fighting for you.

✮✩✮

I survived for so long by not trusting anyone. It was a necessary lesson to learn, and I wouldn’t be alive today if I hadn’t learned it, but now I don’t think I can make it to the end of this war without trust. There is nothing I wouldn’t trust Artemisia, Heron, and Blaise with—not my life and not the future of Astrea, if it comes to that.
The three of them exchange looks before nodding.
Yana Crebesti,” they say.

✮✩✮

Suddenly I miss Søren so much that it feels like a dagger between my ribs, twisting and carving away at my flesh. I don’t know if it’s the hopelessness and uncertainty of this looming battle or if it’s merely being here in this unfamiliar place, alone, but I miss him all the same.

✮✩✮

Even if we have the numbers to win this battle, we won’t do it without casualties. Their blood will be on my hands. And I don’t even know their names.

✮✩✮

“There’s no shame in breaking,” I tell him. “Gods know I did often enough. You just have to put yourself back together again.”

 

 

About Laura Sebastian:

Laura Sebastian was born and raised in South Florida (the Redlands and Key Largo) and has always loved telling stories–many apologies to her little brother who often got in trouble because of them. No copies of her first book, a Cinderella retelling about angels circa 2nd grade, remain. Thankfully.

After getting her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, she moved to New York City thinking that she would stay for a couple of years before going somewhere better suited for a small-town, sun-loving girl. Five years later, she’s still here and madly in love with it.

When Laura isn’t writing, she’s probably reading, baking cookies or cupcakes, buying more clothes than her overstuffed closet can fit, or forcing her lazy dog Neville to take a walk.

Her debut ASH PRINCESS, the start of a YA fantasy trilogy, will be out April 24th, 2018 from Delacorte (Random House).

Website I Goodreads I Twitter I Instagram

 

Giveaway:

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REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Resistance (The Union #5) by T.H. Hernandez

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Resistance (The Union #5) by T.H. Hernandez

I’m so excited to be on The Resistance Tour! In case you don’t know, The Union Series is one of my favorite series ever! So check out my 5 star review of the latest book and enter in a fabulous giveaway. Enjoy!

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Resistance (The Union #5) by T.H. HernandezThe Resistance (The Union #5)
by T.H. Hernandez
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Fighting back is twice as hard when battling on two fronts.

Living in an encampment in the Ruins, life is harsh for most Unis in the Resistance, but for Cyrus and the other Ruins survivors, it's just more of the same. While training for their ultimate mission to take down the Uprising, tragedy strikes, turning Evan's and Cyrus's world upside down. Before they can recover, they discover someone in their ranks is working against them.

Facing tougher odds than they ever imagined, the group realizes the only hope they have of saving the world they know is to find help. When no one is above suspicion, even accomplishing everyday tasks is fraught with danger, but seeking out reinforcements could mean the end of the Resistance and all of them along with it.

Review:

The Resistance was an action packed ride from start to finish.  All of our favorites were back and the stakes were even higher.  With fabulous twists and turns, and characters that continually pulled at my heart, this book sailed right onto my favorites list!  If you’re a fan of young adult, dystopian and romance then you definitely need to add this series to your tbr!

I take one step forward, then another, heading to an unknown future, fear spiraling through me, on the verge of twisting me apart.

 

✮ Twists and Turns:

“It scares me.”
I reach out and locate her hand in the darkness, giving it a gentle squeeze. “What does?”
“I don’t know what’s real anymore.”
Leaning forward, I find her lips, devouring them with a searing kiss. “You and me. We’re real. That’ll never change.”

I absolutely loved how throughout this book, so many of the puzzle pieces were falling into place.  It made me feel confident with where the story was going.  I should have known better, since moments started making me gasp out loud.  My mind was blown.  Multiple times.  I had some guesses that were sooo wrong and there were twists I didn’t even see coming.  Looking back, the clues were there, I just thought they were leading me elsewhere. The Resistance unfolded so effortlessly and the unexpected twists made for a fun and exciting read!

 

✮ An Emotional and Action Packed Journey:

“Cyrus!” Evan yells as if she’s entered a tunnel . “Oh my god! Cyrus!” Cool hands cradle my face that feel like ice against my raging skin. “Cyrus.” One sob follows another as she continues to yell my name, softer and softer, as if she’s fading away.

One of my favorite things about this series, is how emotional moments and action packed ones were seamlessly intertwined.  With love, family and friendship splashed across the pages, it made for an emotional story.  The characters became a part of my heart and soul.  And since that first book, I have felt everything they have felt.  So it wasn’t a surprise that I found tears pouring down my face multiple times.  And once those tears would dry, then I’d find myself with sweaty palms.  I was scared to death over the fate of those I loved, since there were so many moments where I was on the edge of my seat.  This book impossible to put down!

 

✮ The Heart of This Series:

“All the shit we’ve weathered , we’re still us, Ev. We go from one disaster to another, but we never lose who we are. I’m sorry I forgot that. No matter what still lies ahead for us, that’s all I need. Just… you and me.”
“Always,” I say, squeezing his hand. “That will never change.”

The hurdles thrown in their way seemed insurmountable at times.  Yet these characters, who I love with my whole heart, kept pushing forward.  Even when the odds were stacked against them. And that’s because they have all grown so much since they first appeared in this series.  Especially Evan and Cyrus.  Their moments together were powerful and I loved how they’ve learned to communicate. Even if it was hard at times.  It made my heart so happy watching the two of them be such a formidable team.  And when you throw in the rest of their group of friends and family, they were a true team.  I loved how they worked together.  I couldn’t be prouder of all of them!

When our lips meet it’s a sultry dance of desire, forgiveness, and undying love.

I loved The Resistance with my whole heart!  With a heroine I’d love to have by my side, a book boyfriend I want to steal from the pages and a storyline that had me turning the pages faster, this book was such a huge win!  Add in the fact that there was a strong redemption theme in this story, how could I not love every single thing about it?  Okay maybe I didn’t completely love Bryce.  Yet.  But that yet is all I’m admitting lol!  So definitely add this series and book to your tbr, it’s a must read!

 

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

 
 

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

 

About T.H. Hernandez:

T.H. Hernandez is the author of young adult books. The Union, a futuristic dystopian adventure, was a finalist in the 2015 San Diego book awards in the Young Adult Fiction category.

She loves pumpkin spice lattes, Game of Thrones, Comic-Con, Star Wars, Doctor Who marathons, Bad Lip Reading videos, and all things young adult, especially the three young adults who share her home.

When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, T.H. Hernandez lives in usually sunny San Diego, California with her husband and three children, a couple of cats, and a dog who thinks he’s a cat, affectionately referred to as “the puppycat.”

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

 

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#YourNextBBF & Giveaway: Becks from Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman

#YourNextBBF & Giveaway: Becks from Adorkable by Cookie O'Gorman

I’m so excited to join along with the Meet Your Next Book Boyfriend Tour!  So check out my interview with Cookie O’Gorman below!  See why I can forever gush about Becks from ADORKABLE by Cookie O’Gorman.  I’ve listed some of my favorite quotes, which I’ve re-read an embarrassing number of times lol.  And there’s a fabulous giveaway you can enter too!  Good luck! ♥

 

About Adorkable:

Adorkable (ah-dor-kuh-bul): Descriptive term meaning to be equal parts dorky and adorable. For reference, see Sally Spitz. Seventeen-year-old Sally Spitz is done with dating. Or at least, she’s done with the horrible blind dates/hookups/sneak attacks her matchmaking bestie, Hooker, sets her up on. There’s only so much one geek girl and Gryffindor supporter can take. Her solution: she needs a fake boyfriend. And fast. Enter Becks, soccer phenom, all-around-hottie, and Sally’s best friend practically since birth. When Sally asks Becks to be her F.B.F. (fake boyfriend), Becks is only too happy to be used. He’d do anything for Sal–even if that means giving her PDA lessons in his bedroom, saying she’s “more than pretty,” and expertly kissing her at parties. The problem: Sally’s been in love with Becks all her life–and he’s completely clueless. This book features two best friends, one special edition Yoda snuggie, countless beneath-the-ear kisses and begs the question: Who wants a real boyfriend when faking it is so much more fun?

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Interview With Cookie O’Gorman:

✮ What’s one thing you hope readers will take away from ADORKABLE?
I hope readers take a lot away from ADORKABLE!  I hope it gives them a moment to laugh and smile, swoon and sigh–and geek out lol!

 

✮ What was your inspiration for this book?
Honestly, I was inspired to write ADORKABLE because I wanted to write a fun, funny, swoon-worthy YA romance!  And because I’m a dork and love other dorks :).  Also, I just wanted to put something positive into a world with a lot of sadness.  We need more happily-ever-afters!

 

✮ What is something that we might not know about Becks?
Hmm…Becks’s full name is Baldwin Eugene Charles Kent.  He loves soccer and is amazing at it.  He has a big, tight-knit, awesome family (youngest of five brothers, you guys).  He gives the best hugs on the planet, and he’d do anything for his best friend, Sal.  She’s his girl <3.  He’s also super hot, smart and kind.  And for the thing you might not know: He’s my ideal book boyfriend, and I’m basically in love with him.

 

✮ What was your favorite quality about Becks?
Ugh, that is so hard!  Can I just cheat and say ‘everything’ ha?  There is so so much to love about Becks…but if I had to pick my favorite quality…I guess I would say how kind/loving he is to Sally.  He really is her best friend (and soulmate).

 

✮ Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene to write?
My favorite scene to write was definitely the scene in Becks’s bedroom where they do the PDA lessons–and the shaving scene at the party *swoons*.  I’m sorry; I couldn’t choose just one!

 

✮ Did you know how this book was going to end when you started writing?
Yes!!!  Though I did have to re-write it several times before I got it just right.

 

✮ And who is your most recent book boyfriend?
My most recent book boyfriend who I love is Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses series!  Gah, love him!

 

Why I love Becks:

Becks was Sally’s BFF.  He was beautiful, a player, a jock and everyone easily loved him.  Including myself.  He was one of my favorite things about this book!  And a lot of it had to do with the way he looked at Sally, the way he claimed her as his, the way he protected her, his jealousy, oh my gosh to even the way he touched her.  It ALL made my heart beat faster. 

But I had no clue what he was thinking some of the times, since we only got Sally’s POV.  Becks would say and do these things that implied he liked Sally more than just friends.  But then again, he was just playing a part of being her fake boyfriend.  And his words would reinforce that.  But when he suggested that they should start practicing touching….oh my goodness you guys….I had so many butterflies.

Becks conquered my heart so easily.  He stole my breath.  He made me fall in love.  He made me laugh and smile.  He was everything.  And you all definitely need to meet him!

 

Quotes That Make Me Happy:

Ducking, he placed a lingering kiss on the spot right below my ear. The move made my hand shoot out to grip his jersey. Becks laughed silently, little puffs of air hitting my neck, as I shivered.

✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮

“But Becks,” she whined, “I don’t understand. Why her?”
“Nothing to understand really,” he said, smiling down at me. “Sal’s my girl. Always has been.”
As he squeezed my hip, I swear I stopped breathing.

✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮

He was just acting, I reminded myself. But he’d sounded sincere, my heart insisted. And that kiss…

✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮

With every pass of his mouth, I became a little more his.

✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮

Even if he still just saw me as Sal, his friend who was a great girl but not girlfriend material, the thing I’d take with me, the feeling I’d bottle up and keep in my pocket if I could, was this: Becks kissed me like he meant it.

✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮

“What’s your dream girl like?”
“Freckles,” he said, not missing a beat.
“What?” I scoffed, secretly pleased. I had freckles! “Way to narrow the field, Baldwin.”
“You didn’t let me finish.” Eyes moving over me with a focus that made my breath catch, he said, “Cute freckles, wavy brown hair, about five-six, hazel eyes. Naturally beautiful.”
“Becks—”
“She’s smart.” He talked right over me. “Can quote Star Wars, curses like a German sailor when she’s mad. Someone who makes me laugh out loud, a girl who’s herself and lets me be me. Sounds pretty great, right?” I stared at him. A moment , two hours, I didn’t know. He’d sounded sincere, but he couldn’t be. I wasn’t that lucky.

 

About Cookie O’Gorman:

Cookie O’Gorman writes YA romance to give readers a taste of happily-ever-after. Small towns, quirky characters, and the awkward yet beautiful moments in life make up her books. Cookie also has a soft spot for nerds and ninjas.

Connect with Cookie:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 

 

Giveaway:

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BLOG TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious #3) by Maureen Johnson

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious #3) by Maureen Johnson

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious #3) by Maureen JohnsonThe Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious #3)
by Maureen Johnson
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson delivers the witty and pulse-pounding conclusion to the Truly Devious series as Stevie Bell solves the mystery that has haunted Ellingham Academy for over 75 years.

Ellingham Academy must be cursed. Three people are now dead. One, a victim of either a prank gone wrong or a murder. Another, dead by misadventure. And now, an accident in Burlington has claimed another life. All three in the wrong place at the wrong time. All at the exact moment of Stevie’s greatest triumph . . .She knows who Truly Devious is. She’s solved it. The greatest case of the century.

At least, she thinks she has. With this latest tragedy, it’s hard to concentrate on the past. Not only has someone died in town, but David disappeared of his own free will and is up to something. Stevie is sure that somehow—somehow—all these things connect. The three deaths in the present. The deaths in the past. The missing Alice Ellingham and the missing David Eastman. Somewhere in this place of riddles and puzzles there must be answers.

Then another accident occurs as a massive storm heads toward Vermont. This is too much for the parents and administrators. Ellingham Academy is evacuated. Obviously, it’s time for Stevie to do something stupid. It’s time to stay on the mountain and face the storm—and a murderer.

In the tantalizing finale to the Truly Devious trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson expertly tangles her dual narrative threads and ignites an explosive end for all who’ve walked through Ellingham Academy.

Review:

IT’S HERE. The conclusion to the Truly Devious trilogy. And if you’ve been on the edge of your seat, barely hanging on through all the twists and turns and crazy reveals of this series, then buckle up. Maureen Johnson has one last book to shock us and finally reveal exactly what’s been happening at Ellingham Academy – then and now.

All of our favorites are back, including Stevie, David, Janelle, Nate and Pix. We also add in Hunter, who made some brief appearances back in The Vanishing Stair. The gang is all back together and working to figure out why terrible things keep happening and how they are connected to the original Ellingham mystery.

I’ll just say this upfront, I was very happy with the ending. Everything is revealed (in its own time) and all the threads Maureen Johnson has been weaving are tied together and it thankfully all makes sense. These kids have been through so much trauma and craziness, and to see their stories conclude with resolution, made me very appreciative.

The Hand on the Wall picks up shortly after the events of the Vanishing Stair. School is in session, but after another accident happens, Ellingham Academy decided to close its doors and send the students back home. However, Stevie and co. have other ideas. They need to figure out why and how everything has been going on. But to complicate the matters, a massive snow storm is headed their way, essentially trapping them on campus. What better to way hunker down and solve a decades old mystery?

For anyone who’s read this series, you’ve spent at least two books trying to pick out the correct puzzle pieces and figure out this mystery. I really didn’t guess anything correctly, but once everything was revealed, I was truly satisfied. It’s been a pleasure following along with these characters and trying to figure everything out with them. It’s truly a mystery series, with a additional emphasis on friendships and relationships.

Besides the overarching mysteries of the series, I loved these characters, especially when they are all together. They’ve all been through so much together, but it’s very clear how much they care for each other and are in tune to what each other are feeling. This is especially evident when Stevie struggles with her anxiety, when David self-deprecates or when Nate self-sabotages. These are smart and capable teens, but who all have their own unique battles.

If it’s not clear already, overall I really enjoyed this book and this series. It’s a great upper-YA mystery series and I wish there were more like it. The story is unique and all of the characters are memorable in their own way. I’m not sure what Maureen Johnson has planned after this, but I hope it’s another series similar to this. I’m ready to dive back in to a multi-book mystery.

Favorite Quotes:

She’d let him down because she could not handle it all. Guilt crept around the edges of everything—the taste of the coffee and the smell of the room and the cold coming from the window. Guilt and paranoia. She felt the thrumming in her chest, the engine of anxiety rumbling, making itself known.

*

She had a clue now, a point of focus. There were things in the walls. She wasn’t sure what that meant, or what she might be looking for. But so much of this had been about walls.

*

But sometimes, quite by accident, you find yourself vibrating on someone else’s frequency. You can follow the sense of the thing, if not the literal meaning. Sometimes, this is more important and more informative.

*

“So,” Hunter said, breaking the silence. “Weird night, huh?”

“Not really,” Nate replied, picking through the bottom of a large bowl of popcorn, looking for any fully popped pieces that weren’t hard kernels in disguise. “This is pretty much how it goes. Something terrible happens and we all come back here and talk about how terrible it is. We don’t learn.”

*

He had seen people give up hope before, seen the light leave their eyes. Albert Ellingham could buy almost anything he wanted, but not hope. Hope is not for sale. Hope is a gift.

*

Stevie had just failed some test she had no idea she had to take, on a subject she was not aware of. She had been sitting here in her hole in the ground, minding her own business, and then this. There was no winning. But he was here.

Giveaway:

Win one copy of The Hand on the Wall (US Only). Open Jan. 21 – Feb. 4, 2020.

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About the Author:

Maureen Johnson HQMaureen Johnson is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of several YA novels, including 13 Little Blue Envelopes, Suite Scarlett, The Name of the Star, and Truly Devious. She has also done collaborative works, such as Let It Snow (with John Green and Lauren Myracle), and The Bane Chronicles (with Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan). Her work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Buzzfeed, and The Guardian, and she has also served as a scriptwriter for EA Games. She has an MFA in Writing from Columbia University and lives in New York City.

Keep up with Maureen: Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Tumblr | Facebook

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