Top Ten Tuesday | Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I am excited for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic: Books on my Spring 2019 TBR. The next couple months have many new releases that I am really looking forward to.

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Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

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Title: Truly Devious

Author: Maureen Johnson

Pages: 416



Stevie Bell, an expert in true-crime, arrives at Ellingham Academy with a goal. Her new school has a dark history. In 1936, the kidnapping and presumed murder of Albert Ellingham’s wife and daughter is considered one of the most popular cold cases in the nation. The only clue left behind is a riddle, signed with the psuedonym Truly Devious.

Stevie Bell plans to use her knowledge of true-crime to solve this cold case. First, she must acclimate to her new classmates and their differing passions. But her life at her new school is not as it appears. With the death of one of her classmates, Stevie throws herself into the investigation to find the murderer on campus. Will she be able to solve the case or will the murderer remain at large?

Truly Devious caught my attention when it received a great deal of hype from the YA community. I did enjoy reading this book. Ellingham Academy is a competitive school, only accepting the best of students. It is interesting to learn more about her classmates and how they interact with each other as each of them have a different passion and reason for attending this prestigious school.

The story was told during two different time periods. The story is told primarily through Stevie Bell and her experiences at the academy in present time. Maureen Johnson also interjected two more unique elements that added to the overall story. There were chapters based in 1936, immediately following the two disappearances. We were able to experience the reactions of principal individuals in the 1936 crime. It added value to the story. We also had news articles from the past sparsely included in the story that also added depth to the story.

While it is a different genre of novel than I typically read, I enjoyed reading Truly Devious. However, due to the hype from the book community, I was disappointed that I didn’t enjoy it more. This book is the first in the Truly Devious series. Without knowing that knowledge, you could tell that it was not a standalone novel by reading it. You could tell that it was a part of a series by the way it was written. While I wouldn’t necessarily say that it would be considered information heavy, it was definitely leaning that way. There were parts in the story where I felt like it was lacking. From the synopsis, you had the sense that the story would revolve around solving the cold case. However, the story migrated to solving the current murder on campus.

While I didn’t enjoy the story enough to consider it a great read, it had its moments. It is likely that I will continue in the series by reading The Vanishing Stair. I am interested to see how the story unfolds following the ending we were given. I would also like to see how the characters and their different personalities mesh as they continue this journey together.

Top 4* Books I Read This Winter

At the end of every season throughout the year, I will write about my five favorite reads of the last three months. This will be a check in and foundation for my best-of-2019 list.

This feature will take into consideration the books I read from January 1 to the date this blog post is published. That is 20 books in total. These four titles will not be in any particular order. 

*11 out of the 20 books I’ve read so far in 2019 have been books in a series. Due to this fact, each series will only end up on the list once. Due to limited variety, I was only able to choose a top 4 for this season.

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My Favorite Book Subscription Box

What is Book of the Month?

Book of the Month is a monthly subscription box for readers of all genres. At the beginning of every month, you get to choose 1 book from a selection of five highly anticipated new releases. You can then choose to add up to two additional books from a variety of choices. These two additional choices can be made from a selection of past or current month’s selections as well as a list of featured books.

How Much Does it Cost?

At the end of every month, you are charged $14.99 for 1 credit for the upcoming month. This is the credit you use on 1 of the month’s book selections. If you choose to add more books to your box, each costs an additional $9.99. Those additional charges incur when you place your order. Shipping is always free!

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Between Shades of Gray

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia.

Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions. Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive.

It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.


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February Wrap-Up

As I have already mentioned most of these titles, I am going to give you my biggest like and dislike about each one.

Shadow and Bone – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Like: I love the Grishaverse. I mean, who doesn’t? I enjoyed learning more about Grisha and the way they work, interact, etc.

Dislike: As a reread, I felt like this fell more flat than I remember it the first time.

Siege and Storm – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Like: I am glad that the story picks up more than the first book. And then everyone’s favorite character, Nikolai. Did you know that he was initially meant to die at the end of Siege and Storm?

Dislike: The romance between Mal and Alina. They are just an infuriating young couple.

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March TBR

I don’t usually make specific TBRs as I typically choose my next book based on my mood. I have been finding it more difficult to make that choice due to the vast amount of amazing titles that have been released recently. 2019 has already been a great year for new releases. By making this list, I hope to help future me make that decision easier. I have read 8 books a month so far this year so I choose 8 books for my TBR, my most anticipated among ones that will help me reach my reading goals as explained in this post.

I am currently rereading the Ember in the Ashes series so that I can read the third and final book in the series, A Reaper at the Gates. 

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1. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I am currently reading this and hope to finish within the next 2-3 days.

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