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review 2019-01-16 03:28
Maureen Johnson: Truly Devious
Truly Devious - Maureen Johnson

In the first of a new series, Maureen Johnson takes readers to an elite school that is shrouded in myth, mystery and murder:

In Vermont there is a school for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists; Ellingham Academy. Not only is the school for the brightest but the grounds and buildings were built in the 1920s by Albert Ellingham who was always found of riddles and games. Shortly after the school is opened Albert is faced with a deadly riddle after his daughter and wife are kidnapped, sadly this is one game that where the crimes will go unsolved and Truly Devious is never found. Enter present day and True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell who is determined to be the first to solve the mystery.But Stevie was not prepared not only for the demands of school but for Truly Devious to make return and soon Stevie as more than one crime to solve.

This is the first book that I have read by Johnson so I was interested in seeing where she tool the premise of the book and how well it would unfold in the YA genre. This book was a joy to read as well as an easy read and hit me at the right time as I was looking for something along these line that was not all doom and gloom. This book really is a light read considering it is center around murders but I think how Johnson decides to tell the story made it feel this way.Johnson decided to give the information about the murder and missing persons case from the 1920, a mixture of events told from that time, interviews as well as the video production that Stevie finds herself a part of.

This book has your typical high school students stereotypes in it but a times takes them to the extreme as this school is supposed to have the best of the best in each subject or career path, so there are times when I found some of the secondary characters a bit annoying. Additionally as this book is based in high school you do have the moodiness of youth that age as well as some teenage drama with the main character, Stevie. I found that at times these events/emotions took away from what should be the primary premise of solving the 1930s murder and then the present day one as well. I think there is a part of Stevie that we as readers will all like and relate to. I mean isn't trying to solve the mystery in each book we read true crime or not part of the joy of reading? I know it is for me, this is why I really liked Stevie as a character Teen Drama and all.

Of course this book ended on a cliffhanger so that means that I am wanting to read the next book in the series, The Vanishing Star which is coming out later this year (2019). Even if there wasn't a big cliffhanger I would continue on just for Stevie.

Enjoy!!!

If You Like This,
Check These Out Too: 
http://j9books.blogspot.com/2014/03/matthew-quirk-500.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2014/08/barry-lyga-i-hunt-killers.html
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text 2019-01-05 11:47
Die Highfives von 2018
Manaraga.Tagebuch eines Meisterkochs: Roman - Vladimir Sorokin,Andreas Tretner
Das geraubte Leben des Waisen Jun Do - Adam Johnson,Anke Caroline Burger
QualityLand (Dunkle Edition) - HörbucHHamburg HHV GmbH,Marc-Uwe Kling,Marc-Uwe Kling
Überleben: Der Gürtel des Walter Fantl - Gerhard Zeillinger
Fremdenzimmer: Ein Volksstück (HAYMON TASCHENBUCH) - Peter Turrini

Auch wenn ich im Rahmen meiner A-Z Autorinnenchallenge 2018 sehr viele Bücher von Frauen gelesen habe, und viele sehr gut waren, hat es bedauerlicherweise keines auf meine Highfives-Liste für 2018 geschafft. Zumindest war Han Kang mit Margaret Atwood auf meiner Liste für 2017.

 

Nun präsentiere ich Euch meine Highlights des Jahres 2018 kurz und knackig:

 

 

Manaraga - Tagebuch eines Meisterkochs – Vladimir Sorokin
Eine meiner Lieblingsneuerscheinungen im Jahr 2018. Sorokins abgedrehte Dystopie über ein postislamistisches Europa im Jahr 2037, das auf Grund eines Krieges in mittelalterliche feudale Riten zurückgefallen ist und  in dem Erstausgaben von Büchern zum Anzünden von Grillgerichten benutzt werden, zeigt sowohl atemberaubende Fantasie als auch eine gehörige Portion Gesellschaftskritik am Verfall unserer Wissens- und Wertegesellschaft.

 

Das geraubte Leben des Jun Do – Adam Johnson
Meine positive Buchüberraschung in diesem Jahr. Über dieses Kleinod bin ich tatsächlich an einem sehr ungewöhnlichen Ort zufällig gestolpert, habe es mitgenommen und anlässlich der minimalen Öffnung Nordkoreas gegenüber der restlichen Welt sofort gelesen. Eine sehr surreale, entlarvende fiktive Geschichte über dieses für uns so fremde Land, die mehr reale Komponenten aufweist, als man den ersten Blick vermuten könnte. Sie hat meiner Meinung nach den Pulitzer-Preis redlich verdient. Einfach Großartig!

 

Qualityland – Marc-Uwe Kling
Für mich einer der besten technologie- gesellschafts- und politikkritischen Romane der letzten fünf bis sieben Jahre. Eine absolute Ausnahmeleistung bezüglich Plot, Satire, philosophischem und technischem Hintergrund. Von einer Dystopie kann man ja gar nicht mehr reden, denn ca. 90% ist irgendwo schon Realität in unserer automatisierten digitalisierten Lebensrealität. Vorreiter China hat eben ein in Qualityland ähnlich beschriebenes Social-Credit-System ausgerollt, das die gesellschaftlichen und ökonomischen Möglichkeiten einer Person anhand eines Bewertungssystems begrenzt, das sich an politischem und gesellschaftlichem Wohlverhalten orientiert. (von thursdaynext hier im Blog auch besprochen

 

Überleben - Der Gürtel des Walter Fantl- Gerhard Zeillinger
Diese Biografie schildert detailliert das Leben eines der letzten österreichischen Zeitzeugen des Holocaust, Water Fantl. Mit dem sehr neutralen Blick des Historikers werden die Stationen des Überlebenden geschildert: Die Idylle in Niederösterreich in der Kindheit, das Umkippen der Stimmung auf dem Land, die Übersiedlung nach Wien und der verzweifelte Versuch der Auswanderung, die Deportation nach Theresienstadt, der Abtransport nach Auschwitz und Gleiwitz, die Befreiung und letztendlich auch die Verlorenheit nach dem Überstehen des Horrors. Ein absolut lesenswertes Zeitdokument.

 

Fremdenzimmer – Peter Turrini
Der österreichische Altmeister der Literatur hat ein berührendes kritisches Theaterstück über ein typisches misanthropes Pensionistenpaar geschrieben, das durch die Umstände plötzlich damit konfrontiert ist, einen syrischen Flüchtling bei sich aufzunehmen. Beim näheren Kennenlernen des jungen fremden Mannes werden Zug um Zug Vorurteile abgebaut und die in Sprachlosigkeit erstarrte Beziehung des Paares zudem auch noch repariert. Dieses Werk gibt Hoffnung und zeigt den richtigen Weg, dass die Angst von Otto Normalbürger vor den Fremden durch Kennenlernen und Kommunikation sehr leicht zu vertreiben wäre.

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review 2019-01-03 04:46
On His Bended Knee: a Sweet Marriage of Convenience series (The Brides of Purple Heart Ranch Book 1) by Shanae Johnson
On His Bended Knee: a Sweet Marriage of Convenience series - Shanae Johnson

 

 

Out of a heartbreaking story, comes a truly inspirational message. One emotional journey, two unforgettable characters and an exceptionally gifted author make a winning combination. On His Bended Knee is more than just a sappy love story. Johnson uses Dylan and Maggie to inspire hope at a time neither have any left. Out of desperation grows a bond that becomes the salve that mends the body, mind and spirit of two broken souls. Neither life or love is perfect, but beauty surrounds us even in the most ugly of times. A soul stirring, awe-inspiring, epic tale.

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review 2018-12-19 01:08
Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream - Doris Kearns Goodwin

I bought this book at a used book sale on Constitution Ave., NW, in Washington DC many years ago and was enthralled with it. Here is a book that gives a reader access into former President Lyndon Johnson as he was, mainly during his Presidency and shortly after his return to Texas for the last time. Doris Kearns Goodwin first met Johnson when she came to the White House in 1967 to serve an internship from Harvard. And after Johnson left the White House in January 1969, she also worked with him on his presidential papers. All in all, it was a very rewarding experience to read this book, which I recommend highly

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review 2018-12-14 18:07
Meh
Star Trek vs. Transformers #1 (of 5) - John Barber,Mike Johnson,Philip Murphy

I basically bought this to heal my heart because the TF universe has been imploded.   But at least you'll have this, I told myself, but I'm not sure it's worth it.  Oh, I'm invested, and I'll finish up this five issue mini-series, but I'm not sure that it was worth it.   It's animated in the ST animated style, but has Windblade.   My guess is IDW TF, mashed up with ST Animated TOS.   

 

Confused?   Yup. 

 

It's an okay story, but nothing that's super impressing me yet.   I hope this steps up its game in the next couple of issues!

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