Blog Tour for The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson (review & quotes)


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Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson.  This tour is being hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club.  I’ll be sharing my review and some quotes.  There will also be a giveaway.


The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious #3)

by Maureen Johnson
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: January 21st 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller


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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.









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This is a book three.  There will be spoilers from the first two books below.


I have been impatiently waiting for The Hand on the Wall to come out as soon as I finished book two. I needed answers and I got them. Mostly. I think there are some open ended things, but we get to find out who killed everyone.


I’m going to do my best to not talk about too much with the plot. As with the other books, we go back and forth in time. Maureen Johnson hits us with a big twist by page six. Not one I saw coming and that changed my whole thoughts on who it might be and why it happened (the present murders). I was wrong. My idea was put to rest around halfway through the book. So I was back to trying to think of motives.


Dr. Fenton’s son, Hunter, moved into Minerva House since he had no where to go. The school offered him a place to live until he went to school. He just got released from the hospital and was using a crutch. Stevie made him participate a bit with things at the school and he slowly fit into their group. I wouldn’t say they were close, but Hunter and Stevie seemed to become real friends. After a student’s project goes wrong and injures a student, they decided to finally close the school for the semester. There were just too many “accidents”. David sneaks back in and shares some information on his father, who decided to run for president. He convinced Stevie, Nate, Vi, and Janelle to stay and help him out. Hunter was allowed to stay. The school had been emptied out quickly because there was a huge snow storm coming. The kids hid out until there was too much snow for them to leave. Pix and Hunter were at Minerva House and Pix was not happy at all. But there was nothing to do except try to keep warm.


Stevie believes she solved the Truly Devious case. At least most of it. But there is something still bothering her. Why the deaths now? Why did they all look like accidents? Who would have motive? She spends her time researching and thinking. She gets a bit of help with things, but there was one piece that finally put it all together. Were the cases connected? Where was Alice? Who were Eddie and Francis and what happened to them? What really happened the day on the boat? We find out some of these things completely. I still have a few thoughts and I’m not sure if they are correct. But I think that’s the point with murder mysteries sometimes. They keep you thinking long after you finish them.


I gave this book 5 stars. It was a great ending to the series and I didn’t want to put it down.


Warnings for anxiety, talk of possible suicide, and death.



(There is a quote below about anxiety.)

If you wanted to solve a crime, you needed to detach.


“But I don’t know anything,” she said. “That’s the problem. I need to know more. What if all of this is connected? It has to be, right? Iris and Dottie and Alice, Hayes and Ellie, and Fenton.”


She couldn’t shake the feeling that if she could figure out the mystery of the hand on the wall, she would understand everything.


“This is like being on one of those trips to Mount Everest. You know, the ones with the ten percent death rate and half the landmarks are frozen bodies.”


It’s not the lie itself that matters-it’s why the lie happened.


You could have an excellent evening with a good lie. But most people lie to hide things.


Anxiety does not ask your permission. Anxiety does not come when expected. It’s very rude. It barges in at the strangest moments, stopping all activity, focusing everything on itself. It sucks the air out of your lungs and scrambles the world.


“Are you trying to get me to have an emotion?” Nate said, his eyes reddening a bit. “Because I’ve spent my whole life learning how to repress and deflect and you’re kind of ruining my thing.”



author info



JohnsonMaureen credit Angela Altus



Maureen 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.














PRIZE: Win a copy of THE HAND ON THE WALL by Maureen Johnson (US Only)

STARTS: 21st January 2020

ENDS: 4th February 2020





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Author: confessionsofayareader

I'm Kristi. I'm a wife, mom, and grandma. I have been breeding leopard geckos for ten years. I love to read and have been trying to review more books (the reason for this blog besides wanting to talk about books with everyone). I also love music and going to concerts, mostly punk and pop punk.

6 thoughts on “Blog Tour for The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson (review & quotes)”

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