Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well! Today I’ll be sharing my stop on The Box in the Woods blog tour, which includes my review, my favorite things about this book, and a giveaway! You can find the full tour schedule here, and don’t forget to check out other bloggers and bookstragrammers’ posts. Thank you so much to Turn the Page Tours and Katherine Tegen Books for sending me a finished copy of this book. This did not affect my rating/review.
Book Title: The Box in the Woods (Truly Devious #4)
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: June 15, 2021
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary
Book Purchase links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, and Indiebound
The Box in the Woods Review
After solving the case of Truly Devious, Stevie Bell investigates her first mystery outside of Ellingham Academy in this spine-chilling and hilarious stand-alone mystery from New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson.
Amateur sleuth Stevie Bell needs a good murder. After catching a killer at her high school, she’s back at home for a normal (that means boring) summer.
But then she gets a message from the owner of Sunny Pines, formerly known as Camp Wonder Falls—the site of the notorious unsolved case, the Box in the Woods Murders. Back in 1978, four camp counselors were killed in the woods outside of the town of Barlow Corners, their bodies left in a gruesome display. The new owner offers Stevie an invitation: Come to the camp and help him work on a true crime podcast about the case.
Stevie agrees, as long as she can bring along her friends from Ellingham Academy. Nothing sounds better than a summer spent together, investigating old murders.
But something evil still lurks in Barlow Corners. When Stevie opens the lid on this long-dormant case, she gets much more than she bargained for. The Box in the Woods will make room for more victims. This time, Stevie may not make it out alive.
My (Spoiler-Free) Review:
The Truly Devious was one of the first mysteries that I ever read, and I loved how invested in the characters and story I became as I read the original trilogy. I was so excited to hear that there was a new book in the series, and even more excited when I found out I would be on a blog tour for it. I really enjoyed getting to reconnect with the characters, and was reminded of how much I actually enjoy reading mysteries. Like the other books in this series, this book intertwined Stevie’s story with chapters from the perspectives of people living at the time of the murder.
I found this mystery creepier than the Ellingham Academy mystery, possibly because the murder was more recent. This book had a much faster pace than the Ellingham Academy trilogy, since it was just a standalone. I was able to get through this book mostly in one sitting over the course of a day, and I was absolutely engrossed in the mystery.
The ending of this story, without spoiling anything, was really interesting. It was very shocking, but once I reflected back on the contents of the book, it made a lot of sense. It was evident that everything had been very cleverly planned in terms of clues and what was revealed to the reader.
Overall, if you enjoyed the Truly Devious series, you will definitely enjoy this continuation of Stevie’s story. If you haven’t read the series; however, you can still enjoy this book as, for the most part, it does not spoil much of the original trilogy, except for information about some of the characters. This book discusses Stevie’s work on the Ellingham Academy case, but does not reveal Stevie’s solution to that case, so one could potentially read the series after reading this book without it being ruined. If you’re interested in historical mysteries, I would highly suggest reading this book!
My rating: 4/5 stars!
My Favorite Things About The Box in the Woods
There were so many parts of this book that I really enjoyed, but here are my five favorite things about The Box in the Woods!
Stevie is an amazing protagonist. I really enjoy being in her character’s head, and I can really relate to her, even though we have very few things in common (I honestly think I’d be afraid of Stevie in real life, as I am terrible at stomaching true crime). Stevie is such a strong and confident character who doesn’t always conform to people’s expectations. Truly Devious was one of the first times where I read about a main character with anxiety in something that wasn’t a YA contemporary/romance, and while this story is mostly about the mystery, I really appreciate that her mental health is addressed throughout this series.
The Other Characters
One of my favorite things about the Truly Devious series has always been the characters. Almost all of the major characters from Ellingham Academy were present in this story, and I loved getting the chance to meet them again. Janelle and Nate are counselors at the camp with Stevie, and I loved reading about their friend group’s dynamic again.
I really enjoyed the fast-paced nature of this book. Everything felt very urgent and there were many times where I was very terrified for Stevie and her friends. I enjoyed knowing that I would have a clear answer for everything at the end, which was not the case for some of the other Truly Devious books, which ended on cliffhangers. I never felt like I was bored while reading this book and nothing felt like filler information.
As I said in my review, this book included chapters from the perspectives of people living in Barlow Corners in 1978. This is something that was also included in the original Ellingham Academy mystery, and I found it very interesting. I think the flashbacks add more of a personal connection to the mystery and help the reader to begin to piece together the mystery on their own. I always really enjoy these chapters, as they give the reader lots of information and they tend to motivate me to figure out what is going on.
I found myself very invested in this mystery, which is not always the case with murder mystery. I thought it was very interesting that many of the people still living in Barlow Corners had been alive during the murder, as it happened in 1978. This offered a contrast to the Ellingham Academy mystery, which felt a little more distant because it was from 1930s. This mystery was very riveting and kept me hooked the whole time.
About the Author
Maureen Johnson is the #1 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 (now on Netflix), and several works in the Shadowhunter universe with Cassandra Clare. 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.
Here is the link to the giveaway for this book!
Enter to win one (1) finished copy of The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson! Open USA only. There will be 1 winner.
Giveaway starts: Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Giveaway ends: Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 12:00 a.m. CSTa Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js
Here’s the direct link (if the one above does not work): https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1e4a114d44/
Thanks again to Turn the Page Tours for allowing me to participate in this tour! Do you like mysteries? Have you read the Truly Devious series? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
One thought on “Blog Tour: The Box in the Woods”
[…] blog as much as I wanted to this month, I did get the chance to post a bit more than I did in May. I participated in a blog tour as well! I’m hoping to get back to a more regular posting schedule in July, and hopefully revamp some […]