The Hand on the Wall|ARC review|Blog Tour|Giveaway

Welcome to my stop in the blog tour of one of my most anticipated book releases of the year – The Hand On The Wall by Maureen Johnson. I have already reviewed books one and two here if you would like to check it out. I would like to thank The Fantastic Flying Book Club and HarperCollins for giving me an opportunity to read the conclusion to this wonderful series much before everyone 😀

About the Book

The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious #3)
by Maureen Johnson
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: January 21st 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Purchase from Amazon, B&N, Book Depository

Synopsis

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.

My Thoughts

If you have read books 1 & 2, you would know they both end in a cliffhanger. The Hand on the Wall provides you all the answers you have been waiting for and it does so, with a lot of twists and page turning scenes. I’m at awe of Maureen Johnson’s writing because she maintains the same suspense throughout the three books and keeps us super engaged. I think before bingeing into this book, one should go back n just waltz through books 1 & 2 for hidden clues in there. I’m not saying you might find some, you may or may not. But definitely you wouldn’t expect the twist that comes at the beginning of book 3. BuWAHHAhaha, I’m evil!(Although in hindsight, maybe not, because this was released on an excerpt in Epic Reads site)

Okay as I cannot talk about the plot, let’s talk about the characters. I cannot believe I love the series so much but not the main character, Stevie Bell. Don’t come at me, ok, I just don’t find her character to be interesting. She’s socially awkward, yeah, but there is not much in her that I find intriguing enough, although definitely good anxiety rep.. On the other hand, I like David 😀 He is trouble personified and is hell bound on causing ermmm hell for his father. In this book though, he drives both Stevie and us insane. And there’s one more socially awkward person – Nate, who even though tends to avoid contact at all possible cost, surprises us now and then with quirky remarks and is the supportive best friend to Stevie. Other than these three, rest of the characters didn’t have much to offer. And oooh I forgot, I liked Leonard Holmes Nair too. (No spoiler intended :P)

Overall, the book was a satisfying 4.5 stars for me. I rated it as such because I never lost interest and the parallel timelines are nicely done.

Before I finish, there’s a US only give-away  that runs till 4th Feb 2020 and you can click on the link and participate to win a copy of the book. Go !!

Favorite Quotes

Nate being Nate –

Are you trying to make me have an emotion?

Also Nate –

“Fun fact,” Stevie said, trying to lighten the mood in the vast gloomy space. “this fireplace?, Henry the Eighth had one just like it, in Hampton Court. Albert Ellingham had an exact copy made.”

“Fun Fact,” Nate replied, “Henry the Eighth killed two of his wives. Who wants a murderer’s fireplace?”.

“I’m not sure, but thats the name of my new game show”.

Stevie’s inner turmoil at one point in the book –

Why were humans wired like this? Why were we built with a current that could short out our powers of reason and judgement at any time? Why were we filled with chemicals that made us stupid? How could you feel so excited and enraged and like you were being pierced with a thousand emotional needles in the brain all at the same time?

Dream Cast

So the below dream cast is totally in my opinion (and some friends’ too) and as such opinions might differ. And also let me point out, it was difficult to put a face to these characters because not many of them have character descriptions.

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I hope we can all agree on one Mr Edward King, if not all of them 😀

I hope you enjoy(ed) reading this series like I did. Do drop in your thoughts on the series. An don’t forget to check the rest of the tour here

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About the Author

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.

Goodreads | Website | Instagram|Twitter

Why I Loved The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

If you haven’t read “The Bookish Life of Nina Hill” by Abbi Waxman and are looking for ways to get convinced to pick the book, this is the right place to be. Or if you have read the book, lurrrved it as much as I did, lets discuss in the comments!!

Ok I’m gonna talk about the main character and why I felt the book resonates with every bookworm out there. Nina Hill has it all and is living the dream!!

“Your life is so full of excitement and adventure? ”

“Are your Kidding? I have a weekly book club, a regular movie night, a dedicated physical wellness practice at least one night a week, a cat.. I am living the dream”

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Title

First off, what pulled me towards the book was, duh! The Title of course !! I wanted to know how the “bookish”life is interpreted and was dying to read the book.

Nina is a Planner

Not a planner person myself but I’ve always tried to maintain one. I’m a wannabe planner. 😀 Nina Hill of the book is a planner and fills it with lists , things to do just for the sake of ticking them off. I mean, who doesn’t love checking things off ?

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She loved having color coordinated folders and lists and spent half an hour each morning reviewing her planner, setting her goals and intentions for the day, and generally pondering. …. She only wished there was more to actually, you know, plan.

Bookstore love

Nina works at a bookstore (I don’t need to add more, do I ?) and she loves the shop so much that she doesn’t mind the pay. She feels at “home” in the bookstore and loves the “soothing rows of book spines

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Introvert, prefers books over company

Nina keeps herself occupied with trivia and book clubs but internally screams to be left alone. She even feels like closing the doors of the bookstore to avoid customers and prefers reading instead.

Nina was a quiet, reserved person; in private she was all-singing, all-dancing cavalcade of light and motion

The clubs

The Book club names and Trivia group names are all so nerdy and so funny and creative. For example there was a trivia group called ‘Yer a Quizzard, Harry’. Nina has bookclubs on every Wednesday and each of them for a different genre. The young adult fiction club that meets on 3rd Wednesdays is called the District Zero and the sci-fi book club meets on fourth Wednesdays and are named Electric Sheep Grazing Club.

If there was a fifth Wednesday in the month, she would wing it, because she liked to live dangerously. Book nerds are daredevils, as you know

Love for Literary characters

A true bookworm at heart !! Nina feels fictional characters are as much real as the people she meets everyday. Haven’t we all cried late into the night over a fictional character? Thats the same with Nina too. She has even cried in the midst of people, int he bookstore while explaining the plot of her favourite book.

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Prefers people who read

If Nina Hill meets a drop-dead gorgeous guy and he doesn’t read , she wouldn’t date him. Yep.. thats a deal breaker for her.

Nina’s to-die for Bookshelves

Nina has complete floor to ceiling book shelves  filled with books and sorted based on Book of the Month selections, Signed book copies, rare first editions and books she has already read arranged alphabetically. And yet she is still worried about shelf space 😀

Shelf space was always a problem for the dedicated booklover.

This bookish life of Nina is part and parcel of the book which revolves around other things as well. Like inheriting a family all of a sudden and having a serious boyfriend. But I’m not gonna talk about all of that. Its the acute representation of the life of a bookworm. The love for libraries and smelling books and finding joy in books and in your reading space. She’s like Belle, Elizabeth Bennett, Hermione Granger, Scout Finch, Jo March, Rory Gilmore and You.. You who loves reading.

Go read the book and thank me later (not that I wrote it, but still !)

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P.S All GIF’s used in this post are from GIPHY

Author Blog|Buy the book from Amazon

To Kill a Kingdom – Book Review

To Kill A Kingdom

Author : Alexandra Cristo

Publisher : Bonnier Publishing

Pub Date: March 6th 2018

Source : Own copy

Get the book from Amazon.in.

You can find my review in Goodreads page as well.

Book Blurb

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

My thoughts

If you love fantasy like I do, then what are you waiting for ? This book’s got it all – sirens, Sea Queen, Pirate Prince who also happens to be a siren killer, mermen and mermaids and royal families with secret treasures.

I really liked the writing – simple, whimsical and perfect. No difficult plot lines to follow, just straight to the point without beating the bush. It did get a tad slow in the middle of the book but there were bigger things to consider like no instant love and too-much-romance. No sir, it was just enough, with a little banter here and there and no funny business.

Characters

Lira is the anti-heroine, sass personified and is a ruthless killer. She is of royal blood and goes only after the hearts of Royal blood – young princes, who are promised to rule a kingdom only to have their life snatched away and the kingdoms doomed. Thus she earns her name – Prince’s Bane.  But let me remind you, she is the heroine after all, so has a tiny bit of humanity in her saved for her little cousin Kahlia, whose mother’s life Lira had to take. (Ruthless killer for you!!).

“Hearts are power, and if there’s one thing my kind craves more than the ocean, it’s power.”

She wants to succeed her mother the evil Sea Queen because of which she is bound to please the queen by going after Royal hearts. (Do check the blurb for more!)

Prince Elian – though he prefers to call himself a pirate captain, loves the sea and adventure and wants to take revenge for all the royal blood wasted. Together with his unusual crew and his mission to kill all sirens, he is a murderer himself. His character is of the noble guy who gives up everything for the sake of a better world.

There are numerous side characters too – Princess Yukiko, Madrid, Kye – and there’s a tiny background story for all of them.

The writing

As I already mentioned, the writing is easy to follow, no big tough names to remember, and goes with the flow. The descriptions of the various Kingdoms and the sea journey in itself is beautifully written. The action scene with a pirate captain was the best written of all, better than the final war.

The only negative that I would say is, the little pit stops they make during the adventure were a bit dragging. Some might have found that zero tension between the two main characters was a little on the downside, but I felt that this was okay because these two were enemies and any sappy romance would have just spoiled the plot.

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All in all, I loved the easy writing and its a good fantasy not to be missed.

4.5 stars out of 5

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