Reviews tagging Child death

The Box in the Woods, by Maureen Johnson

27 reviews

thelastairbadger's review against another edition

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mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.5


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cherry__tomatoes's review

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adventurous challenging emotional funny mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.5

Honestly I didn’t know where this book would go, I felt like it would fall flat after the series. I felt like it wouldn’t hold up to the previous books but honeslty  this is probably my second favourite book in the series, first one being the vanishing stair. I felt like we really saw more into who Stevie was, whereas with the first three books we really saw her as this crime obsessed kid. It was nice to see the author dive more into Stevie’s anxiety problems, and as a kid with anxiety I could totally relate. I loved the little small town “Hallmark” vibe of the book. I loved how we learned more about Stevie’s triggers for her anxiety, and I love that she FINALLY got a love interest. I felt like her ending up with David was the perfect ending. Overall, I did feel like the mystery was sort of an afterthought as we really only see a progression in the solving of the case after around page 250.I didn’t mind this however because of how enthralled I was by Stevie’s personal life and her problems. I felt like the ending of the case was very satisfying. ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE PLOT TWIST. And I felt like Stevie finally relaxing and finally admitting her true love to David was an amazing ending. I hope that their will be another book with these amazing characters in it. (Maybe David was hinting at something at the end, I’d love to see Stevie solve some “real life” murder mysteries.) 

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spacexgay's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.75


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dilani's review

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dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

It gave what it was supposed to be giving…but at the same time it didn’t. I love Stevie and her friends, especially Nate. I was ecstatic to see more of him. Although the mystery Stevie was solving kept me reading, it felt like something was missing from the overall book. Maybe I didn’t feel as excited as I did when I first read Truly Devious? Still a solid book and I would love to see where Stevie goes from here.  

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thebakerbookworm's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

While the mystery in this book wasn't as good as the one in the original trilogy, I still really enjoyed this return of Stevie and friends. The same quirky friendships, funny and cute banter, and quest for the truth made it an enjoyable read.

The focus is definitely more plot heavy in this one though—it makes for a quick read, but there wasn't really a ton of development for our characters. I wanted David to be present for more of the story. I love the friendships that Stevie has with Nate and Janelle and those got more focus than her relationship with David, I thought. The new characters were interesting, though I don't think any would stick around for a new story (if there are ever more books about Stevie, which I would definitely still read). 

I didn't guess the mystery and I liked how it all came together at the end. The story feels very fast though; I don't know if that was a good thing or not. By the end, I realized that not even a week had gone by. But I supposed such is the way with many mystery books.

This book didn't spoil anything much from the original trilogy, so I don't think you have to read the trilogy before reading this one. But I would recommend reading the trilogy first, as you'll understand the characters a lot better—they get more development and complexity in those books.

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princesspegasus7e13e's review against another edition

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mysterious
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

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genny's review against another edition

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adventurous dark mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

One last mystery with Stevie, which I enjoyed very much! The comedic timing in this book was gold. I've heard this described as a "summer camp slasher" so I expected a lot more gore, but the violence is mostly contained to descriptions of dead bodies. The thrill is still there though, don't worry. 😅 The major twist is pretty out-there, but Johnson put in enough clues along the way that I could think back on them and go "oh, yeah, that makes sense". You can read this without reading the first three books, but there are references sprinkled throughout so you'd be spoiled on certain things.

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grimviolins's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5


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lenaricharz's review against another edition

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adventurous dark funny mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0


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rorikae's review against another edition

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dark mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

'The Box in the Woods' by Maureen Johnson is a fun fourth installment in the Truly Devious series though it lacks the complexity of the original trilogy.
After solving the Ellingham mystery, Stevie Bell is now known more widely as a teenage sleuth and so it comes as not much of a surprise when she is contacted by a man who wants to solve a decades old mystery at a summer camp. In 1978, four teenagers were killed at Camp Wonder Falls and the crime was never solved. The new owner wants Stevie's help to solve this mystery for a true crime podcast. Though she isn't too thrilled about the podcast, Stevie can't pass up the opportunity to uncover the truth of another crime that has long been buried.
Maureen Johnson has proven with the Truly Devious series that she can create a really fun and compelling mystery that keeps readers engaged through the last page. This is true in 'The Box in the Woods' though without the three book space to delve as deeply into the story, it's a much quicker and slightly less complex mystery. For those who have read the original trilogy, this is a fun addition to the series and it's great to return to the characters. If this is the start of a spin-off series of one-off mysteries, I think that it could work. If it is merely a follow-up to the original, it makes less sense as it doesn't really add anything to the trilogy beyond being another fun mystery. I will be interested to see what Johnson does next with these characters if this is the start of something new. 

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