I’m so excited to be a part of The Box in the Woods Blog Tour! Please remember to click the tour banner above or the schedule below to access the tour schedule. There are a lot of other amazing bloggers and bookstagrammers who are also a part of the tour.
Title: The Box in the Woods
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publication date: June 15, 2021
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
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.
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.
It is hard to find a good YA mystery, so when I learned that there was going to be another Stevie Bell book, a standalone taking place after the original trilogy, I was thrilled. I enjoyed the Truly Devious series, and I was curious about Stevie’s next adventure. Maureen Johnson couldn’t possibly top the Truly Devious case, could she?! Well, I can safely say that she can, and she does. The Box in the Woods may be my favorite book from the entire series!
I especially love Stevie’s journey in The Box in the Woods. Maureen does an amazing job of handling Stevie’s internal struggle with the horrors of murder. Unlike the Truly Devious case, the town of Barlow Corners is still grieving from the Box in the Woods murders. Family members and friends of the murder victims are still alive and for Stevie, this is a new experience (the Truly Devious murders took place in the 1930s). Stevie has to grapple with the fact that Barlow Corners is still being impacted by the Box in the Woods murders and as such, the case needs to be handled in a delicate manner.
As to whether Stevie is able to solve the Box in the Woods murders, I won’t say. All I will say is that I did not foresee the book’s big reveal. Unlike the Truly Devious case, I was not able to solve the Box in the Woods case (and I love it when I cannot predict a book’s ending!). Too many times I have predicted a book’s ending (especially in YA mysteries and thrillers), so it was refreshing to read a book where the ending pleasantly surprised me.
The Box in the Woods will delight both old fans and new fans! Maureen provides enough information that new fans will be able to enjoy Stevie’s latest adventure just as much as the old fans. For those fans being introduced to Stevie Bell for the first time, The Box in the Woods does contain slight spoilers from the Truly Devious series (don’t worry, though, the outcome of the Truly Devious case is not revealed!). For those fans who are returning to Stevie’s world, The Box in the Woods contains many nods to the original trilogy (I especially enjoyed finding the many Easter eggs throughout my reading of the book!).
Many thanks to Turn the Page Tours and MBC Books for providing the gifted final copy for this review! All opinions are my own.
Sometimes she felt like she was missing a chip or a gene or something that made all this matter, but it never bothered her much.
This is how she had learned to release some of her anxiety – thoughts may come, but she didn’t have to follow them everywhere they wanted her to go.
“I tried to make something good come out of the horror of it all.”
That’s the thing about speaking – you can talk and talk and have no idea at all what the words leaving your mouth mean, or where they came from.
A murder reveal is worth skipping Netflix for.
Where can I buy The Box in the Woods?
Is there a giveaway?
Yes! Enter below to win one (1) finished copy of The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson! Open to USA only. There will be 1 winner.
Giveaway starts: Tuesday, June 15, 2021.
Giveaway ends: Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 12:00 a.m. CST.
Be sure to check out the rest of the Turn the Pages blog tour for The Box in the Woods! You can either click here or on the blog tour banner found above to see the other blogs that are participating in the tour.
Have you read The Box in the Woods? What are your thoughts on the book? Let me know in the comments below!