Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne Review

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Title: Truly, Madly, Deadly
Author: Hannah Jayne (Twitter)
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publish Date: July 2, 2013
Genre: YA, Mystery
Pages: 272
Source: Publisher

Sawyer Dodd has it all. She's a star track athlete, choir soloist, and A-student. And her boyfriend is the handsome all-star Kevin Anderson. But behind the medals, prom pictures, and perfect smiles, Sawyer finds herself trapped in a controlling, abusive relationship with Kevin.

When he dies in a drunk-driving accident, Sawyer is secretly relieved. She's free. Until she opens her locker and finds a mysterious letter signed by "an admirer" and printed with two simple words: "You're welcome."
For the longest time, Sawyer was stuck in an abusive relationship from which she could see no way out. Nobody knew of the abuse, and nobody would have really believed it anyway because in public, they were the picture-perfect couple. But life gets a whole lot easier - and messier - when Kevin dies in what seems to be a cut and dried car accident. But when a note appears, seemingly claiming responsibility for his death, this are about to get tricky and dark. Can Sawyer found the culprit before it's too late?

There's something to be said for eerie, dark tales that give you the creeps long after you close the book on the last page. Truly, Madly, Deadly sets the stage for exactly that, inspiring readers everywhere to sleep with the lights on. Author, Hannah Jayne, has written a classic mystery tale, but adds the twisting, compelling drama of YA into the mix giving readers the best of both worlds. With a fast pace, and carefully-revealed details, Truly, Madly, Deadly will stick with you.

There is a lot about Truly, Madly, Deadly that works in its favour, making readers anxious and eager to weave their way through the tale. First and foremost, the mystery element of the story is perfectly eerie, with just a touch of gleaming danger that makes you a bit hesitant to find out the truth behind it all. With that said, however, there is a lot within the story that is, indeed, teased through the synopsis, but we're left wanting upon reading the story. From the premise, I assumed that the abusive relationship in which Sawyer found herself would play a significant role in her character development. Much to the contrary (and my dismay) though, we watch as that element is placed on the backburner and, instead, we simply watch Sawyer chase her tail as she searches for this unknown "saviour" in vain. In my humble opinion, had the abuse of the relationship been more prominent through the story, I would have been far more invested in Sawyer's plight to find Kevin's killer. I think that the mystery element was set up well through the novel and, though I was able to pick through it all quite quickly, the mystery was well done. I do have to say that I wished it had been a bit twistier because I think that a bit of extra development in terms of the unknown would have gone a long way. But, the book was not bad by any means. I enjoyed the fact that I could read the book in a single sitting, and I found that the author's writing voice was engaging and empathetic, making Truly, Madly, Deadly stand out.

Overall, though there were some elements I wish we could have explored more, and though I think more mystery would have worked in the story's favour, this book was quite well done. I give it a 3.5 out of 5, and I recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who enjoy mysteries and thrillers.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. I do enjoy mysteries and thrillers, especially in YA, but I am really picky. I either love them or hate them. I really dislike it when the blurb misrepresents the book. Thanks for an honest review!

  2. I really like the sound of the mystery in this book! Mysteries and thrillers are usually a hit or miss with me but I think I might enjoy this one :) I'm glad you enjoyed this overall Melissa!<3

  3. Truly, Madly Deadly does sound like a promising novel Melissa, but like you mentioned I think I would have preferred to have this book focus on Sawyer's relationship with Kevin rather than the mystery. But despite this shift in focus I'm glad you were still able to enjoy this book, I think I will still give this book a go one day. Wonderful review Melissa! :)

  4. I tend to steer clear of abusive relationships, so I'm not sure this would be for me, but I do love the sound of the mystery element. I've seen mixed reactions to this one, so I think I'll skip it for now and maybe try this author's later work. Lovely review, Melissa!

  5. nice thorough review. thanks! I've been wondering about this one.

  6. Like Keertana, I tend to steer clear of those kind of relationship too but I think I understand why you want it to have been more prominent in the story. Still, I love the sound of the mystery behind this. I might pick this up some day when I find myself craving for some mysteries. Great review, Melissa. :)

  7. I've been in the mood for a good thriller. I'm looking forward to checking this one out.

  8. I grabbed this one for the intensity and mystery. I have heard some mixed things though so I'm glad that this one at least mostly worked for you. Hopefully I can read it really soon!

  9. I love mysteries and thrillers, Melissa and I like the fact you could easily get through this in one sitting. It's unfortunate this didn't live up to its full potential but it sounds like a fun and exciting read at any rate. I think I might pick this up at some point. Lovely review! :)

  10. I totally agree with you! I read this one a couple of weeks ago and I thought the mystery elements were done well, but that there could have been MORE. It was overall a good read though. Wonderful review, Melissa!

  11. That's strange that the abusive relationship wasn't more prominent in the story - from the summary alone, I assumed it would be a huge part of the story. Glad that the mystery is well done, and the story is wonderfully eerie! This might be a good mystery to check out from the library :)

    Nice review, Melissa!

  12. Okay, I KNOW I just commented that I don't love mystery/thrillers very much on my last comment, but this one sounds a little more interesting because of the relationship between the MC and the deceased. I don't love abusive relationships, but here there be issues! And I like those things, you know. Perhaps if I see this one at my library sometime, I might pick it up. Plus I like that cover. Great review again. Love your thoughts always.

  13. I just reviewed this one and wish the abuse had been more fleshed out too. I found it hard to get a really good picture of who Kevin was as a person and as awful as it sounds, didn't really care that he died.

  14. This is such a creepy premise! I am disappointed to read, however, that you felt the abusive relationship wasn't played up enough. It's certainly given quite a bit of significance from how the promotional blurb is worded, so that's too bad the book doesn't quite follow-through in that regard. I really do like stories where readers get to uncover the deep, dark secrets in picture-perfect relationships, so I'll probably still give this book a chance. I'm glad there were some good qualities in this book for you, even if there were also parts you felt could have been done better.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I always do my very best to return the favour :)

Please note that this blog is an award-free zone!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover