Review: Nine Liars by Maureen Johnson

Title: Nine Liars

Author: Maureen Johnson

Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books, Katherine Tegen Books

Published: December 27, 2022

Pages: 464

Format: e-ARC, via Netgalley

Goodreads Blurb

“Senior year at Ellingham Academy for Stevie Bell isn’t going well. Her boyfriend, David, is studying in London. Her friends are obsessed with college applications. With the cold case of the century solved, Stevie is adrift. There is nothing to distract her from the questions pinging around her brain—questions about college, love, and life in general.

Relief comes when David invites Stevie and her friends to join him for study abroad, and his new friend Izzy introduces her to a double-murder cold case. In 1995, nine friends from Cambridge University went to a country house and played a drunken game of hide-and-seek. Two were found in the woodshed the next day, murdered with an ax.

The case was assumed to be a burglary gone wrong, but one of the remaining seven saw something she can’t explain. This was no break-in. Someone’s lying about what happened in the woodshed.

Seven suspects. Two murders. One killer still playing a deadly game.”

My Review

I was insanely excited about this book because I adore this series. How is this book 5?!?! Anyways, I’m so sad to report that I was let down with this one. I’m very confused about the direction that Johnson wants to take in this series.

Let me start with what I did like…

I still love Stevie’s friends and their personalities are such a great mix. Nate is just my whole heart! I loved that they would do anything for Stevie and each other.

The actual murder case was cool and I was really interested in it. I didn’t quite work it out as fast as I had hoped but that’s good! I liked the fact that they were in another country and they were learning about it. It really was the perfect setting for this mystery.

Now, let me talk about some things that I had a lot of issues with…

It’s no secret, the whole series, Stevie is just so self-involved. It’s even worse when she’s working on a case but in this book, she goes too far. The way that she treats her friends is unacceptable. I hate how they just come to accept that this is the way she is. When she’s not working a case she’s “adrift” and her head is in the clouds. She doesn’t plan for her future and just doesn’t do much. Stevie, my girl, you need some therapy and some major help. There is more to life than chasing/solving a case. Your friends deserve better from you too.

There is so much personal drama in this book that it takes away from the actual mystery that is going on. I hate what Johnson is doing with Stevie and David. I get that you need to create tension and drama but this was not the way. We are in book FIVE and this should not be happening. It’s enough… I’m getting so bored with the maybe or maybe not.

Lastly, this book only wraps up one thing but there are several open endings. We have to be getting book 6 (I hope!!!) and will I be reading that asap? Maybe so. I just hope that it’s a better installment than this one.

Overall, I did like this book and I highly recommend reading this series. I flew through this book and read it in two days. In a long series, you have to know that they will not all be winners, and that’s the case here. I am still looking forward to book 6 because I need answers!

Many thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins Children’s/Katherine Tegen Books for an e-arc. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

9 thoughts on “Review: Nine Liars by Maureen Johnson

  1. Pingback: December Wrap-Up! | Books Are The New Black

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