My most anticipated book of 2020 was definitely The Magpie Society. I’m a big fan of Zoe Sugg her videos (though I hate the word fan) so when she and Amy announced they were writing a gothic YA mystery I knew instantly that I had to read that! Now my plan was to read it as soon as it came out, but at that time (October last year) I was in a major reading slump, so I only got to it now.
The Magpie Society by Zoe Sugg & Amy McCulloch
Published by Penguin on October 29th 2020
★★★★☆ (3,5 stars)
Illumen Hall is an elite boarding school. Tragedy strikes when the body of a student is discovered at their exclusive summer party – on her back is an elaborate tattoo of a magpie.
When new girl Audrey arrives the following term, running from her own secrets back home in America, she is thrown into solving the case. Despite her best efforts to avoid any drama, her new roommate Ivy was close to the murdered girl, and the two of them can’t help but get pulled in.
The two can’t stand each other, but as they are drawn deeper into the mystery of this strange and terrible murder, they will discover that something dangerous is at the heart of their superficially perfect school.
Welcome to The Magpie Society.
Now, let’s not beat around the bush here… I loved this book, I did, but I do believe it could have been even better. It’s definitely a book that is easy to read and it is a total pageturner. It is intrigueing and it keeps you wanting more. But, the thing I like about these types of books, books that revolve around a murder, is when there are major twists in the story that you don’t see coming. I want to be blown away, left completely confused. Well, this book didn’t do that for me. There were some twists in the book, but I did see them coming, and that is what had me feeling a little bit disappointed.
The thing that disappointed me the most about this book is the cliffhanger. I don’t want to say too much about it, because I obviously don’t want to give things away for those who haven’t read it yet. But I feel it left me with too many questions. I get why authors use cliffhangers – well not only authors for that matter – but I do feel like you need to give the reader something. I guess it’s about finding the perfect balance of putting the puzzle pieces together and giving some answers but at the same time not giving everything away and leaving room for the sequel. I feel like that balance was off at the ending of this book. If you ask me, too much was left unanswered.
Still, I really did love this book. At one point I really could not put it down. And I am definitely excited for more. I loved the world, the boarding school environment and I really started to connect with the characters. I didn’t like Audrey nor Ivy at the beginning of the book, but now I feel totally different. I also think that there is so much more to this story, so much more to these characters and also so much more that can be told about the school; Illumen Hall. I can even see this becoming a TV show with Pretty Little Liars vibes.
So even though there are things I didn’t particularly like about this book, I would still recommend it and I can not wait for the sequel… Like, I want it right this second… I need some answers! I have my suspects and I’m dying to find out if I’m on the right track.