Thursday 26 November 2020

Book Review | The Magpie Society by Zoe Sugg & Amy McCulloch | prettylittlewriter

I have been a huge fan of Zoe Sugg since I started University at 18 (8 years ago) and she was better known as Zoella. If you've been following my blog for a while you will know I'm a big fan of hers.

She is a social media influencer who started with a blog then moving to Youtube, where she became one of the most popular youtubers of her time.

She no longer posts on her main youtube channel Zoella, as she has said she fell out of love with it and felt a lot of pressure to post, but she still regularly shares her life with us via her vlog channel, Zoe Sugg. 

This is not Zoe's first time publishing a novel. Published in 2014, Girl Online was a bestseller and Zoe's first time delving into the world of literature.

So being a huge fan when it came out, I purchased the novel thinking I would love it. Unfortunately, I really didn't. Now, it's not because the book was bad, it just felt too 'tween' for me. It just didn't fit with where I felt I was in life at that time (I was 20, feeling like an adult and blanking out my teenage years). So, in the end I only ended up reading a couple of chapters of the first book and never touched it again (I still purchased the next two books in the series, to show my support of course).

Ok, so back to the book at hand.

The Magpie Society.

This time, Zoe has written half of the novel herself, the character of Ivy, and the lovely Amy McCulloch has written the other half, the character of Audrey. Obviously the book has been edited and blah blah blah, but the story and the writing flowed so incredibly well, you would never know there were two different writers involved. 
This book is aimed towards the YA community, rather than teenagers, so I think that may have had a hand in why I liked it so much!

'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.'

Firstly, I loved the character of Audrey. She is sassy, funny and gorgeous, exactly how you can imagine your typical All-American girl is on entering a posh British private school. I was drawn to her first, as I felt like Ivy started out as quite a cold character, pushing a lot of the people in her life away, so it took me a while to like her. 
The storyline was incredibly intriguing, I loved the theme around the magpies as we see them all the time here in the UK, and I think everyone knows the 'rules' surrounding them (salute a lone magpie or say good morning) and of course the rhyme, which is mentioned in the novel.

It took till about halfway through the book to properly get quite exciting and interesting, as we were slowly getting to know the characters in the first half and of course, being introduced to the tragedy that had just struck at the school. 

I loved seeing the frenemies dynamic between Audrey and Ivy fall away and blossom into a real solid friendship, that was brilliantly written.

I honestly felt like this novel was 100% what I would expect from Zoe; a thriller (I know she's a huge true crime/horror fan) with a little bit of romance and a budding friendship thrown in. This was also much more up my street as I love a good mystery, trying to work out 'whodunnit' before you actually find out. 

It ended up being a bestseller yet again, and I am thoroughly impressed! 

The cover and the spine of the book are absolutely stunning also, I am just in awe of how much thought has gone into it!

I am excited for the next book, but I'm gutted that Zoe & Amy haven't even started writing it yet so we have to wait!

3.5/5 stars