The Magpie Society is a YA mystery novel written by Zoe Sugg and ‘Jinxed’ author Amy McCulloch.
First of all, I was really excited to read this book as I have previously loved some of Amy McCulloch’s other books and I will say I enjoyed reading it. I did find myself eagerly reading on but I will say I didn’t love how the book ended which kind of hindered the reading experience.
I liked the writing style and the switch between Ivy and Audrey viewpoint throughout the book. I feel it gave both characters depth and time to develop within the story. The use of the podcast transcripts is something I really liked, almost as if I was listening to it myself and allowing you to know exactly what the characters are reacting to. It was also interesting to learn after reading that the two authors were Audrey and Ivy in the sense that their viewpoints were written by one of the authors throughout.
I thought that a lot of the characters in the book are interesting and suited to a YA novel. The introduction of someone as new to the school as the readers are so we get to learn about the school through a character who has been there for years and one only a few weeks.
The book ended on a cliffhanger, which suggests a book will follow however I feel that the book itself didn’t answer any of the questions it set out. It was almost as if I read the full book for nothing. I like a cliffhanger but I felt like too much of the story resulted in this. For example, who the magpie Society is? This I can understand being a cliffhanger but the full premise of the story, what happened to Lola?, I feel that this should have been explained more. The book was leading up to this answer as we see Audrey and Ivy investigate and explore but we don’t learn anything else as it seemed to end right in the middle of a scene. In my opinion, I don’t think the book answered enough of its questions. Maybe if the second book was out already and I could have immediately read on it would have been ok, but I don’t think a book should rely on another that much even if it is a series.
Overall, I would say that I enjoyed the process of reading it and will likely read the second once released to find out all the answers from this book but I was left frustrated at the lack of resolution in this one. I would maybe recommend waiting for the second one to be released so you can find out more without the disappointment of waiting.
Many thanks, Caitlin Dermidy
(PS please feel free to like, comment, follow and share 🙂 )
Only the Ocean by Natasha Carthew is a young adult book that focuses on a young girl who is trying to survive in a dark and scary world. You follow Kel who plans to kidnap a girl in order to fund her trip to America to receive help for her heart. Whilst doing this not everything goes to plan and they both end up stranded in the middle of the ocean with only the hope of surviving. Due to this time spent together they grow close and become friends which is unusual for someone from the ‘swamps’ and the other from the ‘towers’.
There are two main characters in this book, both young girls
named Kel and Rose. They are from completely different world and you can see
that throughout the book. The way that Kel talks in comparison to Rose show the
difference in class and education alone. They are an unlikely friendship
however as the book goes on and they learn more about one another you can see
they begin to bond. I did like these characters and did feel as though they fit
the story well even if it want my favourite book.
I did find it took a little while to get into the book as
the dialogue takes some getting used to. The writer used a lot of slang and
phonetic words. This can become confusing at times however the narration in
between the dialogue cleared things up and you could follow the story.
I wasn’t a huge fan of this book, this is just a personal opinion
however as many others do love it. I feel it lacked action for me and didn’t necessarily
keep me engaged. It also seems unrealistic in a way. I know it is a fictional
book however I find it hard that they did survive on the sea for so long when
it was described as being so wild. I also felt that the baby being in the book
was pointless. I didn’t feel it added to anything and that at times I felt the
writer had forgotten about it. I know the premise was that Kel didn’t like the
bay however I feel as though the baby wouldn’t have survived these events. At
one point when they come across a ship that they went aboard to look for food
the baby seemed to just disappear for a while.
The characters went
through a lot however everything went back to normal very quickly. For example,
Rose suffered a bad injury on her leg after their raft capsized yet despite spending
days with an open wound on an island then on the sea it seemed to just be fine.
Overall, I would say that this book wasn’t for me. I liked
the characters and felt the fit the story however I personally didn’t enjoy it.
I felt that it was long and drawn out with a few events along the way with a disappointing
Many thanks, Caitlin x
(PS please comment your opinion of this book if you have
ever read it or if there are any other comments you want to make)
Jinxed by Amy McCulloch is a YA science-fiction book that centres around a world of engineering and coding. In this world there is a young girl named Lacey Chu whose dream is to become a companioneer for the tech company Moncha. This company created the BAKU, your very own robotic companion who replaces the role of your smart phone.
I found this book was really entertaining and exciting as you got the chance to learn about this world and about what happens with the BAKU. It is also exciting to see a book based upon engineering and coding with a female lead character. The character of Lacey is very likeable and realistic and I think would resonate with young female readers as she shows that you can achieve your dreams. Lacey is a talented engineer whose best friend is a talented coder who are exciting as it allows the book to promote strong female leads in a world once thought of as a male world.
This book mixes the world of new technology and inventions with teenage drama and friendships. I think this is also a reason as to why I liked this book as it blends the excitement of the BAKU battles and new school drama effortlessly. You see Lacey deal with making new and maintaining friendship whilst exploring this exciting and eventful new world.
The ending leaves questions as well as answers as it ends leaving us wonder what happens to Lacey and her BAKU. It ends on a cliffhanger which leads you to think there is potential for a blossoming series within this technology focused world. Overall I really enjoyed this book as it was entertaining and realistic with strong leads. It didn’t really feature any of the hard-hitting topics that I would usually read about which added some light relief to my reading experience.
I would highly recommend this book and feel that it was well-written, structures with good characters.
Many thanks, Caitlin x
(PS please feel free to comment your opinion on this book or whether you intend on reading it)
I have previously read three of John Greens books and I really liked them. I have read ‘The Fault in our Stars’, ‘Looking for Alaska’ and ‘Paper towns’. John Green has released many YA novels that look at teenage life in many ways.
‘The Fault in our Stars’ is a very well known book and has had a film adaptation made from it. I read the book after the hype of the film came about. Everyone seemed to be raving about the film and I never watched it for ages and decided to read the book instead. I think the book is very well written in a way that it talks about a serious illness yet it isn’t complicated and is romantic. I was sat on the couch one night and read the book in one sitting as I couldn’t put the book down. This book both tackles the highs and lows of being a cancer patient whilst being a novel about teenage romance. I have to admit I did cry upon reading the ending as it was so powerful. This book was very well received with high ratings on websites such as good reads and YA Book Central. It is an emotional rollercoaster that made you laugh, cry and smile and a book I would highly recommend. (PS I never did get round to reading the film)
‘Looking for Alaska’ was also a great book and one that I would highly recommend. It looks at a teenage boy is dragged into the world of the new girl at school. It is a well written teenage book and I think it is realistic and easily comprehensible. The characters are interesting and well developed which helps to add to the realism. It is written in a way that is easy to understand and is not complex in a way that would make you think of anything but the intended storyline. It really explores teenage life at a boarding school with a mysterious new pupil.
‘Paper towns’ shares the story of two teenagers who go on a midnight adventure and soon one of them becomes a mystery. The one who disappears and left the other trying to find her. But what will he learn along the way? It is well written and does keep you engaged in the story as well. I love the characters however I do feel as though they were a little predictable as they reminded me of the characters in Looking for Alaska, A teenage boy who is trying to reach out to the girl who is unattainable. Saying that they are well developed and intriguing even although they are similar. I think that upon reading other reviews it is not just my opinion that both Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns seems to follow the same formula and although they are different stories they seem to based upon the same plan. However, I would recommend this book but I would just warn you that it is a good book, I would read it again but it is similar to Looking for Alaska.
Overall, I would say from what I have read that John Green is a very good YA author and writes books that do appeal to the target audience and I would recommend the books I have mentioned. I would like to read more of his novels in the future.
Many thanks, Caitlin x
(PS please comment if you have ever read one of John Greens novels or intend to)