Book Review: The Magpie Society: One For Sorrow by Zoe Sugg & Amy McCulloch

The Magpie Society: One For Sorrow is the first book in a new YA gothic-thriller series by Zoe Sugg and Amy McCulloch. The story is set at Illumen Hall boarding school and follows the events after the mysterious death of a student, Lola Radcliff. Told from two perspectives, Ivy, written by Zoe has been at Illumen Hall since year seven and is what I suppose you would call one of the ‘popular’ girls. Audrey, written by Amy, has just moved to the UK from Georgia, USA and is looking for a fresh start at a new school. 

After a rough start, the two become close friends who decide to investigate Lola’s death after an anonymous podcast questioning whether or not she was murder or if it was purely an accident. 

First things first I devoured this book, it took me less than four hours from start to finish and honestly I was quite impressed. I have read Zoe’s and Amy’s previous works, both of which I enjoyed, and I must say that this feels much more mature. 

The plot was completely interesting and I found myself so immersed in the mystery that I could not put the book down. I don’t read mysteries very often as I like to think myself as quite the detective who always guesses what’s going on, but honestly, I didn’t really get that here. One plot point was quite obvious as it is somewhat of a cliche when it comes to boarding school and relationships, however, the main plotline still remains a mystery to me. 

I have already checked out a few reviews of the book and I’ve seen a few people complaining that the twists were too obvious. However, if they were so complex that no one could see what was coming then people would just complain that the book doesn’t make sense and that it’s full of plot holes. Well, you know what you can’t please everyone and yes at times the plot could be guessable, however, we must remember that this is YA so it can’t be expected to be the most intricate mystery the world has ever seen. 

I’m not always a fan of multiple perspectives, however, I really enjoyed the style that Zoe and Amy used. As the girls were more often than not together, the different perspectives really worked. They would at times switch perspectives in the middle of a situation and it still flowed extremely well and meant that you could see how both Ivy and Audrey were feeling. 

If I didn’t follow both Zoe and Amy online I genuinely would not have realised that Amy had written every Audrey chapter and that Zoe had written every Ivy chapter. Their writing styles blended together seamlessly. Both characters were interesting in their own ways, with their stark contrast personalities and the obvious different upbringings that I can’t decide who I like more. Just like Zoe and Amy, Ivy and Audrey seem to be a perfect match. 

The end of the book has left me with a lot of unanswered questions but in a good way. There is still so much we don’t know about this alleged ‘Magpie Society’ and with another mystery on their hands, I’m more than excited to see where book two will take us. 

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3 comments

  1. My son bought me a signed copy of this book. I am 65 and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I would recommend it to all age groups. I got ‘invested’ in the storyline 😁😁

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