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The Magpie Society: One for Sorrow

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  45 reviews
The brand new series from Zoe Sugg and Amy McCulloch

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. Despit
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 29th 2020 by Penguin
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Alice Ashcroft I think both - depending on the maturity of the reader. It's a murder mystery, so bear that in mind :)

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Schizanthus Nerd
Sep 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Audrey is the new girl at Illumen Hall, a prestigious boarding school a world away from her old life and the memories that haunt her. She’s sharing a room with Ivy, who doesn’t seem to want anything to do with her. It isn’t long before Audrey learns that Lola, one of Illumen Hall’s most popular girls, died recently.

The police have closed their case but there may be more to the story than meets the eye. While the students and staff are still comin
Karen Barber
One for Sorrow seems to be the first in a series set in an exclusive boarding school, where secrets are kept and nobody can be sure who to trust.
At Illumen Hall students are used to behaving in a certain way, and making the most of the privileges they are afforded. New girl Audrey is harbouring her own reasons for moving from America to attend the school, but she’s in no hurry to share her secrets. She’s required to share a room with one of the students who seems to be on the inside, Ivy.
The sum
The Story Girl
I was interested in reading this, but now I'm just very confused by this book. Is this not available in the US? It seems like it's only been published in the UK. No ebook available here, not even a regular copy of the book. I might just remove this from my tbr then, plus it seems like the author is a Youtube "star" and there was some controversy with her not acknowledging the ghost writer for her last series? Idk.

[previous update] For fans of Riverdale, Pretty Little Liars, and One Of Us Is Lyin
Feb 05, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy Buckle / Amy's Bookshelf
I love reading murder mysteries and thrillers so I was excited to be sent a proof copy of The Magpie Society ahead of its release on the 29th October. The Magpie Society is set in Illumen Hall, an English boarding school with a mysterious history and a grand interior to match its elite standards. When American, Audrey, enrols there after moving to the UK for a fresh start, she’s intimidated by its grandeur, but more worryingly, she quickly learns that the summer before she started one of the stu ...more
Apr 06, 2020 marked it as to-read
I can't wait to read this
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5/5 **rounded up for GR**

“Dolores in Spanish means sorrow. One for sorrow.”


Okay, where to start? I hadn’t realised how this book would pan out. I love a good whodunnit it though so here are my thoughts.

Audrey is the American new girl in a British private boarding school. She’s rich and on the first day meets Ivy, her roommate. Her first meeting with Ivy doesn’t go so well and then she hears about the infamous but dead Lola, who lived in the room she’s currently boarding a
Oct 01, 2020 rated it liked it
My first ever wish granted by NetGalley! I was very excited to get the chance to read 'The Magpie Society' ahead of its general release. A thriller and murder mystery set at an elite boarding school? Sign me up!

The premise of this book is certainly intriguing. The setting is the gothic and ominous Illumen Hall, a boarding school with a huge number of secrets hidden within its ancient walls. At the pre-summer party, popular future head girl Lola plunged from the cliffs to her death. On the first
Oct 04, 2020 rated it liked it
A rather enjoyable read.
I liked the mystery it was built around and the evolving friendship between the two main characters. This read comforted me in the ideas that I like mysteries and thrillers more than I thought.
When reading it, bear in mind that the target audience is YA.
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, 2020
‘I know who killed Lola… and one of you is next.’

The students at Illumen Hall, an elite boarding school in England, have been shaken by the death of fellow student, Lola. Her body was found washed up on the shore at their summer party with an intricate magpie tattoo on her back. The police have closed their case, death by misadventure, but there may be more to the story. Audrey moves to Illumen from Georgia, running from her own secrets. She doesn’t want to get involved but when a mysterious pod
Lisa Bowman
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: YA 13+
Shelves: ya, mystery
Wicked things come to the dark panelled halls of Illumen Hall, an independent school somewhere on the bleak Kent coast. After the end-of-term party, a girl's tangled body washes ashore: the popular and practically angelic (by all accounts) Lola Radcliffe. Deemed a likely suicide, the police call off their investigations. When a mysterious crime podcast stirs speculation that Lola was murdered, the School goes into meltdown and frenemies Ivy and Audrey feel a need to root out the truth from their ...more
Harriet Khan
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So Audrey Wagner is from Georgia, USA, and moves to the UK coast with her rich but rather unloving family. You get the impression that this is her last chance to get a good education before her dad gives up on her. To start with Audrey feels rather unwelcome at Illumen Hall. This is mostly due to her new room mate, Ivy Moore-Zhang. Ivy was expecting for this to be her first year at Illumen Hall where she didn't have to share a room, so she is less than thrilled when Audrey arrives. Things are ve ...more
Sep 26, 2020 rated it liked it
The Magpie Society: One for Sorrow is a young adult mystery novel set at an elite boarding school, when two unlikely friends investigate a student's death. The previous summer at Illumen Hall, one of the students fell to her death during a party, and the police deemed it misadventure. When Audrey starts at the school's sixth form, fresh from the US and a secret in her past, she doesn't want to get drawn into the mystery. She immediately doesn't get along with her new roommate Ivy, who was friend ...more
Meg Chia (bibliophilogy)

My thoughts

Thank you so much to Times Reads for sending me a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! This book is available in all good bookstores so grab a copy now!

Three-word description : murder, secrets, dark academia
My rating : 5 / 5 stars

If you love murder mystery set in an elite boarding school with a secret society and loads of secrets and intrigue, you need to pick this book up! Oh my, this book was just so thrilling and riveting! It has been a
Christine Kelly
Oct 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: october-2020
Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Random House Children’s UK for granting my wish to read this book and in exchange here is my unbiased review.

Audrey is the American new girl at Illumen Hall and finds herself miles from home in a completely different world to everything she has ever been used to. Illumen Hall is an elite boarding school, with it's own rules, history, mysteries and societies and Audrey is a girl who is trying to escape the past.

Soon after her arrival, Audrey discovers that at the
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm always on the lookout for some really good new YA fiction, both as someone who likes a slightly lighter read from time to time and as a parent of a male bookworm who seems to be stuck in a dystopian rut when it comes to books but really enjoys a good old-fashioned story when well presented. There are so many YA books that just end up being too "girly".

Set in a private boarding school and narrated by the two main characters, one a stereotypical wannabe head girl (but not quite stereotypical p
Hannah Kendal
Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC of this book in return for an honest review! This review will be posted to my blog ( on the 29th, come check out the full review there :)

The book is told in split point of view and the way it's done is really interesting and honestly is something that I as the reader found innovative. It could have been done before, but it's the first time I've come across this way of doing split POV. The chapters are separate, but in parts of the boo
Denise Forrest
Sep 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Audrey arrives from the USA ready to start the year at Illumen Hall, an expensive English boarding school. Her room mate is Ivy, a lower sixth student who is at the school on a full scholarship. The two girls couldn’t be more different. Ivy is driven by a determination to succeed; Audrey is baffled by her new surroundings and haunted by something that happened at her previous school. When she finds out that the students are still grieving following the tragic death of a former student at the sum ...more
Holly Jayne | The Book Shelfie Blog
“I won’t cross the Magpies and the Magpies wont cross me”

Calling all Riverdale and Pretty Little Liar fans – This is a must read for you!

I had seen the synopsis for this title on Waterstones under their signed/special edition section and it instantly grabbed my attention. I quickly pre-ordered the signed copy and have been waiting for publication day to read it. Then something magical happened…I saw the title on NetGalley and was granted my wish! Now I really can’t wait for my signed copy to arr
Oct 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Like a Gossip Girl/Hogwarts/Mallory Towers mash up with a good dollop of teen romance, tween and young teen girls will really enjoy this book I am sure.

A popular and confident student, lined up for the head-girl role (or, as is pointed out the head-STUDENT role for those who identify differently) is found dead on the beach at the end of term party. The question is, did she push or did she jump? This is where ‘Voice Unknown’ (aka Gossip Girl) comes in with her podcast aiming to unravel the myster
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Want to see more...


Thank you Penguin Australia for this book in exchange for an honest review

Loving the fact that there are more and more murder mysteries being published! For so long it was such a select few that enjoyed this genre but now it’s winding up on all types of bookcases and I am SO DOWN FOR THIS! I am also really down with this cover, I mean look at it!
The Magpie Society is set in an English Boarding school with a mysterious history within the walls. When Audrey,
Dawn Woods
Oct 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
Audrey is starting a new school in sixth form at Illumen Hall, an elite boarding school – always a difficult time at that age, but especially when you have moved across to the other side of the world from America to England.
The school is not Hogwarts, but might as well be with its ancient buildings and almost castle like proportions.
We know early on that Audrey is trying to escape uncomfortable events back in the States, but not any detail.
But has she been catapulted into another strange situati
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in one day, I just couldn’t put it down. It is a YA mystery and it is definitely that.
Audrey is coming to Illumen Hall boarding school from America. Something happened to her in America and this is a new start for her. She is sharing a room with Ivy, who is supposed to be a very good student and who will help Audrey settle in. However, Ivy is none too chuffed to be sharing the room she worked so hard to get to herself. As Audrey tried to settle in, she learns that a girl was mu
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have watched Zoe's YouTube channel for a number of years, and have always been a bit of a fan so when I noticed this on Netgalley I quickly wished for it and thankfully my wish was granted. In all honesty, I would have bought it on it's release date anyway!
I have read Zoe's other books and found them to be okay, but not particularly well written and clearly aimed at a very young audience. This is different. It is aimed at a slightly older audience as some of the content is more mature (bullyin
Alice Myles
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House for providing me with an advance copy

I had such high hopes for this book but unfortunately, I just didn't love it! I think it was tailored towards a younger audience as the writing style seemed a little on the younger side although there was frequent swearing and references to slightly older themes it seemed that the authors didn't really know their demographic. I can usually never guess what's going to happen in a mystery book but I predicted almost
Laura - The Literary Londoner
The Magpie Society is the perfect YA book to curl up with on a stormy, autumn day. McCulloch and Sugg take you on a journey to a prestigious boarding school full of secrets, as their main characters Ivy and Audrey become unlikely sidekicks in trying to solve the mysterious death of pupil Lola.

After setting the backstory and context, the pace of the story really kicks up a gear in the final third of the book. As The Magpie Society is part of a series I didn't expect all of the loose ends to be ti
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
OK... I love Zoe Sugg. I've followed her on YouTube since 2014 and i buy pretty much anything she releases. I am an avid book lover and was disappointed with her Girl Online series, but when I heard about this book, i thought yes! Something a bit darker and grown up!

I managed to get early access to the book via @netgalley and to start with, i was disappointed. It took ages to get into the book. I felt there was too much description and not enough dialogue.

About 50% into the book and FINALLY it g
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was so excited when my wish on netgalley was granted for this book. I was looking forward to reading Zoe's new book in collaboration with Amy after enjoying reading the girl online series. Murder mysteries aren't my normal go-to books, but I do enjoy a murder mystery tv show so I thought I'd give it a go. I really enjoyed reading the book and at points I was gripped and couldn't put the book down. Even though the chapters alternate between characters, and as a result writers, you can't tell th ...more
Rebecca Rowlands
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I knew taking on book 1 of a series would leave me with a frustrating ending but gggrrr. My heart was racing so hard at the end just for it to end.

It's a great book though, I'd say for fans of Gossip Girl/Pretty Little Liars or A Good Girls Guide To Murder, it's YA at its finest. You have a creepy boarding school with unlikeable likeable characters and a great whodunnit mystery. Some really good red herrings and it's a book that you can't stop once you've picked it up, just be aware that there
adventuresinabookshop Jo DM
Overall this is quite an enjoyable thriller but at times a little cliched and predictable.

I liked the setting of a boarding school by the sea which helped build atmosphere, but I found the characters a bit unbelievable and relying a little too much on stereotypes for my personal taste.

Ending in a cliff-hanger I am interested to find out what happens next but I’m not sure it is enough to persuade me to read any more of the series.

I do think the series will find an audience with teen readers, mayb
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Zoe Elizabeth Sugg is an English fashion and beauty guru and internet personality. She is best known by her fans and viewers on YouTube as Zoella. She has a secondary channel, MoreZoella, which is primarily for her vlogs. She has collaborated with a myriad of other Youtubers as well as appeared in numerous magazines and won a Teen Choice Award. ...more

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