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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5
5 Stars
31 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
33 reviews have 4 stars
3 Stars
23 reviews have 3 stars
2 Stars
3 reviews have 2 stars
1 Star
1 reviews have 1 stars

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All Book Reviews

  • A great book with interesting characters.

    This book was not really what I was expecting. And, to be honest, when I finished, I wasn’t sure how to feel about it. Let’s start with what I did like. The book was very well written, the characters were very real, and the plot was interesting. My attention was kept through every page in the book as I really wanted to find out what was going to happen next. The characters really felt like real people with very real failings which leads me to something that bothered me. Ivy, the main character, really bugged me at times. She was filled with such angst about not having magic I wanted to tell her to grow up. She’s in her early-to-mid 30s; she’s had plenty of time to get over that. Another thing that bothered me, which I can’t really say much about or I’ll spoil the whole book, was how it ended. I was pretty sure I knew part of how the murder went down, but there was a better way to tie the events together that would have made a tighter and tidier…event-ender (again, vagueness to keep from spoiling it). However, I did really enjoy this book and I do recommend it. I was provided the e-book which I voluntarily reviewed.

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    29 person found this review helpful

    29 people found this review helpful

    29 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Meh...

    This book sounds like it will have everything I love. A mystery, magic, and spunky female detective. It has a great premise, one twin has magic and the other doesn’t. The nonmagical twin enters the world of magic to solve a murder. However, there wasn’t much magic, which would’ve been okay if there had been more to the story. My first issue was Ivy has been a detective for 14 years, but she never worked a murder case before. Or any serious case. The excuse for bringing her in was she knows magic is real. That would’ve worked better if magic wasn’t a known secret. Magic and people who can wield it are everywhere. Tabitha was discovered to have powers by her kindergarten teacher, so it’s hard for me to believe that there are no other investigation agencies in California with a detective who knows about magic, and there certainly should be one who can wield it as well. The only reason why Ivy should’ve been brought in is if there was a twist. But there was not. There was also no sense of urgency. At one point after a week Ivy even says she’s not sure if she should feel accomplished with her few clues or like she is lagging behind. I also didn’t like that no one seemed broken up about the death of a teacher. Sad sure, but in passing. We knew as much about the victim as someone would learn from a 30-second news report. “The death of 3(?) year old beloved teacher Sylvia (I can’t remember her last name) who was found split in half in the Osthorne School library has been ruled an accident by police. She will be mourned by everyone there”. A murder investigation was done, but there was no research done on the life of the victim. There was even a journal found, but we didn’t get any insight into Sylvia’s thoughts, wants, or needs. Finally, the murder is solved, and there is a sort of twist but nothing shocking. I also was disappointed that the book ended without addressing what seemed like could have been a magical power that Ivy had. Honestly giving this book 3 stars is rounding it up from the 2.5 I think it actually deserves. It’s not a poorly written book it’s that the story doesn’t take advantage of interesting possibilities presented.

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    8 person found this review helpful

    8 people found this review helpful

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Magic as it might actually be used

    Magic for Liars throws off the notion that magic imbues people, institutions and settings with some kind of higher moral standard simply by virtue of its existence. The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages is no Hogwarts, rejecting the setup that everyone magical is automatically accorded a certain level of "goodness" except for the few (Slytherins) clearly delineated as evil. Author Sarah Gailey's magical teens are, first and foremost, teens. They - and their teachers - use magic as a tool. Sometimes for good, sometimes for ill, sometimes for the merely mundane. Locker graffiti, passing notes, keeping students away from the staff coffeepot...much to the chagrin of non-magical Ivy, who believes magical people should afford a weightier gravitas to their power. Against the backdrop of a gruesome murder, Magic for Liars forces readers to consider that magic is not a force for good - it's just a force, and whether it results in good, evil, or neutral actions is entirely dependent on the person wielding it.

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    5 person found this review helpful

    5 people found this review helpful

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Big Little MAGICAL Lies!

    Wow! I really, really enjoyed this book! I've seem blurbs calling this a grown up Harry Potter or a great book for Harry Potter fans. So of course this made me really excited to check the book out! And then reading the synopsis... a magical, murder mystery! Get out of here!! So I was most definitely intrigued! And I have to say this book did not disappoint! After reading it, I would say it's not so much a grown up Harry Potter but a The Magicians meets Big Little Lies. And oh boy did that combo make for one great story! Ivy is a PI, but not a mage like her sister. She knows about the magical world so she gets roped into investigating a death at a nearby magic school. This story was just so well written. I couldn't put it down. I liked the characters. It was well written. I wanted to find out what happened! If this book sounds remotely interesting to you, you should definitely check it out!!

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    5 person found this review helpful

    5 people found this review helpful

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Thought I guessed the plot twist - NOPE

    This book was a fun and easy read. The main character, Ivy Gamble, was quite likable and pretty relatable. She's struggled with the fact that her sister lives in this magical paradise and she does not have the same abilities. I think the best part of the book was how it portrayed what the reality of magic would be like. Even though the synopsis sounds similar to Harry Potter, it's not even comparable. This story shows what teens would ACTUALLY do with their magic, which I really enjoyed. I also really liked the authors writing style; I would definitely pick up their other work in the future. Something I was not too fond of was the pacing. The story takes place over a week's span, but it feels like much longer. If you are not a fan of detective stories and the process of detective work, this is definitely not for you.

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    6 person found this review helpful

    6 people found this review helpful

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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