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Ratings and Book Reviews (7 62 star ratings
7 reviews

Overall rating

4.1 out of 5
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
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  • 25 person found this review helpful

    25 people found this review helpful

    25 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    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.
  • 6 person found this review helpful

    6 people found this review helpful

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    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.
  • 2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    Magical Murder-A Must Read!!

    I read Magic For Liars in one sitting---I couldn't put it down! Halfway through my power went out. No problem. I pulled out my mom's old vanilla spice candles and I finished this book by candlelight! Ivy Gamble is a Private Investigator who lives a normal, boring, (maybe a little lonely) life until she is hired to investigate a murder at the school where her sister works. 'The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages'. Not only does her distinctly un-magical self now have to deal with a very-magical case, but she also needs to navigate a reunion with her sister whom she hasn't spoken to in years. This book could have easily fallen into the same rut that so many books about magic schools do nowadays. Often they can become 'counterfeit Harry Potters' but this book didn't. However, neither did it ignore the influence the Boy-Who-Lived would have had on the students either. In the first chapter, it talks about how during the welcome back dinner students would joke about house-elves and pumpkin juice. But this linoleum-floored, blue-lockered magic school is very clearly not Hogwarts. A quote from Marrion Torres, the headmaster at Osthorne, sums the school up best. "At the end of the day, we're just a high school. (...) That means gum, graffiti, cell phones, sex-ed, stupid pranks, students smoking weed behind the bleachers." A refreshing and realistic change. I do wish we'd been able to meet more of the staff and students, but the characters we did have were fleshed out and amazing. Sarah Gailey also does a great job in making the reader doubt the accuracy of their guesses about who the murderer is. I must have gone back and forth half a dozen times! Although this is not a Young Adult book, I think readers of YA would enjoy this book as well as older audiences. I loved this book. I loved the characters, I loved the school, I loved the plot. The only problem I have is that I wish there was more.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    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!!
  • 1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    Excellent Setting and Solid Ending

    Setting a murder mystery in a magic high school is a cool move, especially when that high school is like Osthorne: exactly like every other high school. Even magical high school kids will play pranks, pass notes, swear, form cliques, and occasionally have a murder in the library. The school serves as the backdrop for a murder investigation when one of the staff is found dead in the library. Ivy Gamble, completely non-magical PI, is drafted in to solve the murder. Ivy also happens to be the sister of one of the professors at Osthorne. The novel really succeeds in its setting and resolution. The school is a fascinating setting and the limits of magic help to make a more believable coexistence of magic and non-magic worlds. The conclusion is also very well done, and includes a nicely done twist. The pacing of the plot felt slow to me early on but eventually settled in nicely. There are a number of pretty obvious clues/leads that none of the characters pick up on until a few chapters later which can be frustrating. Ultimately those issues did not really detract from my enjoyment of this novel which was a very fun read.

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