Kind of a Mixed Bag

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Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an early copy, for free, for honest review.
I'm not really sure how I feel about this. I didn't love it as much as I thought I would. I liked it, but it didn't blow me away. The writing was good, it definitely kept me reading. I was just expecting something different because of how much I had hyped it up in my head.
Ivy Gamble kind of reminded me of a mash-up of Aunt Petunia and Jessica Jones. Aunt Petunia, because she's a little bitter about being the normal, non-magical sister. Jessica Jones for the PI profession and heavy drinking. Ivy Gamble does not possess super strength or a Vernon Dursley. So it's a mash-up of specific parts of those two characters, not the whole bag. Ivy is a very somber character, who is kind of heavy on the self-pity. She's not magic and she's got some jealously about that, jealousy that she really can't get over. She's a bit of a loner too. She just doesn't scream happy or contented person.
Throughout the book, Ivy kind of confused me. She kept acting, trying to be somebody else, while doing the job at this magical school. She wasn't secure in just being herself. And the lies she told ended up coming back to bite her. I just don't really understand why she had to lie about herself.
There were also some weird sections in the story where it gave the impression that this was a past event that she was recounting from the future. It only happened a couple of times, but it was a little jarring.
The murder mystery aspect didn't feel the most pressing at times. It didn't have the punch that I was expecting. The victim was almost just a body, and nothing else. And it wasn't hard at all to figure out who-done-it.
The ending of this book is lacking and not very satisfying. The reveal of the murderer didn't shock me. The reason why they did it was like trying to give them a pass. There were no consequences. To me, it was not a conclusion to the story at all. Even the very end of the book wasn't an end. It was unsatisfying.
As far as the magic school setting went, it was very much understated magic. There were some cool bits, but not many. It was pretty much just a regular high school with just little hints here and there of magic. It was more of a gritty tale than a magical one.
I enjoyed Magic For Liars, but I didn't love it. I was expecting something more from it. I enjoyed the premise of it. I enjoyed the writing. It was an easy story to get through. I'd definitely read more from Sarah Gailey. I just wanted an ending that actually felt like an ending. I need closure in my stories. I'm glad I got to read it.

Kind of a Mixed Bag