Katrina Leno really took a dark turn after Summer of Salt (another favorite book of this year) with You Must Not Miss. This story is dark and creepy and violent. in the best way. Personally, I find revenge stories very satisfying and intriguing and Magpie really takes it to the next level.
Magpie is a high school student whose parents are separated, her best friend ditched her, and is struggling to hold on to her happiness. To escape the dreariness, loneliness, and thoughts of self-hate, Magpie has a yellow notebook where she has created a secret world all to herself called Near. And in Near, Magpie can do anything she wants.
Everything changes though once Near goes from being just an escape fantasy living in a notebook to a full fledged real place and her world will never be the same.
The thing I love most about this book is that you are rooting for Magpie, you are hoping she gets what she wants and that her revenge goes well because you like her, you feel for her. On paper, Magpie could be seen as the bad guy of this story and that’s if you don’t care about the complexities of the human experience. Leno does such an amazing job building Magpie with every flashback and thought that once shit starts to go down, you’re right along with her.