Cover Image: 14 Ways to Die

14 Ways to Die

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Member Reviews

This was an interesting story about a girl who is wanting to find the killer of her mother. Jess becomes part of an online reality show that follows 5 teens around and films everything they do. Each teen is picked because of some unique experience that they have. Jess's plan is to use this show to try and help her catch her mother's killer. Her mother was the first victim of the Magpie man and since her, he has killed 13 other people every 90 months. She using the show to bring more awareness to this serial killer and works to try and bring the family of all the victims together to prove that he hasn't beaten them. This is her last chance to try and finish what the police have been unable to do. It's a story about hope and loss along with the mystery of trying to find out who the Magpie man is without losing herself in the process.
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Trigger Warning: murder, serial killer, grieving, stalking, fear, domestic abuse, child abuse, attempted suicide & child endangerment.

Could you use social media to catch a serial killer? Would it stop them? Or make you the next victim?
That is what Jess wants to use the new social media show, The Eye, for. She wants to gain enough followers and viewers to hopefully catch the serial killer, known as the Magpie man, who murdered her mother, his first victim. But how much can you trust when everyone can hide behind a screen; fake leads, threats, pity. 
And when the killer seemingly stalks her, you have to wonder: is the killer actually the one doing this? Or is someone else doing his work while he watches behind the screen?

I found the chapters and entries really refreshing, which kept my interest, as thrillers can drone on for me sometimes, but the short chapters helped. Jess wasn't that emotionally; she spoke about her pain more than she felt it, for the first half and then the real fear and raw effect of grieving hit. 
While I really enjoyed the red herrings and clues and false leads that we got during the book, I still was a little disappointed by the wrongful arrest, and the REAL villain reveal. I totally understand that this is realistic because sometimes the killer is someone you never expect, but this book had such a great build-up that it disappointed me.
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When I saw the reviews for this book on Goodreads, I was confused because I thought this book looked excellent and upon reading it, I was right. I absolutely loved this book and I think Vincent Ralph is a great writer. I can't even begin to express how much I love really short chapters. There was no fluff and that's exactly how I like it. I loved the social media elements, catching a serial killer, the ups and downs, and the twists! I will be recommending this book to EVERYONE.
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I really wanted to like this book. The premise is extremely unique and not something that I have every come across before. However, the mystery felt extremely lackluster because there were issues with the pacing of the story. This book could have been significantly cut down and entire plot points omitted without anything necessary being taken away from the story. This would have not only improved the tension building (as it is, the slower parts impede any sense of danger that starts to build) but also made the story more fast paced and exciting. As it stands, trudging through the "boring" parts made it hard to keep going to get to the next action scene.

One positive that this book does have going for it is the short chapters. I find short chapters to be great for getting reluctant readers reading because it makes the book go by faster, but ultimately, that could not save the book. It was fine. It was readable. But it will leave readers ultimately feeling kind of "meh" about it in the end.
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Every nine months someone is murdered, and it started with Jessica’s mother.  

When giving the opportunity to go online and share her story, and try to catch the serial killer who killed her mother, Jessica had to try.  As the story goes, Monday’s being followed and put on a media show for viewers everywhere to see, we know for sure one certain person is watching. 

This was a well done story. A fantastic debut story.The idea of using social to make this idea happen was so clever. The characters were all well done, the story was well paced, there were so many questions and possibilities, you didn’t know exactly what was coming next. I was highly interested, and almost felt like I was one of the viewers on record day, and then continuing to watch and listen after even. Definitely a good read, and I highly recommend it. Five out of five for me. 🎬🎬🎬🎬🎬
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Okay, wow! I loved this - it's been a while since I've sat & devoured a book in less than a day, but this encompasses everything I love about YA thrillers: fast-paced, great characters, original storyline, solid twists - all set within the realm of a YouTube reality show with a true crime angle.

When I opened my Kindle & saw there were 144 chapters, I nearly died - but, don't despair! The chapters are really short & most leave off on a cliffhanger, you'll fly through the pages trying to figure out what's coming next! I loved Jess as our protagonist here, she was confident & driven, yet also vulnerable - I wasn't expecting the story to delve into grief as much as it did, but the author did such a great job with it. It added so much depth to Jess & her father, as well as the other "left behinds", & made her journey to catch the Magpie Man that more harrowing. Sometimes the story moved a little bit too quickly, but at the same time all the pieces game together great in the end.

I had such a great time with this & would highly recommend it to those looking for a fun, fast-paced thriller! I think this would translate amazing on screen, too (fingers crossed!) Thank you so much to Vincent Ralph, NetGalley & Sourcebooks Fire for providing an ARC in exchange for a honest review! (4.5)
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Seventeen year old Jessica is out to use social media to catch a killer.  Jess's mom was murdered only a min from her home and the killer has since taken 12 other lives leaving no clues behind. I enjoyed the story and the twists but the short chapters felt choppy with all the breaks. I was also frustrated with the ineptitude of the officers but I guess if they were any good then there wouldn't be a story to write. 3.5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and publisher for an eARC of this book in return for an honest review.
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I really wanted to like this one but unfortunately it was not for me. The writing style got repetitive pretty quickly and some of the sentences read oddly and I had to go back and reread because of the wording. I wish the book had started in a different place in the story as well so we had gotten to know Jessica and root for her before she went on the show. This book definitely read to me as on the younger side of YA and unfortunately ended up not being particularly memorable.
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This was a good YA thriller / murder mystery. The premise of the murderer was freaky, and I think this would make a solid horror movie. The character depth was pretty limited, but for a YA book, I felt that the characters were decently believable. The impact of social media on this story is a chilling reality of the world we live in. I would like to believe that the police are better at solving mysteries than the officers in this book, which I felt was a disappointing angle. The book was a quick read, and I think reading it over a short period made it seem more real and scary. 
Thanks to SourceBooks and Vincent Ralph for the #netgalley arc in exchange for an honest review.
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"We put our lives out there in all sorts of ways - on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and Snapchat - but it's always edited. We handpick our best moments and hope the world gives a shit."

Ten years ago Jess's mother was murdered.  She became the first victim of a serial killer, dubbed The Magpie Man by Jess's father.  Jess's mother's death has broken her family.  Her father now just a shell of his former self.  But Jess has a plan to catch The Magpie Killer before he kills again.  She is taking part in a YouTube reality series to spread the word that The Magpie Killer is still out there and needs to be caught.  

This is a smart, modern YA thriller. 

While the world watches Jess search for the killer, the killer is also watching Jess and he is playing with her. Murder number 14 happens ahead of The Magpie Man's regular schedule and he taunts Jess with clues he leaves on the body.  But every time Jess wants to quit, the grief of 14 families and her own determination keep her going.

With red herrings, and a twisty plot, this is a thriller that will keep you guessing until the end.

A recommended read for fans of edge of your seat murder mysteries of any age.

Thanks to Netgalley and SourceBooks Fire for the eArc for review.
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We live in an age where social media can skyrocket someone to fame, or absolutely rip them to shreds, and that theme is played on in this book. 14 Ways to Die by Ralph Vincent is about 17 year old Jessica, and her quest to find the serial killer responsible for her mother's murder. Jess's mom was only the first victim of the Magpie Man, but there have been many more since, and not a single clue ever left behind. Now Jess sees her chance to finally drag this monster from the shadows, using a YouTube show where her life will be livestreamed every Monday, along with a group of other kids. The other kids may be in this for their 15 minutes of fame, but for Jessica, the subject matter couldn't be more serious, and maybe even deadly. 

I had a few issues with this book. I wasn't really into any of the characters except Jess's dad, and there was no development for him. Jessica had one personality trait: my mother was murdered, and I cannot function until I, alone catch her killer. I had hoped that we would get a sharper look into the dangers of ubiquitous social media and what it can do to someone, especially someone who is vulnerable. That's not what I took away. There was tension and action in the final 30% of the book, but we spent a long time getting there, and I think some of that could have been trimmed. 14 Ways to Die is sure to be a hit with the younger YA readers, and there's plenty of gasps and guesses for everyone else, if you're patient. I'm giving this one 2.75 stars rounded up to 3. Thank you to SOURCEBOOKS FIRE and Netgalley for the chance to review this advance copy.
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I enjoyed this book! I totally agree that it was perfect for fans of a good girls guide to murder and Karen McManus. It also dove into grief and I thought that was a very powerful and necessary mental health representation.

My only issue with this book was the word “Magpie”. I looked it up, so I know what it meant, but to this American reader, that word sounded kinda cute. It had the word pie in it! This cute connotation took away some of the creepiness from the serial killer, but the creepiness was regained in other aspects.

Overall, I would def recommend this book to students!
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thank you so much sourcebooks fire for this arc!

3.5/5 stars for me!!

this book will definitely have you at the edge of your seat.. in the last 20% of the book. the book starts off slow and at time i felt i was forcing myself to get through it but i’m glad i did! i think this book handles grief very well, and shows the different affects it has on people! the concept of the youtube show to catch a killer is brilliant, but the main character, jessica, isn’t someone that’s very cultivating i felt often i didn’t resonate with her character. but i will say you won’t know who the magpie man is off rip! it’s not a predictable ending, but i did have an inkling or two towards the end of the book! this book definitely mimics a good girls guide to murder more so than one of us is lying. either way, it was an enjoyable read!
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This is a very well written YA book! It grabs your attention and you cannot put it down! It is a crime thriller with a twist and I was hooked very early on.
Great how they incorporate social media! The tone and pace reminded me of Small Spaces by Epstein.
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ARC provided from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

This book was so slow to start and didn't really pick up fast enough to hook me in entirely. The story was unique--a murder mystery with a social media twist and I enjoyed that. The shortness of the chapters didn't really appeal to me much and I actually got a little distracted by it and was tempted to put it down on multiple occasions. I persevered however, and got into the story more as it progressed. As a thriller/horror fan, I wasn't too impressed with the story but it wasn't awful. I did enjoy the several points in the story that were "red herrings" intended to guide the audience away from the identity of the real killer.
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14 Ways to Die by Ralph Vincent is the story of Jess and her hunt for the Magpie Man, the man who killed her mother 10 years ago. This is a crazy book but I know if someone harmed/killed someone I love I would stop at nothing to make sure justice was served.

Jess was seven when her mother was brutally murdered in the alley right next to her house. Her mother became the first victim of a serial killer her father would later name the Magpie Man. Being a seven-year-old, there wasn’t much Jess could do in the ways of seeking justice but now that she is seventeen and is offered a chance to become a YouTube reality star she will stop at nothing to make sure this horrible monster is caught and that no other family has to suffer the way she and her father have.

There are a lot of character building moments throughout the book. Jess grows from a girl who has a one-track mind to a girl who starts to see the bigger picture and realizes that she and her dad aren’t the only ones who have been torn apart by this tragedy. Jess also comes to realize that she has been very selfish in thinking that her dead mother trumped everyone else’s problems.

The beginning of the book is a tad boring as it is setting up everything and giving us the backstory but once I got to about the halfway point I flew through the rest book in about an hour. 

In the end, this was a fun and twisty book and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to read this early from Sourcebooks Fire.

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.

My review will be up on my blog and Instagram closer to the release date
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"Mom was thirty-two when she died, the first victim of a man they still haven’t caught. Number one on a list that now stretches to thirteen.
So if you ask why I want to be one of the five people to star in a new online show about them and only them, it’s pretty simple.
I want to catch the Magpie Man, and this is how I’m going to do it."

What a ride! Honestly, I LOVED the blurb of this on NetGalley, and only realized when I saw the other additions of the novel on Goodreads that I've actually had this on my TBR since last year, when it was called Are You Watching?. Clearly I didn't feel to motivated to read it then. What a difference a trendy cover and new title can make!

This was a fun take on a YA thriller. I loved the incorporation of social media and online sensationalism to catch a killer. I wouldn't be surprised if something like this actually happened (or has already happened!)

There were a lot of red herrings. Every time a new character was introduced, especially a male one, I found myself suspicious. It was really fun trying to parse out the real clues from the trolls, the set-ups, and the anonymous tips. I thought Jessica was a great protagonist; a girl defined by her mother's murder, who essentially also lost her dad when he lost his wife, a girl determined to solve the crime no matter what. She toed the line between brave and reckless perfectly.

Was this the perfect mystery? No. I found the final clue that set off the final chain of events to be a bit flimsy, some of the red herrings weren't explained the best, and I didn't feel much of a payoff when things finally come together (except for the very end. iykyk!) Nonetheless, it was a fun read!
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To be honest, I am quite surprised this got published. Frankly, I thought it was trash. I was promised that 14 Ways To Die was ‘perfect for fans of A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder and One Of Us Is Lying’ and that it was a girl trying to avenge her mother’s death by finding the killer through her YouTube channel. Instead it was a bratty teenager manipulating her dad into letting her go onto this reality TV show, a fake mystery, and then her not solving the mystery anyway. It just went on and on and on until her friend’s mum spilled the truth (the mum didn’t do it, but she knew who it was and basically explained)
Jess, as a main character, is so bratty. I wanted to slap her. Her mum was murdered when she was seven, and she uses that as an excuse to tell everyone that their emotional pain and home situations aren’t valid because their mums weren’t murdered when they were seven. She does this to an ex-friend of hers, and the ex-friend literally tries to kill herself her home situation is so bad. Jess is self-centred and doesn’t care about anyone else. 
I have no clue where this author is from, but I’m willing to bet it isn’t the UK. I feel that if you’re going to set a book in a real-world place, at least do the research on the place. Make sure it makes sense. Alice Oseman’s books all make sense because the author actually knows about how British Secondary Schools work. (She attended one herself, but it’s not hard to find out). 14 Ways To Die was so chaotic with its setting, I couldn’t tell where Jess was. The author kept mentioning places in the UK but in the end the whole thing just felt vaguely Australian. 
Also, the dynamics between characters. Jess and her friends are Year 11s. Or 10s. I couldn’t tell.  No matter where they are from (whether this is based off of his impression of girls this age from where he is from), I have never seen a Year 11 friend group act like this. It was like three nine year olds, with too much freedom. Jess was a bad friend, and they just took it. (Again with the invalidating other people’s problems! We get it! Your mum was murdered! But the rest of us also have problems! You are not the first person to ever suffer!)
I had to consider my rating of this book for ages, and in the end I’ve settled on one star, because I am struggling to find anything that I liked. Also, I felt that there was subtle racism in that Hanna’s name is spelt Hanna as opposed to Hannah and that we’re told it’s because they can’t spell, because they aren’t English. 
I know that this is just my opinion, and that I’m just one person, but I cannot emphasize how disappointed I was by this book. It really didn’t live up to the expectations I was set up with. I read this in one sitting, and the amount of times I was tempted to just give up and tell the publishers who sent it to me that I couldn’t get through it, and that I was sorry were astronomical. There aren’t many books that I’ve disliked as much as this one. I definitely won’t be interested in buying it when it comes out. I know it’s hard to write a mystery, but there’s a difference between writing a mystery and being too lazy to have your main character work it out themselves.
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<i>"We keep what we want to remember.  We hoard what we can't live without."</i>

This was fun, y'all!  I'm always worried it'll be too angsty with a YA book, but this heroine was a little ball of determination.  It's got an 'everyone's starting to look a little suspicious' feel.  Kind of like an Agatha Christie novel set on Youtube?  Yeah.

I really enjoyed the fresh perspective genre-wise.  I didn't think I would, but I was intrigued and it paid off.  The characters were interesting and as I said, tension was high.  The ending didn't feel rushed or abupt; I'm feeling pretty satiated.  I s'pose that's a recommendation.
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Wow! This was a great read and I know a TON of my students would buy into it. Ralph did a great job meeting the reader where they are at and tieing in social media. In a world where we are so engaged with the media, we need to find a common ground with the readers, he did a great job. Something that I thought was also interesting was the very short chapters- this made it such a fast-paced read and would be very encouraging for all readers. 

The book was about a girl who has the opportunity to star in a live Youtube channel every Monday. She uses the platform to remind the world about her mom who was murdered by a monster she calls the "Magpie Man". Through the live show, she intends to find this man. You follow her through her journey!

Overall, I have the book 4 stars because there were some repetitive elements to it. However, I felt the plot was very well developed and Ralph did a great job. 4/5 stars!
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