"The Crowns of Croswald" by D.E. Night
Although I had a lot of fun reading it, I couldn't help comparing The Crowns of Croswald to Harry Potter, the whole time. Both books contain too many similarities for The Crowns of Croswald to shine fully. There are castles, magic schools, quills, cauldrons, magic, ghosts, balls, and more.
One thing that separated the two is the use of different gadgets, specifically the Compass Collectis. I won't go into more detail, but some of the various mechanisms were very cleaver.
I also enjoyed the main character, Ivy. I thought she was very relatable and lovable.
Overall, the biggest blessing and curse are the constant parallels to Harry Potter. Since HP is one of my favorite series of all time, it was hard for me to separate the two. If you enjoy YA magic schools, then I highly recommend this one for you.
About the book:
"For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic—and her life—is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever." -- Goodreads