November 18, 2011 by Alice in Readerland
Title: Don’t Expect Magic
Author: Kathy McCullough
Age: 12 and up
Hardcover: 256 pages
Published By: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (on November 8th 2011)
“Delaney Collins doesn’t believe in fairy tales. And why should she? Her mom is dead, her best friend is across the country, and she’s stuck in California with “Dr. Hank,” her famous life-coach father—a man she barely knows. Happily ever after? Yeah, right.
Then Dr. Hank tells her an outrageous secret: he’s a fairy godmother—an f.g.—and he can prove it. And by the way? The f.g. gene is hereditary. Meaning there’s a good chance that New Jersey tough girl Delaney is someone’s fairy godmother.
But what happens when a fairy godmother needs a wish of her own?”
Would it be wrong to say that part of the reason I had to get this book was because I loved the cover so much? Because I love those boots and the beach setting (although I’m not exactly sure one would be wearing those boots on the beach in real life)!
Anyway, I guess one thing I should say is don’t expect (a lot of) magic in “Don’t Expect Magic”. That’s not a bad thing by any means, but I just want to say that if you’re reading this specifically for the whole magic part, then you’re probably going to be disappointed. Before you find out about fairy godmothers and magic, you’re introduced to Delany, her back-story, and what’s currently happening. Delany doesn’t seem like a likely candidate for being a fairy godmother (for example, her custom-designed boots feature things like the devil or dragons) and that’s exactly what makes her perfect.
This was a very cute read and the first chapter got me hooked (sarcastic Delany is on a plane stuck talking to a fairy-tale loving little girl). I loved how Delany and her relationships actually GREW through the course of this novel and there were also lots of other well developed characters (I have never heard of a dad who is a fairy godmother before).
Delany has a believable and fun voice full of wit and teen angst and her descriptions of the settings are hilarious as she goes around trying to make wishes come true with a chopstick being used as a wand. Her comments on her dad’s life coach books and sayings will be enough to make most reader’s laugh. Oh, and for you boot-lovers out there, there is A LOT of talk about boots in this book.
I hear there’s a sequel in the works, although this book can stand alone.
Cynical Cindy Says:
I heard that this was the author’s debut novel and it shows in some places. For instance, there are some parts with a little too much complaining by Delany and it just got plain tiresome and repetitive; these and some other pages I felt could have been cut out. I also could tell the outcome of the whole “love triangle” (yeah, I put it in quotation marks for a reason) between Delany, Flynn, and Cadie way before the end of the book.
All in all, I give it 5 out of 5 teacups.
You can also check out the author’s website where you can find fun links like to her twitter and to Delany’s own website .