Monday, 10 February 2014

Review: Don't Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough

Title: Don't Expect Magic (Magic #1)
Author: Kathy McCullough
Release date: November 13th 2012
Publisher: Ember
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Pages: 247
Source: Author

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.

Even though she's not the pink and sparkly type, Delaney soon finds herself with a client: Flynn Becker, a boy at her new school who's hopelessly in love with a girl who doesn't know he exists. Flynn's wish is Delaney's command. 

With her customized black boots and chopstick wand, Delaney does everything in her power to make Flynn's wish come true. But what happens when a fairy godmother needs a wish of her own?

I didn't know what to expect from this book (Get it? Expect! Sorry for the bad pun.) but I ended up loving it! Don't Expect Magic is funny, witty, and definitely magical. What I loved most about this book? Delaney, hands down. She's so much like me it's scary! If I met her in real life, I know we'd be bffs instantly.

Delaney's been aloof ever since her mom died, and her only friend is a sci-fi obsessed chick who talks way too much. When Delaney is sent over to California to live with the dad who abandoned her and her mom, she knows she's going to hate it. But she discovers a secret about her father - something that means Delaney is a lot more different than she thought. Yeah, she's a fairy godmother. And she has powers! Delaney gets a client pretty soon, and she's surprised to find it's the goofy camera-obsessed boy in her chemistry class. She does whatever she can to make his wish come true, but things turn out quite unexpectedly.

I adored Delaney. Seriously. She loves boots, preferably ones with skulls and spikes. She wears leather and belts with chains. She's definitely not girly, and she doesn't really like children. She's sarcastic, snarky, and a little pessimistic. This chick sounds exactly like me, so of course I loved reading from her perspective! Some of her thoughts made me literally laugh out loud because of her snark. I connected so easily with her, from the moment we find out she pained red skulls on her suitcase, which is in the first chapter I think. Delaney is tough, and it's hard for her to let people in. Imagine her surprise when Flynn of all people gets her when no one else does!

I loved Flynn too, since he's just so hilarious and adorable. He's kind of a geek, always walking around with cameras slung around his neck, taking pictures. But he's really talented too. And quite the charmer in some cases! I loved the banter between him and Delaney. They really got to each other, and it was pretty funny seeing them make fun of each other all the time when you know they're going to end up together.

Watching their banter turn into a friendship was beautiful to see, and so was the friendship turning to something more. Although I'm disappointed that there wasn't too much of the latter. Spoiler alert - we don't even get to see a kiss! I'm glad I have the sequel to start right away, so I can finally see that.

Another thing I really loved about this book is that there was so much Chemistry in it! As in, AP Chemistry was the class mentioned the most, since Delaney, Flynn and Cadie (the popular girl Flynn supposedly has a crush on) are all in the same class. Delaney relates magic to breaking atomic bonds and activation energy, which I found beyond awesome. I love Chemistry, and nowhere in YA have I seen a concept related to it. So kudos to Kathy for doing that!

I don't want to say too much about the magic part, since I don't want to give anything away. I will say this - this book has a sweet representation of magic, and though it's more lower YA, I'm sure older people will love this too. The ending is cute too, and things tie up nicely. Though of course I can't wait to get started on the sequel! Don't Expect Magic is a quick but fun read. It's light and humourous, and I guarantee it will make you laugh.

*Thank you to Kathy McCullough for sending me a copy*

Rating: 4/5


  1. I've had this book in my shelves forever! I'm not gonna lie, the reviews on Goodreads hasn't given me enough motivations to read it. But I'm glad to find that you enjoyed it.

  2. Judging by your review this sounds like a really cute, sweet, funny read! I love banter, snark and slowly developing relationships, so this sounds right up my alley!
    No kiss, though? Really? :O

    Great review! :)


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