Saturday, December 1, 2012

Book Review: Don't Expect Magic

Author: Kathy McCullough
Publication Date: November 13, 2012 (Paperback)
Publisher: Ember
Series: Magic # 1

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?

“It shouldn’t be called Murphy’s Law, it should be called Delaney Collin’s Law, because I’m living it. If something can go wrong, it does, and anything bad just gets worse. I don’t even want to be on this plane. But I had no choice. For now, anyway.” – Paperback Copy pg. 1

“Principal Lee continues with the welcome speech anyway. ‘We have lots of fun electives to choose from,’ he says, and forces a typed-up list on me. ‘They’re all wonderful opportunities to interact and blend.’ Blend? What am I, a fruit smoothie?” – Paperback Copy pg. 32

“‘So you’re actually a fairy godmother?’ I laugh, but it sounds creepy in my ears. It’s the laugh of a crazy person. That’s what that is. I’m not sleeping or hallucinating. I’m going insane.” – Paperback Copy pg. 62

“What Posh refused to believe was that I hadn’t inherited the f.g. gene. Despite my moment of doubt before I fell asleep last night, and my French-fry-fueled dreams, this was the one thing I knew for a fact: I am so not the fairy godmother type.” – Paperback Copy pg. 78

“In seventh period, I text Posh from the library computers to tell her what happened. There are so many exclamation points and all-caps in her response that I glance around a couple of times, worried that her digital yelling is audible.” – Paperback Copy pg. 95

When we first meet Delaney Collins, she is on a plane headed to move in with her father, not something she is most excited about. We learn that her mother has recently passed away, and now her only option is to move in with dear, old dad or “Dr. Hank,” as Delaney calls him. Delaney is pretty down on her luck and only wants to find a way to escape, until she learns a secret that will change her life forever. Her father is an f.g. or better known as, a fairy godmother. Hesitant at first, Delaney soon embraces what she has learned and is hot on the trail to see if she has the powers of an f.g. as well!

Delaney Collins is one of the most witty, yet cynical characters that I have read in awhile. Delaney is a big part of the pleasure of reading this book. She has a lot of brainy one liners, which I was constantly writing in my notebook. Her character is artistic and way too intelligent for her own brain! There were small added details about Delaney that made her all the more real to me. For example, she has a thing for black boots and she often gets creative with them and adds new designs to her boots and even roller skates, this is why you see black boots on the cover. Delaney is going through a spell of grief and devastation when we meet her, but even then I still love her character.

This story is just plain cute! I loved the magical aspects that were woven in and I don’t think I have read very many fairy godmother retellings. We always get the Cinderella stories, but never the fairy godmothers. I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone, but one could argue that Delaney is in fact a Cinderella character! This was like a coming of age story in a way, but the whole time Delaney was trying to get a hold of her new f.g. powers and learns to use her magic. She starts out a bit na├»ve and clumsy, but eventually gets the hang of it. She has to learn to use her heart and not her head. Delaney just wants to fit in and be accepted, just like most teens, I was happy to see her start to break out of her shell once she discovered that she was unique and had a purpose.

The best part of this book is the story between Delaney and her dad, Hank. They have never really had a relationship until now. She lived with her mother, while she was alive, and hasn’t seen her father in years. From the start I wanted them to mend their relationship and even before I knew much about it, I already liked her dad. I loved how they bonded over the fairy godmother stuff. You would expect it to be a mother and a daughter, but I actually really enjoyed the twist. This story is super fun but short. I was done before I had even started; I guess that’s a good thing that I wanted it to last longer!

***A big thank you to the author, Kathy McCullough, for providing me with a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review***


  1. Omg, a book about fairy godmothers?! that sounds amazing!!!! haha! Will definitely have to check this one out! :D

  2. I liked this book. It definitely was a cute read.