Monday, February 20, 2012

Don't Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough


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?

I've had this on my wish list for a while as I love a fairy godmother story and I knew that this would have a great deal of potential to be fun. The start is fairly low key and the Delaney we meet has just lost her mum and is grieving. Even worse she has to go and live with her life-coach dad in California when she'd rather stay with her friend Posh and her family. Delaney's short-term goal is to find an immediate way to get back home and put the whole west coast disaster behind her. She's obviously upset by recent events but Delaney's obviously been grieving for the loss of a relationship with her dad for many years. As a result she's snarky and spikey.

School is the disaster she expects but then she discovers that Hank is a fairy godmother and that she is too. I couldn't see how such a turnaround in character and outlook was going to happen but that's the fun thing about this book. Bit by bit everything that Delaney tries to protect; her heart, her unassailable defences and her hermit-like existence are chipped away. I loved Cadie, the head cheerleader, who pushes against the expectation that she be the bitchy queen bee. I also think that the underlying message of this book - that everyone is not what they seem and you should take time to get to know people - is a good one.

This is a short read, fun and probably for a younger audience - twelve-year-olds would probably love this but it's a little too light perhaps to call this a YA read. Nonetheless it was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon when you want entertaining.


Shelley said...

Fairy godfather is a much better career choice than "life-coach"!

Jenni said...

I love the cover! Sounds like an enjoyable read.

Unknown said...

Arghhh you have another one on my wish-list. You have been peeking haven't you ;D
I love the sound of this book although as you have said it is suitable for younger readers I would have to share it with the girls ;D