Don't Expect Magic, by Kathy McCullough

Kathy McCullough's debut novel Don't Expect Magic has a lot going for it: it's suitable for a wide variety of ages, it manages to be inspirational without being cloying, and—best of all—it's a standalone! (You guys know how I love those.)

After losing her mother, fifteen-year-old Delaney Collins is shipped across the country to live with her father. Delaney loathes everything about her new life (which includes attending the world's most aggressively cheerful high school), but she's angriest at her dad, whom she blames for years of semi-estrangement. She is absolutely determined to keep her father at arm's length, but she has no idea how to react when she discovers his deepest, weirdest secret: her dad is more than just a platitude-spewing professional life coach—he's actually a fairy godfather, and she seems to have inherited his wish-granting gene.

Of all the books I've reviewed this month, Don't Expect Magic inspired the least mental fidgeting. McCullough's story is easy, uncomplicated fun, with a solid “depend on yourself” message and a pleasantly low-key romantic subplot. I doubt I'll remember much of it six months from now, but I enjoyed reading it, and if I had, say, a 12-year-old niece with a budding interest in fantasy, I would totally buy her a copy for Christmas.

Review based on publisher-provided copy.
Posted by: Julianka


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