Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway

In Abby’s world, magic isn’t anything special: it’s a part of everyday life. So when Abby learns that she has zero magical abilities, she’s branded an “Ord”—ordinary, bad luck, and quite possibly a danger to society.

The outlook for kids like Abby isn’t bright. Many are cast out by their families, while others are sold to treasure hunters (ordinary kids are impervious to spells and enchantments). Luckily for Abby, her family enrolls her in a school that teaches ordinary kids how to get around in a magical world. But with treasure-hunting kidnappers and carnivorous goblins lurking around every corner, Abby’s biggest problem may not be learning how to be ordinary—it’s whether or not she’s going to survive the school year!

Genre:  Middle Grade Fantasy
Publisher Type:  Traditional
My Rating: *  *  *  *  *

My Review:

Ever since Harry Potter, readers of all ages have been scouring bookstores' middle grade shelves looking for the next great magical adventure and Ordinary Magic is it!  Two words to describe it?  Crazy Fun!

I really can't help but continue on the Harry Potter thread here because if  you took HP and turned it inside out and upside down, the results would be Ordinary Magic.  Here we are introduced to a world spilling over with magic.  So common is it that people don't know how to function without it. Magic can negatively affect children, so families are careful to avoid their children being touched by magic until they are twelve.  At that point their level of magic is tested.  And the worst thing ever is discovered.  Abby is without magic.  She is labeled an Ordinary.  With the social stigmatization of being diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, Abby's family is encouraged to toss Abby out like trash or sell her like property.  She is considered a curse, less than human, maybe dangerous, treated as contagious.  Luckily, much unlike the Durselys, Abby's family loves her and views her as they always have, an adored daughter and sister.

It would be easy for me to continue on telling you of the plot.  It's such a fantastic story!!!  Alas, this is a review not an extended synopsis.  Sigh.

So onto the review...
Incredibly well written, the OM world is vividly described and every character has depth and personality.  Even our antagonists are well-rounded  and not merely BAD.  I love, love, love Abby's family.  Each member is unique and special and I really want to know them more.  Abby is a brave and tough, but in a very twelve-year-old way.  There's lots of adventure and suspense and a few hints of romance.  I enjoyed every moment of this book and would happily stand in line (as I did for Harry Potter) for the sequel.

Cover Art:
I'm sort of indifferent to this cover.  I don't know that it would grab my attention enough to pick it up at a bookstore.  I was actually drawn to the title most of all.


  1. wow! what a review! sounds like something my oldest son would adore!

    i AM a big fan of the cover... but it really hits many of the big points of my particular aesthetic swirly lines, colorful-dynamic skies, and silhouetted trees... but i can see how it doesn't tell much particular to the story.

  2. Great review and though I've never heard of this book before -> now I want to read it as well! :)
    Going to search for it right now! Thanks
    greetings Tina

  3. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of this one! It sounds so good.

  4. I don't usually go 'lower' than YA but i really got into this book. For me it really was the next Harry Potter just as you said - Abby Hale was crazy good fun to spend time with and do i have to tell you how much i LOVED that family of hers? Heres hoping there is a 2nd book in the works because these were people i want to hang with some more
    PS - Really great blog but i hate having to put 'anonymous' because i don't have a google or other thing. What are 'hotmailers' to do??

    1. So glad you stopped by!!! I'm sorry about the 'anonymous' thing. Maybe try using the name/url? You could use your goodreads or fb account as your url, maybe. I tried googling and didn't find a good answer.