Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Review: Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway

Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway
Pages: 288
Release Date:  May 8th, 2012
Date Read:  2012, February 24th - March 1st
Received:  ARC via NetGalley
Rating:  4.5/5 stars
Recommended to:  10+







SUMMARY -
Abby is about to be tested for magic - will she be a Level 5?  A 6?  She comes from a very prominent family, where everyone uses magic well; her older sister tested at Level 9!  But when Abby is discovered to be an Ord, a non-magical human, she is cast out by the society around her.  Ords are unnatural - they are usually sold to Adventurers or the Guild.  Abby's parents, of course, refuse to sell her, and find a place for her at Margaret Green School, a place where where Ords learn how to protect themselves and live in a magical society.  When Adventurers strike, seeking slaves, and the students are in danger, Abby and her friends muster all the courage and wit they possess to outsmart the enemy.

MY THOUGHTS -
Already I have the winner for the "CUTEST book of 2012"!!  This is is, ladies and gents!  Ordinary Magic is stinking adorable.  And not only that - it had me laughing out loud all the time, and loving every second.  The way Caitlen Rubino-Bradway portrays everything through stellar writing and her brilliant story-telling style had me applauding for more.

While absolutely everything about Ordinary Magic was just adorable, my favorite thing about it was the humor.  In character, in conversation, in their way of life - I still giggle when I think about Gil, or Abby's hilarious sarcasm, etc., etc.

CHARACTER NOTES -
Abby, her family, the mages, her friends at school, the Adventurers, the King - all brilliantly done!  There was no need to tell the reader who all these people were because the reader is shown from page 1 with crystal clear imagery.  Because of this, I want to say each and every one is my favorite and tell you why, but that simply can't be done.

Abby's voice is realistic and funny.  I love her.  Like, want-to-be-best-buds love her.  She's spunky, determined, and totally sweet.  She can have a bit of temper but is really mature.  Talk about perfect character building...

Peter, Fran and Fred were awesome.  I love that Fran always speaks in a whisper, Fred is everyone's buddy, and Peter can be a total jerk, but deep down is a totally great guy trying to figure things out.  I'm hoping, in maybe another book - romance for Abby and Peter? :)

Mom and Dad, Abby's parents, are some of the most hilarious parents I've ever read about in Lit.  I could relate to them on a personal level because they remind me of my parents.  Not in every way, but enough to make me love them even more than I would have originally.  They were SO funny, always teasing their kids and making jokes.

But.  My favorite.  He would have to be Gil, Abby's older brother.  Oh, my gosh.  He's such a riot!!  I was NOT expecting such hilariousness from him, and about him from his family, but he proved to be the biggest source of laughter for me.  I. LOVE. HIM.  The twist about him in the end just made me burst into hysterical laughter!  I'm cracking up just thinking about it!!

STORY NOTES -
Think:  fun, adventure, magic, kinds, bad guys, and lots of wit.  I love when kids have to outsmart the bad guys ("Home Alone" style!), and Ordinary Magic had plenty of that.  There were a few scenes that were a bit slower than the rest, but never boring.  The pace is otherwise consistent and actually pretty fast.  (It took me a bit longer than typical due to a crazy week, but normally I could've finished a book like this in 2 days!)

Every scene has a purpose.  I love that about Ordinary Magic: nothing is unimportant or out of place.  I also love the originality of the idea.  Instead of a magician surrounded by non-magical people, it's the other way around.  And it's just as fascinating to read about!

I also love the mix of cultures.  Kings and castles mixed with boarding schools, mixed with city life and fairs and magic carpets.  (I LOVE magic carpets!)  It's flipping awesome!

SUMMING IT UP -
What's not to love?  This book is all sorts of awesome fun.  There's no reason why you shouldn't have this on your TBR.  Add it now - you won't be sorry!
Recommended 10+


6 comments:

  1. Gina/Scot CallawayMay 8, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    What a grand review.  I read this book, finished it yesterday.  I still need to write my review, but you have done a fantastic job of summing it up.  It really was a cute book.  I really liked Abby and how she never really complained she didn't have magic.  She just sort of accepted it and went on with her life.  My favorite aspect was how the author chose for Abby's family to be so darn supportive.  This is a rarity in books I read lately.  There's is a lot to be said about the power of a strong family bond, huh?

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  2. Really good review ;) I'm been seriously thinking about it but I don't know how to feel about such a young narrator. But you make me want to buy it!

    Haley@www.passingthepages.blogspot.com

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  3. What Gina/Scot said. For the longest time it seemed like fiction directed at kids had messed up family lives or no family at all. One thing about OM that i really got into was how Abbys family was strong and fun and supportive but at the same time real. You kind of know where Abby gets her wits and sense of being okay with her 'unmusical' state - because her family loves her as she is.

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  4. Thanks for the comment, Gina! :)  I totally agree with you - the family dynamics were superb! :D

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  5. It's so true, Elie!  I love this about the book!

    Thanks for the comment! :)

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  6. I heard some good opinions about this book and I liked your review. Maybe I should read Ordinary Magic someday.

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