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Unfamiliar Magic

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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  112 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Desi is a witch. And she knows she could be a great witch—if only her mom would teach her any spells. Unfortunately, Desi’s mom is more concerned with keeping them safe and their abilities hidden.

When her mom leaves town under mysterious circumstances, it should be Desi’s perfect opportunity to explore magic on her own. But Desi has been left in the care of the most unusua
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Hardcover, 357 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 346)
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Crystal
Alright, I thought this book was really funny. I didn't think that the main plot was that interesting really, but I always wanted to know what was happening with Cat.
Claire
Jul 25, 2010 Claire rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Middle school
There is a lot to like in the book the characters are appealing and unusual.
Valerian and Callida have a daughter Desdemona who will be very powerful. Callida flees with Desi at birth, she fears that Valerian will use Desi's power to his own ends.
Twelve years later we have this story.

Desi is confused and angry with her mother who abruptly leaves her with her familiar, a cat with the lovely name, Devalandnefariel. The cat is changed into a human (now called Cat) so she can be a more effective pr
...more
Crowinator
Desi, teen witch, wants to learn more magic, but her mother is refusing to teach her much more than simple baby spells. When her mom runs off to deal with some unknown danger (that turns out to be Desi's semi-evil warlock dad, who is still miffed that Desi’s mother left him and went into hiding), Desi figures she can now start to experiment on her own. Cue wacky hijinks, at least until Desi's dad finds out where she is and attempts to win her over with a mix of actual fatherliness and crazed pow ...more
Kat (Lost in Neverland)
You will die laughing when you read this book.
I promise.
You'll still be laughing even in your grave.

That's how hilarious this book is.

<3
Claire
There is a lot to like in the book the characters are appealing and unusual.
Valerian and Callida have a daughter Desdemona who will be very powerful. Callida flees with Desi at birth, she fears that Valerian will use Desi's power to his own ends.
Twelve years later we have this story.

Desi is confused and angry with her mother who abruptly leaves her with her familiar, a cat with the lovely name, Devalandnefariel. The cat is changed into a human (now called Cat) so she can be a more effective pro
...more
Sally
Unfamiliar Magic Random House, 2010, 353 pp., $17.99
R.C. Alexander ISBN978-0-375-85854-3

Have you ever wished that magic were real? Well for Desdemona (Desi) it is real. Not just like the kind of magic tricks you see on T.V.. She’d be a very powerful witch if only her mother would teach her. Over the course of Desi’s life, her mother Callida, Desi and her familiar Devalandnefariel (nicknamed Devil, who’s form is a cat), have moved all over the world. Desi doesn’t even know why. Whenever Desi asks
...more
Mallory Beckler
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deeken
Okay. First of all even though a girl is on the cover it doesn't mean a boy can't read it. I did. Second of all this book was a roflol kind of book. My mom kept having to shush me. I kept laughing and finally had to read it somewhere else. It is a realitvely short book I thought. I hope the author has made another book because this one was awesome! I haven't checked I know. I also know I haven't posted a book so I thought I would post some of my more recent books. So try this book out. If you're ...more
Delilah Nelson
How do u read it????????????????????
Anthony Faber
Very good kids' book. Particularly good depiction of a cat turned into a person.
Suzanne
This is a first novel, and fairly uneven. What makes the book enjoyable and worth the read are the parts with Cat as a human (she's transformed from a witch's familiar into a human form to better protect the teenage daughter). The author does a great job taking typical cat behavior and showing what it would be like if a human did the same thing:

"Would you like some salad, Cat?"

"No, thank you. I do not wish to throw up now."
earthy
A fairly predictable story with marginally interesting characters and a few interesting twists. Younger readers will probably enjoy the antics of Desi, a twelve-year-old witch in training, and Cat, formerly the familiar of Desi's witch mother, now turned into a teenage girl to look after Desi while her mother is mysteriously missing. I didn't really see much that was original here, though overall the book is moderately enjoyable.
Michelle Rebar
Oh, I finished this a while ago but I forgot to come back and mark it read and review it. I promise I will as soon as I get a chance.

In short, this is an adorable and fun book that anyone who loves magic and cats absolutely MUST read! Seriously, I laughed until I cried in parts because of some of the things that Cat did. I'll give it a proper review soon, but don't miss out on this one!
Jocelyn
This book is about a girl, named Desi, who is a witch. one day her mom leaves her and turns her pet cat into a teenage girl, who starts dating the boy next-door at the mall and makes him pay for everything (later, they find the mom's credit card). It turns out her mom is on the run from a powerful wizard (Desi's long lost father), who befriends Desi in an attempt to kidnap her. This book is fine.
Roxann
This was a wonderful book. Desi (a witch in training) is learning spells (mostly from her mother's book of spells). When her mother leaves she turns the cat into a human to help take care of Desi. This is a fun book to read. I laughed a great deal between Desi's mistakes at magic and the cat trying to learn how to act like a human. Enjoyable!
Daria
Unfamiliar Magic is a good book about a teen witch named Desi and her cat named Devil. Her mom runs away to save her daughter from evil that is coming. Devil gets turned into a human and watches over Desi while her mom is gone.

I think that this book is a good read. I would definitely recommend this book to friends/family.
Katterley
I really liked this book and would recommend it to middle graders that enjoy a good magical coming-of-age (teenage, that is...) story. It was fun to see things from Cat's perspective. Also good for kids whose parents aren't together, because Desi has to face that. Really enjoyable read.
Nora-adrienne
I've been reading reviews of this book since it came out. I finally managed to snag a copy from my local library. I enjoyed it very much, but I'll admit that I did skip past a bunch of pages which I felt were slowing down my enjoyment of the book.
Sydney-Michelle
I was surprised by how good this book was. It was a different sort of fantasy/magic, not a Harry Potter wannabe, but it wasn't a thick dusty novel where you had to take forever to learn all about this new magical world.
Deeva
This is one of those book that went by to fast and you didn't want to end! It literally made me LMAO! this is not something you read in the library. Her cat becomes a human and tries to fit in. I really hope there's a sequel!
Isabelle V
Unfamiliar magic is a fairly happy book, no deaths. I felt that it was a tad predictable. Its a good for people who like happy endings
Debbie
My 12 year old daughter read this book and loved it. I read it as well and absolutely loved it!! It is humorous and well-written.
Lily
It was okay but it has some parts in it that i don't think should be in a children's book.
Kathryn
Apr 06, 2010 Kathryn marked it as to-read
Yay, cats!!!
jo mo
Nov 02, 2014 jo mo marked it as dropped
April'10
Renee
Dec 09, 2012 Renee rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 4th-6th
3.5
Cory
Cory marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2015
Bridgette
Bridgette marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2015
Natalie
Natalie marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2015
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