Bonnie (A Backwards Story)'s Reviews > Ordinary Magic

Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway
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's review
Feb 02, 2012

bookshelves: 2012, fantasy, middle-grade, fabulous-books
Read from May 06 to 08, 2012

Also check out my guest post with author Caitlen Rubino-Bradway on World Building and an awesome interview with cover designer Donna Mark!

ORDINARY MAGIC may be a middle-grade novel, but it's super-easy to sink into and get immersed in. Interestingly, the novel was original aiming to be for teens, but was reworked as MG. Caitlen Rubino-Bradway's voice is fresh and will pull readers along for the ride. I loved the way the main character, Abby, narrated, and felt the voice was lively and amusing. Her world building is also innovative; if you missed yesterday's guest post featuring how she put everything together, check it out now because you're in for a treat!

The world of ORDINARY MAGIC turns everything we think we know upside-down and inside-out, creating a topsy-turvy world where magic is part of everyday life. Simple things such as turning on the shower, cooking breakfast, and opening up a dresser to get dressed in the morning are made easy with magic. When citizens turn twelve, they undergo Judging to determine how powerful their magical abilities are. This in turn determines where they go to school. If they're really powerful, they'll go to schools the equivalent of Harvard, Oxford, etc.

As the novel opens, Abby is really excited about going to her Judging. Unfortunately, she's declared an "Ord," an ordinary person without a lick of magic. Ords are often treated unfairly and sold or stolen; they often die young. Treasure hunters often want them because Ords can walk through magical traps unaffected. Ords are also able to walk into banks and people's houses in order to rob them because they're unaffected by the spells that keep everyone else out, so they're also considered dangerous. As soon as Abby is labeled an Ord, she's discriminated against. She's kicked out of school and her town advertises her availability to treasure hunters. Her family, however, refuses to give her over to a harsher lifestyle and sends her away to a school designed exclusively for Ordinary citizens, one that's hidden away and seldom heard about. Once there, Abby finds herself adjusting to life in new ways, while still managing to have her own adventures.

One of my favorite aspects of ORDINARY MAGIC (aside from Rubino-Bradway's amazing use of voice) is the way she showcases the family unit. There are so few books out there with a strong, caring family unit. The Hale family really reminds me of the Weasley family from the HARRY POTTER series. Everyone's close-knit and genuinely cares about one another. I loved seeing such a positive message in the novel. I also liked the way the book looked at prejudices and showcased one pre-teen's journey to accepting her differences and finding ways to fit in and belong. This book is great on so many levels, and there are so many interesting characters that readers will encounter in Abby's world. I'm really hoping that Rubino-Bradway and Bloomsbury grant us a sequel!
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Reading Progress

05/07/2012 page 51
18.0% "Loving the presence of a strong family unit, as well as the written tone of voice!"
07/28/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Gina (My Precious Blog) Oh, I started this one a while back. Its really cute and fun. I'm not supposed to be reading it yet, but when the author sent it to me I couldn't wait. So, are you doing her Blog Tour, too?

Gina (My Precious Blog) So, I finished up too. What did you think? I really liked the author doing everything in reverse of most MG fantasy novels, instead of a kid coming into powers with a family who doesn't want them or a non-existent family, this author took the opposite approach: a kid without powers in a magical world with a family who loves them anyways.

Bonnie (A Backwards Story) I didn't get a chance to start it before the ARC expired, and then I ran into Fairy Tale Fortnight and didn't have TIME, and then, well, I HAD to re-read Kristin Cashore so I could read BITTERBLUE on time!! But it was the very next book after all that! I'm so glad I got to it!

It's super fun. Yep, I'm on her tour, too, though I'm still not sure of the date and want to try to confirm that this week. I know what we're doing, though, at least <3

I agree; I LOVE the opposite way of this novel. And I love the strong family unit, which isn't in nearly enough novels for this age group. I also love how creative the entire idea of NOT having magic in a magical world is. I had so much fun with this book!

Justin Turczak Still reading it slowly. But thanks for the suggestion again. I just suggested it to someone else

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