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Don't Expect Magic

(Magic #1)

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  1,374 ratings  ·  236 reviews
Delaney Collins doesn't believe in fairy tales. And why should she? Her mom is dead, her best friend is across the country, and she's stuck in California with "Dr. Hank," her famous life-coach father—a man she barely knows. Happily ever after? Yeah, right.

Then Dr. Hank tells her an outrageous secret: he's a fairy godmother—an f.g.—and he can prove it. And by the way? The f
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by Delacorte Press
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Average rating 3.54  · 
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 ·  1,374 ratings  ·  236 reviews

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shady boots
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4.5 stars!

This book was so fluffy!

The story tells of Delaney Collins, an artistic, spunky girl who moves to California to live with her father, Dr. Hank, due to her mother passing away. Delaney has to deal with a very perfect, happy-go-lucky atmosphere that she isn't used to, and also the fact that her father is a fairy godmother─or godfather─and she might be one as well.

Delaney reminds me of Hartley from Deadly Cool. She probabl
Nov 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Pretty fun read; nothing way too in depth but a feel good comfort read. I always have to give authors kudo points for making me laugh because I find it hard enough to make people laugh even with voice inflection and facial expressions.

Each character’s personality stood out from one another, but I can't help but feel that it was more because they were cookie cutter stereotypes than really just letting the characters sink in (if that makes sense?). I know one of the lessons to the book was to be
Nasty Lady MJ
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Okay, I really, really, tried to get into this one, but I couldn't. It had a cute setup. I mean, the whole f.g. thing seemed pretty cool, but it sort of failed on it's face. It might have been in part due to my instant dislike to Delaney. I get that she's been through a lot and McCullough was trying to depict her in a realistic manner, but I just couldn't warm up to her. She just came off as very immature. And yes, I know she's a teen, but I wanted to shake her a couple of times through the book ...more
I tried to read this book, but it was a DNF for me. The storyline was a little dry and it stalled in getting to the actual meat of the story. The book did not keep my interest and I ended up skimming through the book to see where the magic came in to play and what was up with Delaney's dad always disappearing. I may attempt to reread this later however, I make no promises for this one. ...more
Nov 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Don't Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough follows Delaney who moves to California to live with her estranged father, a famous life coach after the death of her mother. Delaney feels blinded by the sunshine and positive attitudes in California and longs to go back to New Jersey when she finds out a secret. Her father is a fairy godmother, able to make transformations to fulfill wishes and Delaney may be one too.

I loved this book. It was cute and quirky and filled with great characters and a bit of m
Jun 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Pretty cute story about a girl finding out that her absentee father is really a fairy, godfather.

It wasn't mind-blowing, but I'm giving it a full 3 stars because the author went against typical stereotypes in this book. The beautiful cheerleader wasn't EVIL, and the kids at the school were more accepting of the Strange New Girl than she was of them. In YA, that's a pretty strange twist all in itself.

It's a really quick read, but a worthwhile way to kill time.
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted at City of Books

I didn't know what to expect from this book (Get it? Expect! Sorry for the bad pun.) but I ended up loving it! Don't Expect Magic is funny, witty, and definitely magical. What I loved most about this book? Delaney, hands down. She's so much like me it's scary! If I met her in real life, I know we'd be bffs instantly.

Delaney's been aloof ever since her mom died, and her only friend is a sci-fi obsessed chick who talks way too much. When Delaney is sent over to Ca
Jan 06, 2012 rated it liked it
According the law of conversation of mass, matter cannot be created or destroyed. So how would you transform your ratty PJs for a slinky red dress? Through physics and chemistry…and you know, a handy fairy godmother to make it all happen. What if you don’t what to be a fairy godmother? Tough cookies, you really have no choice.

That’s where Delany is right now. Apparently her no-good dad, Dr. Hank, is a fairy godmother (who ever said f.g. has to girls?) and the gene is hereditary.

Delany is far fr
Alanna (The Flashlight Reader)
May 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, middle-grades, 2011, ya
At first, I didn't really like this book. I was on page 170 or so and didn't feel any "magic" so to speak of. But then, WHAM! It all made sense. Originally, I was told this book was about something totally different than I what I anticipated. (I can't help but wonder if the book's rep actually read this one or not.) I had built up this image of some hilarious fairy godmother misadventure in my mind, only to be disappointed when I realized this wasn't what the book was about. Yes, there is a f.g. ...more
Lilly Bergman
Nov 24, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had a long droned out review all done up in my head, but I just finished the book so my mind is still numb from all the blah that is this book.(If you can even call it a book, more like 'a reasonable idea, that was massacred' before it was printed.)

I first found this book on Goodreads, it was one of those giveaway's so I entered. It looked nice and had okay reviews, so when I didn't win, I ordered it from my library. I was really looking forward to it, but because I was reading other things i
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Every now and again you find a book that warms your heart in a nice, good feeling kind of way. What's even better is this book I feel is something most people from 10 years and over could read. The story follows Delaney who's having a really bad time; firstly her mother whom shes lives with all her life dies, she is then made to move with her Dad who she hardly knows and holds much resentment for and also has to leave her best and closest friend behind. Add to this her Dad is a 'self help' Life ...more
Alice in Readerland
Would it be wrong to say that part of the reason I had to get this book was because I loved the cover so much? Because I love those boots and the beach setting (although I’m not exactly sure one would be wearing those boots on the beach in real life)!

Anyway, I guess one thing I should say is don’t expect (a lot of) magic in “Don’t Expect Magic”. That’s not a bad thing by any means, but I just want to say that if you’re reading this specifically for the whole magic part, then you’re probably go
Autumn (Triquetra Reviews)
I loved this book. Delaney Collins just lost her mom. We don't know why, but we do know that her mom was sick, from the sound of things I'm assuming cancer. She has to move from her home of New Jersey to where her father, Dr. Hank, lives. Dr. Hank is a life coach who sells a lot of books on the subject and is all khakis and tucked in polo shirts. Delaney, who wears leather books and rocks a "don't talk to me" kinda vibe, hates him, as she has for most of her life. You see, perfect Dr. Hank rarel ...more
Amber Wortz
Mar 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Amber Wortz
Modern Fantasy

"Don't Expect Magic," by Kathy McCullough is a young adult modern fantasy novel about Delaney Collins, a teenager who has moved across the country to live with her father after her mother's death. Delaney knows that her dad is a famous author and life coach, but she has no idea that her father is a modern day Fairy Godfather. Soon after finding out, she discovers that she has the fairy gene and she will also be able to grant wishes after practice. Her new ability helps h
Cait S
May 15, 2015 rated it liked it
There's something you need to know about this book up front:

For at least 60% of it, you will hate the main character. This is not an option. It's not an opinion. It's fact. She is the single most unlikable twit I have ever had the misfortune of sitting through for the sake of a cute plot.

But, almost like magic, she gets better. She becomes sweet and friendly and...enjoyable to read about. Where at the beginning I was only rooting for her in the "rooting for get punched in the throat" by
Jun 18, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult, 2012
I think this is technically YA, but it was so fluffy and light and silly that I imagine it appealing more to Disney Channel fans of the 8-10 year old range. Plus, it fits the Disney mold. Dead mom? check. Clueless dad? Check. Pseudo-rebellious-sort-of-angry-punk-chick (a la Wizard's Alex)? Check. Cute boy? Check. Fairy Godmothers? check. yikes.
The characters had zero depth. Delaney, the main character, grieves for her dead mother hardly at all, yet we're supposed to believe that they were incred
Jun 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This book actually gets 3.7stars but that is not an option. It was a sweet book with a sweet ending. However it was really short. The characters were really well developed. the plot line wasn't that captivating but fast enough that I did not get bored. I really liked the main caracter. Her and her boots were so awesome. I wish I was as talented as that but unfortunately all my desgins are still on the sketch pad and will probably never come off. ...more
Mar 22, 2015 rated it liked it
It was a bit slow at the beginning, but right in the middle it started getting a lot better!
Delaney was hard for me to relate to as the narrator, but she grew on me.
It's a very good idea for a book, and I was a bit skeptical when I started it. I was pleasantly surprised though, and I absolutely loved the ending! It all just went together nicely and now I can't wait to get the next one!
Feb 19, 2011 rated it liked it
I love how snarky and sarcastic Delaney was. I try to be nice to everyone, but sometimes you just want to be the bad chick. The romance was really sweet, and I liked how she dodn't automatically get powers, she had to earn them. Excited for the next book! 4 stars. ...more
Apr 21, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked this book. I felt like it could have been a little more detailed and longer, though!
Gracee Jones
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really liked the book, "Don't expect magic", because I like realistic fiction. Also because the author included plot twists which made the book really interesting by changing the whole story. My favorite part of the book ,"Don't expect magic", was when Delaney decided to go to the beech to be with Flynn so she could tell him that she liked him. This book made me get mixed emotions, until I actually finished the book which made me happy. Throughout this book it changed my perspective about the ...more
Samantha Ing
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book has life lessons that we need to learn. What I loved about this book is that it has taught me to be myself and achieve my dreams. Delaney's mom died and she always thought of her mother and how much she loved her. Then her dad enters in her life and she hates him because he has been absent for 13 years of her life. Little did she know that he was hiding a secret that he is not just "Dr. Hank", he is a fairy godfather, and that explains why he didn't want her to know. What Delaney thoug ...more
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Russell Ricard
Jan 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Great protagonist. Witty voice, quirky and badass 15 year old, Delaney. Enjoyed the magical elements, comedy of errors/identity aspects as they relate to romance and life decisions. Interesting exploration of father-daughter relationship dynamic. Also really loved how underlying grief plays into storyline--teenager Delaney having to deal with her mother's death. This question comes to mind while reading the novel: In life and love is what happens to us, including what we deem fairytale magical, ...more
Jun 10, 2019 added it
wow, this book was amazing and also funny to read. please try to read is not only about magic but it shows you a dad and daughter reuniting after the death of her mother. and she gets adapted in this whole new world where everyone is happy and kind to one another. In her school everyone is so kind even the head cheerleader, now we all know that the cheerleaders are the most mean people and does nos want anyone better than her. Please read the book as it twists and turn out into something y ...more
Olwethu Dlamini
i enjoyed the book as it started with a conflict between father and daughter and discovered family secrets that the girl later on found out about and the fact that the girl was unique and had her own sense of style and i loved the fact that she is stubborn when she has set her mind on helping someone and i really enjoyed the drama of her fighting to have a good relationship with her father and find the love of her life who was unexpectedly right in front of her disguised as some annoying camera ...more
Laura's Book Addiction
"Magic is a superficial fix. It only alters the surface, and it doesn't last. People need to transform within."

Don't Expect Magic is a super quick and cute read. Can you imagine finding out you're dad's a fairy godfather and once you've processed that you then decide to see if you've inherited any fg powers. What happens next is a series of hilarious moments but some lovely father & daughter moments too. The slow burn romance was paced perfectly but didn't distract from the main storyline.
Kaylee Dolat
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A chopstick wand, personally designed boots, and an attitude free of sparkles.

Honestly, this book was unique because of Delaney! When you hear fairy godmother you think pink tutus and sparkly wings, right? Wrong. The author threw a character most likely to be voted dangerous outcast and gave her an unpredictable power. The power to grant everyone else's wishes. Despite her newfound powers, Delaney never loses sight of her true self and never loses her lovable teen attitude.
Kevin Warren
May 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
For a short read it took a very long time to get going. The first five chapters quickly became quite tedious. She's a moody teenager who hates everyone and everything. I get it. I didn't need that message reinforcing over five chapters, almost a third of the book. The ending was a huge disappointment and the combination of these two factors have given rise to the low rating. ...more
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Love For Books: Don't Expect Magic 5 10 Mar 22, 2015 05:24PM  
Why the inappropriate cover art? 3 36 Aug 15, 2013 02:08PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Don't Expect Magic - 5th May book 1 2 May 16, 2013 10:35AM  

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I'm a novelist and screenwriter living in L.A., author of Don't Expect Magic and its sequel Who Needs Magic? ...more

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