Britt's Reviews > How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin' Days

How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin' Days by Megan O'Russell
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*this review contains minor spoilers*
How I Magically Messed Up My Life In Four Freakin' Days is the definition of, "well...that escalated quickly." (It's also the story of my life).
How I Magically Messed Up My Life is a comedic fantasy novel about a kid, Bryant, who finds a cell-phone that, well... Magically messes up his life. I don't know if the author fully intended 'Humor/Comedy' to be a subgenre of the book, but it certainly has funny, relatable elements — everyone feels like they've Magically Messed Up their life every now in then. Only, Bryant actually does.
There is an element about this book that confuses me, though. In my opinion, the title and cover and the summary and the way the main character, Bryant, acts strongly reminds me of a Middle Grade book. In fact, when I accepted this book to review — based SOLELY on title and summary — I 100% went into it thinking I was about to read a Middle Grade book. The plotline and how the storyline read like Young Adult, though, which is what confuses me — Bryant is reportedly seventeen-years-old, but he doesn't really act like a seventeen-year-old. His narration and the way he acts remind me of a much younger teen — in my opinion, he reads more like a twelve or thirteen year old. So, that's why the Young Adult placement on Goodreads confuses me. It's unclear (to me, at least) what the audience level of this book is supposed to be.
The audience level confusion made this book a little hard to read in some places. I think the plot was interesting — especially the escalation of the plot events themselves — but there were points where I became so wrapped up in how Bryant sounded that I couldn't really focus on the plot. ESPECIALLY when Elizabeth became involved. I understand having a crush, but everything about this particular crush read like something from middle school, not high school — and especially not from a seventeen-year-old. Bryant's argument with Devon about Elizabeth was especially ridiculous. All I could picture were two children arguing on a playground.
I think this book was strongest in its beginning and in its build-up to the point where they... made alliance(?) with Eric. After that, though, it... I don't want to say it "became bad," because I do not think this was a bad book, but it lost the allure it had at the beginning, and I think it lost that appeal for two reasons:
1. As I said before, there were points where I was too busy focusing on the middle grade-sounding narration.
2. The alliance with Eric.
Now, like the others, Eric was not a bad character. In fact, at the beginning, I thought he was a rather strong villain — especially in the apartment. However, the alliance confused me because... why would they trust a creepy man who was trying to kill them in their first encounters? I mean, I read the book so, obviously, I know WHY Eric was chasing after them, but it just seems sort of suspicious. Do Bryant and his friends have no concern over the fact that he might turn around and try to kill them again? His reasoning, to me, did not seem strong enough. And, again — their trusting nature might be believable if they were YOUNGER (Read As: Middle Grade age), but they're not. Bryant is 17 years old, for crying out loud. Didn't his mother ever teach him not to put his full trust in strangers? ESPECIALLY strangers who were trying to kill him upon their first meeting?
Overall, as I said, this was not a bad book. And I think it could totally have its appeal for fantasy-readers — though I've never read the series, it kinda gives me Harry Potter vibes. However, the intended audience level is still quite confusing... and the first Harry Potter book is meant for Middle Grade/younger YA. So... I would recommend it, I'm just not sure to what audience.
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Reading Progress

July 17, 2018 – Started Reading
July 17, 2018 – Shelved
July 18, 2018 –
19.0%
July 18, 2018 –
37.0%
July 18, 2018 –
56.0%
July 19, 2018 –
73.0%
July 19, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018
July 19, 2018 – Shelved as: aayaa-authors
July 19, 2018 – Shelved as: adventure
July 19, 2018 – Shelved as: dreaming-reviews
July 19, 2018 – Shelved as: fantasy
July 19, 2018 – Shelved as: fiction
July 19, 2018 – Shelved as: indie
July 19, 2018 – Shelved as: realistic-fiction
July 19, 2018 – Shelved as: reviewed
July 19, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
July 19, 2018 – Finished Reading
February 12, 2019 – Shelved as: ecopies
March 18, 2019 – Shelved as: male-mc
June 2, 2019 – Shelved as: middle-grade
September 26, 2019 – Shelved as: female-author

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