Release Date: May 8th, 2012 by Bloomsbury
Details: 288 pages, hardcover
Genre: Middle Grade > Fantasy > Magic
Source: NetGalley (Thank you NetGalley & Bloomsbury!)
In Abby’s world, magic isn’t anything special: it’s a part of everyday life. So when Abby learns that she has zero magical abilities, she’s branded an “Ord”—ordinary, bad luck, and quite possibly a danger to society.
The outlook for kids like Abby isn’t bright. Many are cast out by their families, while others are sold to treasure hunters (ordinary kids are impervious to spells and enchantments). Luckily for Abby, her family enrolls her in a school that teaches ordinary kids how to get around in a magical world. But with treasure-hunting kidnappers and carnivorous goblins lurking around every corner, Abby’s biggest problem may not be learning how to be ordinary—it’s whether or not she’s going to survive the school year!
Ordinary Magic is about Abby. Her world is pretty much opposite of ours; people who can cast magic are normal, those who can't, aren't. Abby comes from a family where her siblings are very high on the magic scale (especially her sister who I believe is a 9) and they're a very nice loving group of people. So when Abby comes back and they realize she's an Ord, they give her nothing but full support. I suppose it helps that her high ranking sister also works for King. So she puts Abby in a school for Ord's where they teach them how to live without magic (sounds awful, right? lol).
It was interesting how the author spun the fact that living with magic was normal where doing normal things like hand washing dishes (instead of poof'ing them away -- where do they go anyway?), cleaning areas, learning self defense and studying were such a hassle! While Abby doesn't leave the school much, I thought the world building was fantastic. Every time they would travel from home back to the school (on a magic carpet!) I could clearly see what they saw. I loved how close Abby and her family were and how much they cared about Abby even though she was an Ord. I loved the tone of the book, how it felt like Abby was sitting with you, telling you this story (complete with her side comments). It helped me feel a connection with her.
I enjoyed the parts having to do with Barbarian Mike and his wench Trixie. They were so frustrating and they just did not know when to quit! Seriously! Even though they annoyed me to no end, I still enjoyed their appearances. Mostly because I was more interested in how Abby would react. But geez, talk about desperate!
I also really liked Fran, and how her writing was always in a tiny font to emphasis she was was a tiny person. And Peter! Even though he was a jerk most of the time. When he wasn't he could be really sweet, especially to Abby. I also liked the teachers after getting to know them, they weren't so bad.
While I did enjoy this read (for the most part) and the adventure, there was something missing. It didn't completely pull me in. I can't really figure out why :(
"Gil slept through his," I said.
"Gil is a very special boy," Mom said. "And possibly narcoleptic."
Minotaurs are a strange race. They're magical beings - they can interact with, or manipulate, or use magic, what ever the right word is. But they choose not to lots of times, and that freaks out some folks. I guess they think it's simpler to just punch someone in the face, the old fashioned way.
"But Peter's not suffering, he's just being mean."
Olivia pinched my cheek. "you are so totally cute, I can't even deal."