Sunday, December 18, 2011

Don't Expect Magic

This young adult novel by Kathy McCullough will appeal to many audiences, but I'd say it is a story that many high school aged girls would enjoy as a Christmas gift. Delaney is a young girl from New Jersey, whose mother has recently died, and is shipped out to the west coast to live with a father she barely knows. As she struggles to get to know her father, fit in with a new town and school where everything seems bright and bubbly, dark and dreary Delaney struggles to find her way.
The interesting thing that brings Delaney and her father together is a secret that he has. While he is known as Dr. Hank, the renowned self-help author, Delaney discovers that his gifts really come from an unusual secret: he's a fairy god father. This comedic element directs the story away from Delaney's depression toward her inner search to see if she has inherited her father's gift.
The best aspect of this book is the unique "fairy" angle. McCullough does a great job creating an interesting tension between the reader's expectations of a fairy godmother and the rough and rugged Delaney who is as far away from pumpkins, balls, and glass slippers you could ever find. Her signature clothing is her boots which she designs herself. Equipped with skulls, flames, and blood, her boots garner lots of attention and a weary attitude toward her. Her progress in breaking down this rough wall of separation is an interesting part of the plot's development.
A light, clever story that will appeal to many.