Review: Ordinary Magic

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Ordinary Magic by: Caitlen Rubino-Bradway

My Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

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!

Beware spoilers ahead!

This book was recommended to me by Sierra! Click on her name to read her review. 

I heard about this through Twitter. Sierra was doing one of those 1 click= 1 book and out of curiosity I looked at the thread. Out of 50 plus reccomendation’s Ordinary Magic caught my eye. I love reading Middle Grade especially books with magic in them! I was happy to see that this was in my library. While this wasn’t what I was expecting I still enjoyed it!

The book begins with Abby and her family getting ready for her Judging. Abby has been looking forward to this day. She can finally practice magic! She’s a bit nervous about the level she’ll be and the Judging in general. Luckily her whole family are going to support her.

Once Abby and her family reach the place where she’ll be Judged they go their separate ways. Abby to be Judged and her family to wait. Abby is told that she needs to step through a barrier and then her test will begin. She does so but nothing happens. Abby doesn’t feel any difference. The people Judging her look shocked and ask her to walk around the barrier several times. They inform Abby that she is and Ord. She has no magic in her whatsoever. Abby is in shock and really upset.

Her parents are called in and they in just as much shock as Abby is. The man informs Abby’s parents that because she is an Ord they will need to get rid of her. Her parents deny doing so and leave. Her siblings are in shock as well but quickly try to cheer Abby up. When they leave the building word has gotten out and everyone is avoiding Abby’s family.

They arrive home to have a party for Abby nonetheless. Abby remains upset because none of her friends came and some of her other family members didn’t come. Her aunt left early and her parents told her that if she was going to leave early then she shouldn’t come back. Abby’s family make sure that she has a good day.

The next day Abby wakes up to her family having a heated discussion. Abby joins her family and asks what’s going on. Her oldest sister Alexa say’s that their counsel has requested buying Abby. Abby then asks her parents whether they are going to sell her to anyone. Her family replies with a firm ‘No’. Alexa then mentions that as her work for the King there is a school for Ord’s. And that they are going to enroll Abby in it. Abby is quite shocked when she hears this as Alexa doesn’t mention her work. But she’s willing to give it a go seeing as she’s not sure what to do with her life.

I was expecting to love this book. But nonetheless I did enjoy it! I really liked the writing style. The author did a good job of writing about a 12 year old. This book is written in first person in Abby’s point of view.

Now when I saw Sierra mention this book the only thing that I remembered about it was that it had magic and that Abby was an Ord. I didn’t realize just how brutal this book was going to be! I was so surprised and angry when I read about how Ord’s are typically treated. Normally they are sold off to basically anyone asking for them. Simply because they have no means of survival in society. Most people treat Ord’s as objects and avoid them like their contagious. I’m not even exaggerating. This book was also action packed! Surprisingly so. 

The family aspect was amazing! I loved reading about their interactions with one-another! I always had a huge grin on my face whenever Abby’s family came in! I liked Abby’s friends Fran and Fred. And I kind of liked Peter. I also liked Abby. And while Abby still didn’t really stand up for herself she did grow.

Once Abby gets to school she’s not well liked. Quite a few people are jealous of her because her family cares about her. People also don’t like the fact that Abby talks a lot about her family. They always seemed to forget that Peter also had his mother. But that might just be because Peter’s mother is an Ord and Ord’s seem to stick together. The ending was bitter sweet but realistic. 

I had 5 problems with Ordinary Magic. I felt that the book started to loose it’s appeal once Abby started attending school. I also felt that while Abby went through character development the other characters did not. I would’ve liked to read more about Peter just to understand his character. I really did not like the way Cook Bella treated Abby. She was unfair through-and-through. I think that it may have been her way of teaching Abby. I never felt that Abby ever became one of the kitchen staff. It seems that it is implied but I never felt it.

Overall this was a good book! I recommend to anyone looking for a standalone fantasy middle grade book. 

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