Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Guest Review: A Little Magic

I'm afraid I have so many books waiting to be read on my shelves at the moment that I can't possibly read them all, so I don't accept many review copies. But I had the idea that my regular guest reviewer, Sarah who has a much smaller TBR pile than myself, might like to try some of the books I get offered. So I sent her a selection of requests and this was one she picked to read!

A Little Magic

- Valerie Gillen

When the grandmother she never met is stricken by a mysterious coma, Siobhan Kelly finds herself uprooted from her familiar California life and Irish step dancing classes, and dealing with Spring in Vermont, where the roads are muddy, it’s as likely to snow as it is to rain, and the kids there think that since she’s from Encino, she must be a “valley girl” (fer shurr). Out of sheer loneliness, she falls in with a small group of friends including shy hottie David, his academically advanced little sister Fiona, and their cousin Alicia, who claims to be a witch. It doesn’t take Fiona’s telling her that Alicia’s dark magic landed another girl at school in a wheelchair, for Siobhan to know Alicia is not the kind of person she wants to hang around with.

As you can imagine, Mel gets a lot of book review requests and she has finally decided to farm some of them out to me (could this have anything to do with all the Baileys drinking she was planning to do over Christmas I wonder???! [No Comment - Mel]).  I have just finished the first of these, the YA book A Little Magic, which stars a young, Irish-dancing proto-witch called Siobhan. Siobhan and her family are made to move from their home in California to Vermont, where the grandmother she has never met has slipped into a mysterious coma.  Staying in the grandmother’s strange house, with an ever-blooming garden, kick-starts Siobhan’s growth from totally uninformed teen to powerful (but with still much to learn) young witch.

A Little Magic is a very sweet book, but it definitely puts the ‘Y’ into YA.  I can imagine the 10-12 year old girls loving this, with its cute mix of talking cats, Irish-dancing, sparkly lights, family bonds and young love; but anyone who has read the more adult YA books will find it all a bit simplistic.  Good and bad are easily enough spotted, moments of peril are only superficial, and everyone says exactly what they mean.

Definitely one for pre-teens looking to enjoy their first taste of the fantasy genre – 8/10 for them, 5/10 for us.


  1. Perhaps cute for that age, but then not for me. Even if I like talking cats ;)

  2. Sounds like a cute MG book. Oh and Mel, you so need to share the Baileys! ;D

  3. I have to say the cover is adorable. :) And I really like the two scores on the book too, Ya and Adult crowds. :) Thank you for your thoughts on this one!