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A Most Magical Girl by Karen Foxlee: A Book Review

A Most Magical Girl
Author: Karen Foxlee
Genre: Children's, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Pages: 304
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: From the author of Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy comes the story of a friendship between two girls set in Victorian England, with magical machines, wizards, witches, a mysterious underworld, and a race against time.

     Annabel Grey is primed for a proper life as a young lady in Victorian England. But when her mother suddenly disappears, she’s put in the care of two eccentric aunts who thrust her into a decidedly un-ladylike life, full of potions and flying broomsticks and wizards who eat nothing but crackers. Magic, indeed! Who ever heard of such a thing? 

     Before Annabel can assess the most ladylike way to respond to her current predicament, she is swept up in an urgent quest. Annabel is pitted against another young witch, Kitty, to rescue the sacred Moreover Wand from the dangerous underworld that exists beneath London. The two girls outsmart trolls, find passage through a wall of faerie bones, and narrowly escape a dragon, but it doesn’t take long for Annabel to see that the most dangerous part of her journey is her decision to trust this wild, magical girl.

     Sparkling with Karen Foxlee’s enchanting writing, this is a bewitching tale of one important wand and two most magical girls.

     My Review: Annabelle’s mother has sent her to her great-aunts to be educated. Yet, when Annabelle arrives in London, she finds that her education is not what she thought it would be. Instead of an education that is fit for a lady, Annabelle learns that she is a witch and must learn to use her magical powers. When a dark wizard plans to take over London, Annabelle must go on a dangerous mission to find a magical wand. She not only encounters terrifying monsters along the way, but also makes friends. Can Annabelle and her friends defeat the dark wizard and save London?

     At first, I did not like Annabelle. I thought that she was a spoiled brat and whined a lot in the book. She did not like doing chores that her aunts made her do and mocks them behind their back. I also thought that she was a Mary Sue because everything she did was perfect. While she is still a damsel-in-distress throughout the book, I eventually grew to like her almost at the end of the book. This is because she realizes the values of friends and family. She also begins to have confidence in herself. However, I have to say that I like her friends more. They were fun and interesting.

     Overall, this story is about family, friendship, and acceptance. The message of this book is to believe in yourself. I really thought that this tale was creative. A Most Magical Girl is a fast-paced action and adventure tale. While I did not like the main character as much as I would have wanted, I did love her secondary characters. I also thought the world-building of a fantastical London was very breathtaking, and I was glad to explore more of this secret London. I recommend this story to those who love reading a fun frolic on a broomstick ride through Victorian London. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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