Not Quite Ordinary

Rated 4.08/5 based on 13 reviews
After discovering a stack of hidden letters from an estranged grandmother, Sarah learns an extraordinary secret - her family comes from a long line of powerful witches. She, too, is powerful and gifted, but when tragedy strikes, she must decide whether to continue her practice, or return to her painfully ordinary, but safe life. More

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Words: 44,370
Language: English
ISBN: 9781465842657

Reviews

Review by: Bailee on Jan. 05, 2013 :
I really liked reading this novel despite the fact that there were a few things that caught my attention, it makes me excited to read the rest of the novels that follow this one and hopefully after I finish my review books, I will be able to get the rest of the books. It makes me excited to post this review for the fact that I enjoyed this story.

The main character of this novel, Sarah, is a great asset with all of her flaws but can be also a hindrance to the story. Her greatest flaw as a person in this story is the fact that she believes that she is ordinary because of how everyone views her and what everyone tells her. This is what makes her relatable and lovable because everyone can see themselves in her throughout her struggles. But in writing, the main character is supposed to be larger than life and in that, take you away from all of your problems that surround you. So, honestly, it depends on the reader and I honestly enjoy a bit of both.

Secondly, I enjoyed the minor characters including the bad guys and people like her best friends. I start with the bad guys. The way that they are portrayed within the story is uniquely interesting because unlike in most stories where the bad guys are obviously bad, you are forced to call into question everyone and every relationship she has. Now with the minor characters, I enjoyed the diversity in their attitudes and attributes. I liked that her best friends were so completely different and that not everyone got along.

The dialog was lacking though. It was at times hard to follow and seemed disjointed from the narrative, making some of it seem childish. What the dialog lacked, the narrative made up for it.

Now, I am a sucker for a good family life within a novel whether it gets better through out the novel or starts that way and ends differently. So when I began this story I was saddened to find another family who is broken, another teen mistreated by the parents who swore to protect her at birth. As the story progressed, I was glad to see a growing relationship between her father and herself because it is rare to find any story in the YA genre with that ingredient.

Lastly, this is not really a bad thing because I really wish that this story was longer because I felt that some key parts were barely grazed. The thing I really wished had been put into greater detail was the time spent with her grandma because I would’ve loved to read what she learned about. Like what was it like when she did her first potion or when she first did something wrong?

All and all, a great read. Worthwhile for anyone who likes the YA genre.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: trish earl on Jan. 21, 2012 :
I loved this book and can't wait for the sequels to come out so I can know what happens. Great book and want to read more by the author.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Andrea on Jan. 09, 2012 :
I received this free ebook through LibraryThing member giveaways in exchange for an honest review. The young adult genre is one of my favorites and this book definitely fit! I quite enjoyed this book and found it to be a quick read because for me it was a page turner.
This is the story of a teenage girl named Sarah who has always felt that everything about her life is ordinary. She longs to be extraordinary in some way. She hasn't seen her grandmother since she was little girl and doesn't understand why her father won't permit her to have any contact with her grandmother. Sarah decides to start snooping for information and discovers some letters from her grandmother. She decides to find her grandmother and upon reuniting discovers that she comes from a family of witches and warlocks. Sarah also learns that she is a very powerful witch and is prophesied to be the chosen one who will defeat the dark forces.

I really liked this story and the characters, especially the grandmother Lily. I felt that Sarah could have been a little stronger but I guess that was the whole point of her feeling ordinary. This book ended rather abruptly for me and left me wanting to see what will happen so I will definitely be on the lookout for the next in this series!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Andrea on Jan. 09, 2012 :
I received this free ebook through LibraryThing member giveaways in exchange for an honest review.

The young adult genre is one of my favorites and this book definitely fit! I quite enjoyed this book and found it to be a quick read because for me it was a page turner.
This is the story of a teenage girl named Sarah who has always felt that everything about her life is ordinary. She longs to be extraordinary in some way. She hasn't seen her grandmother since she was little girl and doesn't understand why her father won't permit her to have any contact with her grandmother. Sarah decides to start snooping for information and discovers some letters from her grandmother. She decides to find her grandmother and upon reuniting discovers that she comes from a family of witches and warlocks. Sarah also learns that she a very powerful witch and is prophesied to be the chosen one who will defeat the dark forces.

I really liked this story and the characters, especially the grandmother Lily. I felt that Sarah could have been a little stronger but I guess that was the whole point of her feeling ordinary. This book ended rather abruptly for me and left me wanting to see what will happen so I will definitely be on the lookout for the next in this series!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Diane Curran on Jan. 03, 2012 :
Not Quite Ordinary is the story of a 15 year old girl who discovers that she is the descendant of a powerful family of witches and that a prophecy was made that several hundred years ago that she would save the world from the evil witches. It was a quick and relatively enjoyable read. I would recommend it for younger readers, but not as much for adults due to the thin plot line and lack of detail.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Kath Jobes on Jan. 02, 2012 :
I loved this book, which I read in two sittings in the same day and I cant wait for the next part to come out. It's a very engaging storyline with well developed and believable characters it opens the imagination to a parallel world of whichcraft and wizadary, that has already brought forth some aspects of good and evil, and that if you work hard for something you will achieve it, so the moral message behind the book appeals to its young teen audience. It certainly left me wanting more...

***Reviewed for LibraryThing Member Giveaway Program***
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Stephanie on Jan. 01, 2012 :
This book was very engaging, with great plot development, and character development. The story has an under tone of empowerment in one self. She starts out thinking there's nothing special about but c oil mes to learn that's far from the truth. As the story first on she begins to believe in herself good vs evil.

Enjoyable read!!!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: brownewt on Dec. 31, 2011 :
Like the other reviewer said this is targeted to the teen/tween reader. I read many of these books because I like to know what is out there for my teens to read. This was fun, along the lines of a Harry Potter type book. It gets to the action a little slowly but I still found that I wanted to see what was going to happen.

The relationships in the book were authentic and many were wonderful examples. There are some great twists and you will want to read the next one as it leaves you wanting more.

To me a good read makes you wonder about the character and want to see their world and this book does a good job of it. This digital version has a view editing issues (like so many of them do) but not so many that it is distracting. Maybe 3-5 that I caught (not really looking).

I was given this book to read for an honest review as well. I would definitely recommend this book. If you like fantasy books at all, you should enjoy this one. Also, this is one that the younger tweens (11?) can read without being exposed to things that are in some of the other popular books of this genre. (Twilight Eclipse...)
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Sara Weekley on Dec. 29, 2011 :
I really enjoyed this book... keeps you engaged. A must read
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: njmom3 on Dec. 20, 2011 :
Review first published on my blog: http://memoriesfrombooks.blogspot.com/2011/12/not-quite-ordinary.html

Not Quite Ordinary is a book targeted toward the young adult market. This is the first book in what is to be the Darkness Nears Trilogy. It is the story of sixteen year old Sarah, who has spent life feeling as if she is ordinary with nothing special about her and feeling like she is not good enough. At sixteen, she discovers that she is a powerful witch descended from a long line of witches and wizards. Of course, there is a prophecy and a battle of good versus evil. Her confidence and self-esteem grows as her belief in herself grows. A positive message.

The world of witches and wizards is a popular setting for books for the age group and a great place for imagination to take flight. However, some concerns about the book raise questions as to its suitability. First, the book ties its beliefs in witchcraft to the Wiccan way of life. Tying religious beliefs to a book aimed at young people is a challenging task. The book could still tell a story - the same story - without grounding it in a specific belief system.

Second, Sarah states revenge as a motivator and a satisfactory end result of certain extreme actions. (The cryptic tone here attempts to avoid spoilers). That does not seem to be an appropriate message to send to young readers.

It will be interesting to see what direction the other two books take. Hopefully, they will focus on the positive image of accomplishing great things if you believe in yourself.

***Reviewed for LibraryThing Member Giveaway Program***
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Tona Cruz Dominguez on Dec. 13, 2011 :
Sarah was a plain girl with a plain life. Well until her father wouldn't talk about her grandmother. It doesn't take long for Sarah to start investigating the truth about her and herself.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Dana Thurman on Dec. 09, 2011 :
Sarah is a sweet, quiet girl who session herself as being the human equivalent to the color beige. she lives in her perfectly nuclear family environment and has 1 perfectly normal friend and another friend she has never really been sure why she was friends with. Close to her 16th birthday she will find out that there is nothing ordinary about her. She is a powerful witch who is supposed to save the world from unthinkable evil.

Much like the Harry Potter and Twilight books, this book is aimed at the tween and teen set. However, I found this book enjoyable. The ending is a cliffhanger for sure, and I look forward to finding out more about Sarah.

I received this ebook in exchange for an honest review. I honestly did love this book.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Dana Thurman on Dec. 09, 2011 :
Sarah is a sweet, quiet girl who session herself as being the human equivalent to the color beige. she lives in her perfectly nuclear family environment and has 1 perfectly normal friend and another friend she has never really been sure why she was friends with. Close to her 16th birthday she will find out that there is nothing ordinary about her. She is a powerful witch who is supposed to save the world from unthinkable evil.

Much like the Harry Potter and Twilight books, this book is aimed at the tween and teen set. However, I found this book enjoyable. The ending is a cliffhanger for sure, and I look forward to finding out more about Sarah.

I received this ebook in exchange for an honest review. I honestly did love this book.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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