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A Dreadful Daughter's Spells

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Bev’s fridge won't stop complaining, her vase has a death wish, and she suspects her daughter has ADD. Chloe knows she is “A Dreadful Daughter,” but the truth is more complicated than that. Chloe is magiken, meaning she can breathe life into objects…even if she can’t always control them. She will soon turn fourteen. Growing up means losing one’s powers. Even worse, she will Bev’s fridge won't stop complaining, her vase has a death wish, and she suspects her daughter has ADD. Chloe knows she is “A Dreadful Daughter,” but the truth is more complicated than that. Chloe is magiken, meaning she can breathe life into objects…even if she can’t always control them. She will soon turn fourteen. Growing up means losing one’s powers. Even worse, she will lose all memories of those powers. Meanwhile, a painting is born on the wall of a dance studio. Feeling lonely and literally flat, he hops down from the wall and ventures into the dizzying, confounding world. The painting is close to starvation when he meets Chloe. Using her magic, she draws a pizza from rock, saving his life. He adopts the name “Timmy” and becomes her sidekick, of sorts. Events turn sinister when the Skizen, a creature of diabolical power, begins kidnapping young magiken. Chloe’s magic is already leaking. Before she is drained of magic, Chloe and Timmy must save the children. Also… is it ethical to fall for a painting? With a touch of Douglas Adams’ humour and a pinch of Pendleton Ward’s wackiness, this book is an unanticipated trip into the unknown.


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Bev’s fridge won't stop complaining, her vase has a death wish, and she suspects her daughter has ADD. Chloe knows she is “A Dreadful Daughter,” but the truth is more complicated than that. Chloe is magiken, meaning she can breathe life into objects…even if she can’t always control them. She will soon turn fourteen. Growing up means losing one’s powers. Even worse, she will Bev’s fridge won't stop complaining, her vase has a death wish, and she suspects her daughter has ADD. Chloe knows she is “A Dreadful Daughter,” but the truth is more complicated than that. Chloe is magiken, meaning she can breathe life into objects…even if she can’t always control them. She will soon turn fourteen. Growing up means losing one’s powers. Even worse, she will lose all memories of those powers. Meanwhile, a painting is born on the wall of a dance studio. Feeling lonely and literally flat, he hops down from the wall and ventures into the dizzying, confounding world. The painting is close to starvation when he meets Chloe. Using her magic, she draws a pizza from rock, saving his life. He adopts the name “Timmy” and becomes her sidekick, of sorts. Events turn sinister when the Skizen, a creature of diabolical power, begins kidnapping young magiken. Chloe’s magic is already leaking. Before she is drained of magic, Chloe and Timmy must save the children. Also… is it ethical to fall for a painting? With a touch of Douglas Adams’ humour and a pinch of Pendleton Ward’s wackiness, this book is an unanticipated trip into the unknown.

52 review for A Dreadful Daughter's Spells

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Chloe stared at the faces staring back at her. "But I'm not trained... my magic is... unpredictable. My mum says I have ADD." "What is an ADD?" asked Timmy. I don't know. I think it stands for 'A Dreadful Daughter' or something like that, said Chloe sniffing. Magic is all around us, but only a select few of us can experience it. One of those is thirteen year old Chloe Barker, who has a special form of magic called 'Magiken.' Her mother Bev just wants Chloe to act her age, not realising that eventually Chloe stared at the faces staring back at her. "But I'm not trained... my magic is... unpredictable. My mum says I have ADD." "What is an ADD?" asked Timmy. I don't know. I think it stands for 'A Dreadful Daughter' or something like that, said Chloe sniffing. Magic is all around us, but only a select few of us can experience it. One of those is thirteen year old Chloe Barker, who has a special form of magic called 'Magiken.' Her mother Bev just wants Chloe to act her age, not realising that eventually with the passing of time, this magic will disappear. Chloe can already see that happenning with her older friend Patrick, who is is losing all the magic from his life and turning into a typical teenage boy, interested in girls and thinking she is a freak. Chloe is beside herself, not only at her own draining magiken, but also the fate of Patrick and not wanting to end up like many other local magiken children who are are going missing (despite her mother thinking otherwise). Chloe's destiny will be thrust before her when on an outing to a local beach, where she will meet a starving painting boy that has somehow escaped it's pictures confines and come to life. Timmy as he would soon be named by Chloe, with the help of 'sand nymphs' Anabel and Dez, vow to help her find the missing children. They are unaware though that Chloe has come the attention of the evil Skizen, who is drawn to her because of the strong magical powers she posseses. I am going to be totally honest here and say 'I can't think of any critisism what so ever for A Dreadful Daughter's Spells. I went into this book expecting a story full of interesting quirky characters with fantasy and magical realism themes a plenty, and while that was very much the case, what I did not expect was to be totally blown away by the writing that is assured and perfectly paced. Ok I got through the book in two sittings, but there was a reason for that, as I was hooked from the first page till last(bar sleeping) and at just over 200 pages it does not out stay it's welcome. Overall this is absolutely sublime from start to finish and and easily stands beside A Little Life as the best books I have read this year.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    “…I don’t want us to be extra-ordinary. I want us to be extra-different” A Dreadful Daughter’s Spells is the first novel by Australian author, Molly Billygoat aka Leah Broadby. Thirteen-and-a-half year-old Chloe Barker is worried: she may be a magiken with strong powers, but she can feel her magic leaking out as she grows up; not only that, but other magiken seem to be disappearing; and her friend Patrick seems more interested in a certain girl than in holding onto his own magic. Chloe’s mum, Bev “…I don’t want us to be extra-ordinary. I want us to be extra-different” A Dreadful Daughter’s Spells is the first novel by Australian author, Molly Billygoat aka Leah Broadby. Thirteen-and-a-half year-old Chloe Barker is worried: she may be a magiken with strong powers, but she can feel her magic leaking out as she grows up; not only that, but other magiken seem to be disappearing; and her friend Patrick seems more interested in a certain girl than in holding onto his own magic. Chloe’s mum, Bev, is worried too. Neighbourhood children are going missing, and she fears Chloe is not taking her warnings seriously. An outing at the beach doesn’t quite go to plan: Chloe stalks off, only to stumble across a starving painting that has somehow escaped the wall that held it. Chloe’s magic conjures a pizza from a rock, so her thin friend (Timmy) doesn’t waste away, but it also attracts the forces of evil: the diabolical Skizen is drawn to the strong magic she exhibits. A grateful Timmy (and some other interesting friends) vow to help Chloe find the missing children. This enchanting and magical tale will delight readers young and old. Broadby gives her readers an imaginative plot, adds plenty of humour and some clever wordplay that younger reader will enjoy, and enhances it with some marvellous descriptions: “All of Chloe’s questions had ripened at the same time, and a traffic jam was clogging up her head space. She knew they were all trying to get out; she could almost hear them beeping and honking with impatience” and charming ideas: “…the greatest desire of every giggle is to escape into the open. That is why, even if you try to hold your giggle in a cupped hand, it will wriggle and squirm in an attempt to escape”. The cover art is gorgeous, and similar drawings would really complement the text. Great fun! With thanks to the author for this copy to read and review. 4.5 ★s

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    If someone had told me that I would enjoy this book so much I probably would have been sceptical. Not my usual choice of reading matter this delightful story captured my imagination right from the start. Chloe is a magiken who must do all in her power to retain her magical powers and also save others. You cannot help but be completely engulfed in Chloe's struggle, willing her and her friends along. What follows is a story of wonderment and suspense. Filled with fairies and other magical creature If someone had told me that I would enjoy this book so much I probably would have been sceptical. Not my usual choice of reading matter this delightful story captured my imagination right from the start. Chloe is a magiken who must do all in her power to retain her magical powers and also save others. You cannot help but be completely engulfed in Chloe's struggle, willing her and her friends along. What follows is a story of wonderment and suspense. Filled with fairies and other magical creatures and the humans who can still see them. Cleverly written it invokes so many emotions....laughter,sadness, heartbreak, terror but most of all hope. It transported me back to my childhood and reminded me of the joy I had reading Enid Blyton. The whole time I was reading I kept thinking this story reminds me of something. It took a while but it all came to me quite vividly; the story of Moonface, Silky and Saucepan Man. Perhaps this story will stay with those who read it in the same way. I know it will for me. I think it definitely is one that will appeal to both young and old alike. Thanks so much to Molly Billygoat aka Leah, for giving me the pleasure and joy of reading a book through the eyes of a child and for a little while being that child again. Oh and for my copy with that wonderful cover that draws you in and makes you want to look inside.

  4. 4 out of 5

    RitaSkeeter

    An idea desires only one thing: To catch the perfect brain wave. Knowing words from Leah Broadby. The idea of this this book surely caught the right brain wave. Look: I'm a book snob. I know you're probably thinking, how can someone read so much trash consider herself to be a book snob? I am because I stick solidly to traditionally published books. Look at my read list; very very few self-published authors among them. I decided to give this book a go because the author's posts on GR indicate sh An idea desires only one thing: To catch the perfect brain wave. Knowing words from Leah Broadby. The idea of this this book surely caught the right brain wave. Look: I'm a book snob. I know you're probably thinking, how can someone read so much trash consider herself to be a book snob? I am because I stick solidly to traditionally published books. Look at my read list; very very few self-published authors among them. I decided to give this book a go because the author's posts on GR indicate she can write (always a good start!), and the kindle sample I downloaded read well. I was able to borrow a copy of the book from my local library to read. The final verdict? I'm impressed. This is a polished and finished work. It has zest, fun, and a side of cheekiness. For any book snobs like me; you won't be able to tell you are not reading a traditionally published work.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Bowden

    A Dreadful Daughter’s Spells is a creative and unique children’s novel based on a complicated magic system and a very brave 13 year old. This novel takes place when Chloe, a magiken, meets Timmy – a painting. They go on a magical adventure to save both Chloe’s magic and magikens everywhere. The main character of Chloe was strong and well developed. She had an air of innocence and childlike wonder which would help engage a middle-grade audience. The other characters and magical creatures where als A Dreadful Daughter’s Spells is a creative and unique children’s novel based on a complicated magic system and a very brave 13 year old. This novel takes place when Chloe, a magiken, meets Timmy – a painting. They go on a magical adventure to save both Chloe’s magic and magikens everywhere. The main character of Chloe was strong and well developed. She had an air of innocence and childlike wonder which would help engage a middle-grade audience. The other characters and magical creatures where also very detailed and unique. It is fair to say that I have not read a book like this before and I don’t think I ever will – it’s one of a kind. The writing style is definitely the best aspect of this book. It is enchanting and hilarious. Such a strange blend but Leah Broadby makes it work so very well. She explains the magic system well and it is definitely a highlight of the novel. I would recommend this to all children as it would help them enhance their wild imaginations. There are a few typos and little errors but these are easily overlooked. The novel is well edited and brings a smile to the reader’s face. Overall, I enjoyed reading this novel. I found it fascinating and enchanting. I would like to extend a special thank you to Leah Broadby for sending me a copy of her wonderful masterpiece!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Diamante Lavendar

    This book is a middle grade delight! Written in a humorous, whimsical voice, I would highly recommend this book for any middle grade reader (and any adult who would happen to pick it up as well!) The characters are well developed and the writing is a joy to read! A Dreadful Daughter’s Spells contains a smattering of humorously expressed life insights which add to the overall beauty of the manuscript. It is also highly imaginative and would, therefore, captivate any preteen or “tween”. If you still This book is a middle grade delight! Written in a humorous, whimsical voice, I would highly recommend this book for any middle grade reader (and any adult who would happen to pick it up as well!) The characters are well developed and the writing is a joy to read! A Dreadful Daughter’s Spells contains a smattering of humorously expressed life insights which add to the overall beauty of the manuscript. It is also highly imaginative and would, therefore, captivate any preteen or “tween”. If you still have a middle grade child on your Christmas list, you may want to take a peek at this book on Amazon. It would truly make a wonderful gift! -Diamante Lavendar, author of Breaking The Silence

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lenita Sheridan

    This book is written beautifully with poetic language. Many wonderfully descriptive similes can be found throughout the book. There is a light tone to the book, which is one of an undercurrent of humor. Some absurd things happen in the book, like a painting stepping out of a wall. There are some gross parts in this book, but they fit the middle grade sense of humor. In fact, I would recommend this book to middle grade students. Adults will enjoy it as well.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Lyles

    I knew I would love this book as soon as I read the dedication. And the book didn't disappoint. It was whimsical and lovely. The concept was fresh and very well done. Timmy was by far my favorite character. I loved how other people reacted to him. The only problem I had was that it ended too soon. I knew I would love this book as soon as I read the dedication. And the book didn't disappoint. It was whimsical and lovely. The concept was fresh and very well done. Timmy was by far my favorite character. I loved how other people reacted to him. The only problem I had was that it ended too soon.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Picard

    I received a paperback copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. If Terry Pratchett, Roald Dahl and Tom Robbins collaborated in writing a children's book, A Dreadful Daughter's Spells might be the result! This delightfully original book for children of all ages is truly funny and rather wise, in a wacky, off-the-wall way. The main character, Chloe, is a magiken with the magical ability to animate objects, which allows for many plot twists and turns and also some cracking good jokes. How I received a paperback copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. If Terry Pratchett, Roald Dahl and Tom Robbins collaborated in writing a children's book, A Dreadful Daughter's Spells might be the result! This delightfully original book for children of all ages is truly funny and rather wise, in a wacky, off-the-wall way. The main character, Chloe, is a magiken with the magical ability to animate objects, which allows for many plot twists and turns and also some cracking good jokes. However, magiken lose their powers when they grow up and Chloe, at thirteen, is in imminent danger of losing hers. In addition, she has to conquer the Skizen, a monster who has been kidnapping magiken for his own diabolical purposes. The book abounds in delightful magical characters, such as sand nymphs, mischief fairies, a painting that eats music and many characterful animated objects, several of which should probably have been left inanimate... Fortunately I don't have a weak stomach and I'm sure that children will relish the rather "unladylike sense of humour" as the author herself refers to it in her dedication. It was a bit unclear to me why Chloe was so loathe to lose her magic, as it seemed to bring her nothing but trouble! It also seemed a bit unfair that, just as the magiken start to learn how to control and use their magic constructively, they generally lose it. But the book does allow for a different way of being at the end, which I won't disclose for fear of spoiling it for the reader. The artwork on the rather unusual cover was done by the author herself, which makes it quite special. I loved it, but I'm not entirely sure whether this cover would encourage a child to pick up the book. However,this wouldn't be a problem unless the book was competing for sales in a retail outlet. I loved the idea of the mischief fairies. I'm pretty sure mine hasn't left at all, but lurks around, just out of sight, inviting me to play in ingeniously subtle ways! I suspect the same is true for Molly Billygoat, the very talented young author of this book. I look forward to reading much more of her work in future.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Christie

    I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 Stars If I could hug this book whenever I'm feeling sad, then I would. The whole idea of the book was original, the characters were engaging and sympathetic, the writing itself flowed beautifully from one page to the next. To be honest, I found it to be an utterly delightful read. Chloe the protagonist is a fascinating character to follow. She is imaginative and magical, which is interpreted by the adults in the story as he I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 Stars If I could hug this book whenever I'm feeling sad, then I would. The whole idea of the book was original, the characters were engaging and sympathetic, the writing itself flowed beautifully from one page to the next. To be honest, I found it to be an utterly delightful read. Chloe the protagonist is a fascinating character to follow. She is imaginative and magical, which is interpreted by the adults in the story as her being crazy, troublesome and possibly mentally ill. Her determination to not grow up was very Peter Pan-esque, but it made sense as we saw the difference between the magic-less adults and the magiken. Chloe is not a perfect person either, as she is already getting bitter and judgmental. I just loved her. Timmy is definitely my favourite character though and what a unique idea as well. I loved watching him learn and discover things as time went on. The utter hilarity of Timmy's 'music' too actually had me in stitches and I'm a grown adult. I did initially find the descriptions of Timmy to be a little hard to understand, but that didn't really matter as time went on. The pace of the book was good and I liked all the characters that we were introduced to. I would have liked to have seen a little more interaction between Chloe and Bev early on in the book, but there was a lot else happening. I initially found the story a bit slow, but it picked up pace fairly early on and never wavered. The little introductions to each chapter were charming too. The only reason this doesn't receive the full 5 stars from me is because I couldn't figure out who the intended audience was. Sometimes the book felt much too juvenile for me as an adult, but the language and some of the references would have been too complicated for someone a lot younger. I found this to be a bit disconcerting. I definitely enjoyed the book and the nostalgia of being young, but I do think the book would benefit from having a more focused target audience. I am thinking of buying the paperback of this book just so I can give it to my child one day though, it is a really gorgeous magical tale.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Well that was a fun adventure! A Dreadful Daughter's Spells is the story of Chloe, who is a magiken child. She is able to use her magic to make inanimate objects come to life. Unfortunately for her, her mother doesn’t believe her, and a lot of people around her that had magic are either growing up and forgetting it altogether or going missing. Timmy on the other hand is a painting that comes to life one day. As fate would have it Chloe and Timmy cross paths and embark on an adventure to save the Well that was a fun adventure! A Dreadful Daughter's Spells is the story of Chloe, who is a magiken child. She is able to use her magic to make inanimate objects come to life. Unfortunately for her, her mother doesn’t believe her, and a lot of people around her that had magic are either growing up and forgetting it altogether or going missing. Timmy on the other hand is a painting that comes to life one day. As fate would have it Chloe and Timmy cross paths and embark on an adventure to save the magiken children that are being hunted by an evil creature known as the Skizen. The Skizen sets his sights on Chloe and Timmy and they must figure out a way to defeat the creature before it's too late. Chloe is a great and spunky character that I was easily able to relate to. It took me back to my childhood and trying desperately to hold on to everything magical that there is about being a child. The story starts off a bit slowly, but it definitely takes off into a story full of laughs and fun. I really loved the way this story was put together. The author did a great job making it feel like the words themselves were magic. I would definitely recommend this book to everybody regardless of age. If you are an "adult" like me, it definitely takes you back to those years of youthful wonder that we all shared at one time. I received this book in exchange of an honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This is a review for the Goodreads group Shut Up & Read's Read It & Reap Program. I was given an ebook copy for free to review honestly. This was amazing! I was so happy to have been given the chance to read this gem of a book! Magic realism is a hit or miss genre for me, but this book did it wonderfully. This book had me giggling like crazy and hugging my pillow in glee. Chloe and Timmy were fantastic characters and their adventure ended far too soon. I wanted more from this universe! All I rea This is a review for the Goodreads group Shut Up & Read's Read It & Reap Program. I was given an ebook copy for free to review honestly. This was amazing! I was so happy to have been given the chance to read this gem of a book! Magic realism is a hit or miss genre for me, but this book did it wonderfully. This book had me giggling like crazy and hugging my pillow in glee. Chloe and Timmy were fantastic characters and their adventure ended far too soon. I wanted more from this universe! All I really want to say about his book is that any fans of Howl's Moving Castle will want to read this. It has that same sense of whimsey and uniqueness that I think so many loved from those books and will, in turn, love in this one. 10/10 would recommend to absolutely anyone and everyone.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Natasha

    This book is delightfully whimsical and perfect for children and teenagers. I hope this book inspires young readers to use their imagination more.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ownsbey

    thank you for letting me review cool cover very imagative I enjoyed this very much it had magic spells a painting that came live I couldn't put this down young and old will enjoy this thank you for letting me review cool cover very imagative I enjoyed this very much it had magic spells a painting that came live I couldn't put this down young and old will enjoy this

  15. 4 out of 5

    BK Amit

  16. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chandra

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Carrico

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mike Maguire

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sally906

  22. 4 out of 5

    Wanda Willsteed

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mish

  24. 5 out of 5

    Stef Rozitis

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Redmile

  26. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  27. 4 out of 5

    A. C. H..

  28. 4 out of 5

    SARIT

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Schwarzer

  30. 5 out of 5

    Julia Conway

  31. 4 out of 5

    Betty

  32. 5 out of 5

    Kristia

  33. 4 out of 5

    Dalise

  34. 4 out of 5

    Stella Clarkson

  35. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty

  36. 5 out of 5

    Claire

  37. 5 out of 5

    Avenger

  38. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  39. 4 out of 5

    Karen Holding

  40. 5 out of 5

    Hákon Gunnarsson

  41. 4 out of 5

    Dr. Cole Marie Mckinnon

  42. 4 out of 5

    SALLY WHITE

  43. 5 out of 5

    Christine Pahlmann

  44. 4 out of 5

    Marsha Paul

  45. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Fantom

  46. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Kennedy

  47. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis Krall

  48. 4 out of 5

    Katharine Em

  49. 4 out of 5

    Evelyn Murray

  50. 4 out of 5

    P.J. Ferguson

  51. 4 out of 5

    Noora

  52. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

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