Cover Image: The Not So Chosen One

The Not So Chosen One

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Member Reviews

A fun read! The writing style was good and it was easy to connect with the characters. Definitely recommend!
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Paws- 3 ( I use paws as my reading buddy is my book loving pug)

keywords- Teenagers, magic school, magic, mystery

in short- A good, fun read about a theme many will be familiar with despite this familiarity this tale is full of fresh new ideas that will keep you reading long into the night. 

Full review:

Kate Emery is a new author for me and after reading the not so chosen one I’ll definitely be picking up her books again. 
I was first drawn to this book by the intriguing and fun cover and I quickly found that although not necessarily a game changer in the magical school troupe, the not so chosen one is a fun and entertaining read that once you start you wont want to stop.

Kate Emery introduces us to her main character Lucy who live in Australia and finds herself attending a school for the magical, Lucy has a strong, sarcastic personality which Kate has perfected into a realistic 17 year old who is mature but at the same is immature and rash in her decision making and responses. Kate also gives an added layer of depth and emotion to this story by bringing in the element of a teen pregnancy, this also gives the readers a more serious element to grapple with amongst the magic and mystery. The whole cast of people that Kate has created are fully lifelike while still retaining plenty for the readers to want to learn about in any future books. 

Although a fun read with a good group of characters and a few surprising twists that few will see coming I would have personally like the magic to have been more of the main focus as I felt for a story based on the element of magic it was rather subtle and not present enough within the world building compared to other threads within this tale.

Despite this small negative this story is a unique, funny and enigmatic take on the magic school and teen hero troupe, with lots of potential for a sequel, this book is definitely worth picking up.
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The Not so Chosen One follows Lucy, your average everyday teenager except she has a small secret - an unplanned pregnancy. She learns of Drake's College, a school for students with magical abilities, where she befriends Jack, a teacher's assistant with tons of secrets. Things get even more chaotic when her talent doesn't seem to materialize and other students collapse mysteriously. 

I was really intrigued by this one but it lost me right away when it had some suicidal ideations at the very beginning of the book with absolutely no warning. As a suicide attempt survivor and the child of someone lost to suicide this is very triggering to me, and I personally feel a warning should be placed. (and no this isn't your place to whine about trigger warnings not being necessary and only for the weak).

The book wasn't what I expected at all and the pregnancy plot is described as being a bigger part of the story in the synopsis when really it's brushed aside and only there for convenience. She has an unplanned pregnancy with no idea what to do, yet she seems completely unphased by it and that's kinda weird to me. It doesn't add up and was definitely only in the book so there was an excuse for a plot twist. 

I'm not sure this book knew what it wanted to do. Some topics discussed were very sensitive, but other things felt very childish and unnecessary. Almost like they weren't sure what audience they are going for. I just genuinely didn't enjoy this book, and I really wanted to - it just felt confusing to me.
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What was that ending??? I am usually okay with open endings but there was way too much left open for a (currently) standalone book. Nothing felt like it got resolved and it just seemed like everything was too convenient.
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Rating 3.5

I really struggled to get into The Not So Chosen One at first. The characters didn’t seem interesting and it felt like it was going to be a carbon copy of The Magicians, which is referenced multiple times throughout. Thankfully this changed, but it did take me until around the halfway mark to get actually invested. 

Again around the halfway mark, I was starting to wonder why the author decided to make Lucy pregnant as it did seem like a pointless plot point. At this point, it bore no significance to what was happening and I entirely forgot she was pregnant. There was, however, a scene where Lucy throws up because of her pregnancy and a background character made a dig at Lucy about her having an eating disorder which really wasn’t cool. There was literally no point for that to be added it made me a little angry I won’t lie. 

After this point, I did figure out very quickly why Lucy is pregnant and it became very clear to me where this story was going. No spoilers here but it was a pretty good plot twist, if not a little guessable. 

You don’t see a whole lot of the magic system in this world, but it did seem very interesting. But also quite complex. Having to use specific hand gestures and knowing the positioning of the sun and moon for spells to work means I would not like to be a caster in this world. Usually, I dream of being a magic user in these types of books, but The Not So Chosen One world is not one of those. Nothing wrong with that obviously, it’s actually quite refreshing to see a magic system that isn’t just ‘I’ve somehow figured out how to do everything myself and now I’m the best magic user in the world’. 

The Not So Chosen One was quite slow to get going but I actually quite enjoyed it in the end. At times it felt like the story wasn’t moving, but the last half of the book was pretty fast-paced and the last few chapters were exciting and also very explanatory. The ending of the book suggests that maybe another instalment will be coming in the future and honestly I would look forward to reading it.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a free ARC in exchange for a review. 

The first thing here is, there are some suicidal thoughts at the beginning of the book, and that needs to be publicised. Publishers and authors do have a duty of care, especially in YA, and if I had been a person triggered by those things, this would have been upsetting. So warning there.

My main issue with this book is I don't understand the choice to include a pregancy plotline. It is barely addressed at all, and Lucy seems completely unconcerned about it for the most part. The only reason it seems to be there for the, frankly, vaguely offensive reveal that <spoiler> Lucy actually has no magical talent at all, and it's her fetus that does. </spoiler>

I also really didn't enjoy the magic system here. All the spells are just nursery rhymes or common sayings, like "children should be seen and not heard" is apparently a spell. It just seemed a bit silly and a bit lame to me, but maybe that was the point. 

I think the open ending probably means there's going to be a sequel but I'm probably not going to pick it up. While the rest of the book was fine, and the snark was okay, nothing sparked enough joy (or outrage) for me to be interested in a sequel. Two and a half stars, rounded up to three for Goodreads.
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This was a real treat.  Think Harry Potter, but if Harry Potter was a teenage girl from Perth who gets invited to attend a magic school that you get to, through the local fruit shop.  To make it more complicated you don’t just go to that school you have to go to your regular school as well, and keep the magic school ‘Drakes’ a secret, and you’re surrounded by spells to help you keep that secret. It is not all fun and games though, as Lucy has to deal with the fact that she doesn’t seem to be able to do any magic, students are being attacked and are dying at Drakes…and she’s pregnant!  Not being a fantasy reader, this is the perfect blend of fantasy and reality for me…fantastical elements set in the real world. It has an ending that makes me hope for a sequel, but I think I will just have to let my imagination decide where this story might go.

Thank you to NetGalley and Text Publishing for the opportunity to review this title.
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✧ L E T M E S U M M A R I S E ✧

I don’t really know what to put her because I didn’t finish the story, but as far as I’m aware there is an unexpected pregnancy and attendance at a magic school.

✧ W H A T W O R K E D W E L L ✧

I won’t lie, a massive draw in for this book was how beautiful the cover was. It was so simple but eye-catching and made me want to read the book as soon as I was approved from the publisher. Then the description of the book sounded so intriguing.

Unfortunately, that is where the good things ended for me.

✧ W H A T N E E D E D W O R K ✧

I stopped reading the book about 50-60 pages into the story. For me, the plot was progressing slowly and I couldn’t find the motivation to continue with the story any further. Since it was such a slow burner at the start of the book, I feel like the book would need to be read very carefully towards the start. My interest just wasn’t grabbed enough within the first chapter to make me want to continue any further.

✧ W H A T T H R E E W O R D S ✧

Did not finish.

✧ T O C O N C L U D E ✧

I can’t particularly write a very long review considering I didn’t read a lot of the story. I just really struggled with how slow it was in the beginning and was slightly confused by the sudden magic school. Unfortunately, I won’t be trying to read this one again in the future.

https://justapaperbackprincess.wordpress.com/2022/07/11/book-review-the-not-so-chosen-one-by-kate-emery/
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Thanks to Netgalley for the e-arc, I’m slightly after the release date.

Read with caution - may be some spoilers ahead.

For the most part I enjoyed this one, I enjoyed the characters however a lot of the plot was predictable but I still enjoyed it none the less. I enjoyed the witty writing, and the fact it’s set in Australia so several relatable themes are presented throughout, I had a few laughs about some of them like missing your parcel from Australia Post!

Plot: overall I enjoyed the plot, teen pregnancy turned into surprise magic school, followed by a few plot twists. Some I expected, some I did not. 70% of the time I found the book exciting and wanted to keep reading, but the rest of the time I found it a bit slow. There was a lot of ups and downs throughout this book. Ultimately, I enjoyed the book right up to the ending. I felt like it was very abrupt especially for a planned standalone. With the ending I almost expect a second book however there doesn’t appear to be a plan for one.

Characters: I think Jack was my favourite. Trying his best but crumbling under all the pressure. I’ll have to be honest, I didn’t quite predict the attacker to be who it was.

Writing: I enjoyed Kate Emery’s writing, there’s something about the casual-ness of the tone, the not too fancy words that just made it easy to read and more relatable.

Overall, given its a first time publishing author, I enjoyed this book. I’m rating it 4 stars (I’d give 3.5 if I could), for the mix of real life Australia, to the magic school giving off Harry Potter vibes, to the teen pregnancy. There was several great aspects however there is a few gaps that have brought down the rating.
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Honestly, this book has some weird parts to it. Mainly the ending. Someone shows up at Lucy’s door and we have no clue if it was Amar, Jake, or even George! I feel like a lot of details were left out and made the ending feel rushed. I almost feel like this book could continue into a series, but there’s no mention of a another one or if this is even a standalone. The plot was pretty good overall, and the mystery and action was great towards the ending. We don’t know if Lucy is keeping the baby or if she remembers magic and Drake, and who was the guy at the door? If you skip the ending portion it really felt like I was a reading a murder mystery book with everyone having magical abilities. It was pretty cool, but I’m hoping there’s another book to help answer some my questions on what happens next. 


Thanks to NetGalley for providing this ARC!
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I enjoyed this book being based in a school of magic/witchcraft. The main character Lucy was annoying at times but overall I enjoyed this book. Thank you to NetGalley for giving me this eARC in return for an honest review.
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A good, quick read with fun characters, The Not So Chosen One doesn't take itself too seriously.  There was nothing particularly revolutionary about the story, and some parts felt a bit out of place.  However, I enjoyed the snark and the overall vibe.

I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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In a few words: an Aussie (pregnant) teenager who suddenly gets accepted into a magic school (it sounds like Harry Potter but it's not) is surrounded by a series of mysteries happening at said magic school.

Lucy is a normal teenager who goes to a normal school and lives a normal life (apart from the fact that she got knocked up by a former exchange student who doesn't seem to want to hear from her anymore) until she suddenly gets accepted into Drake's - a magic school - and is told to have magical abilities. 
Right from the start she feels like she's not like the other students at Drake's, her abilities seem less developed than the others yet she's been recruited at Drake's.

There's some weird stuff going on at Drake's and I really wanted to find out what it was as well as get an explanation for Lucy's admission to the school. I had my suspicions from the start on some aspects, some of which were later proved to be true (and others weren't) and I really enjoyed the mysteries. I read the book in one sitting and was captivated.

I was writing this review as I was reading the book and I genuinely thought I had it all figured out but I couldn't have been more wrong! I was flabbergasted when the biggest plot twist happened, it was definitely not something I was expecting!!! 

Representation-wise: there is a  gay side character and another character's parents are referred to as "my dads". It was all done in a way that did not make it the characters' whole entire personality. Lucy (the main character) is considering getting an abortion and went to Sexual Health Quarters to seek advice. 

I know some readers are not keen on the pregnancy trope in novels however here, the main character is pregnant even before the book begins. 

I really hope there will be a sequel because I'm confused about the ending but I'd definitely recommend this book!! I rated it a 5/5.
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I was hooked on the concept of the book before ever requesting it. However, it did take me almost the entire first chapter to actually get into the book. It was a very quick and easy read. It was also very interesting. I loved that it was set in Australia, it was definitely a change in scenery for my usual type of read. 

I gave this book 3.5/5 stars for multiple reasons. Most of which will be listed under the spoilers section of this review. However I do find it a good and fun read that I would recommend. 

********************** SPOILERS **********************

I like the whole concept of the baby being so strong with magic that the main character is mistaken to have it. However, I feel like there was a lot unexplained in that section- like why can Lucy do magic near the end? And why can she cause sparks near the beginning of the book when she’s practicing?

I also am not a huge fan on the open-ended ending.  I don’t mind it in some books but I felt like it was too much in this one. Like, not knowing what she’s going to do with the baby, if her mind is wiped of Drakes, why George emailed her, and who was at the door at the very end. It was all a lot in the last 10 pages to just leave hanging out there. 

I really did enjoy this read but I also kind of hope there is a sequel one day so at least a few of the questions can be answered.
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The Not So Chosen One seems particularly poignant for American readers right now.  The novel focuses on Lucy and her journey through life at 17 and pregnant (although, this is hidden from most individuals throughout the book) and how she plans to manage a school life balance while attending two schools.  

I found this book a little difficult to get into at first, but around 30% I struggled to put the book down.  The suspense, dialogue, banter, and overall wittiness pushed me into loving this book.  

I cannot wait for it to be published!
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This HAS to be the first of a series! Drake is a secret school for magic users that recruits Lucy and George from their public school in Australia. Lucy is holding a secret of her own - she's reluctantly pregnant, and overwhelmed by the schoolwork in both schools and What To Do. 

Mysterious Jack and chatty Andrea befriend Lucy, but Andrea disappears. Lucy knows she died, but the whole school is under a spell to believe she is studying abroad. 

Which boy will help Lucy find the truth? And will Lucy ever make her appointment?

4.2/5
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This was quite the book. Right off the bat I can tell you that if you’re a harry potter fan you’ll love this book. I must say, this wasn’t my favorite book ever but it certainly wasn’t bad. It had lots of Harry Potter, Star Wars, and even a Percy Jackson reference and a sarcastic antagonist. The first half of the book was kind of demotivating for me to read because to me it was SO MUCH like the Harry Potter books (which, unpopular opinion, I was never really a fan of) but then from the second half of it, it began to show its originality and had all the twist and turns that made the book enjoyable. I also must say as soon as I saw teen pregnancy was involved it kinda made me want to throw my phone out of the window. Don’t worry though, there’s a reason and the trope is actually not that badly written. I think maybe I could’ve done just fine without it but I understand why the author added it to the plot. The ending was very much not satisfying in the sense that I’m guessing it isn’t a standalone and honestly I NEED to know what happens next. Thank you so much for sending me an ARC of this amazing book.
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Magic schools are not a new concept in literature. You know the drill. Someone reaches an age in their life, they have someone show up and tell them they’re special, magical, and need to come to a secret school to harness their power. And occasionally, this person will be the ‘chosen one’ to defeat a villain along the way. We all know those stories, right? Well, what happens when someone is picked to go to a magical school…and they’re not the perfect candidate the school first anticipated? And they’re far from being the chosen one at all? That is this book right here.

This book will probably not change the course of history. But from the first page of reading, I was hooked. This book reminded me what reading is all about; reading is about discovering stories, reading about magic and adventure and wonder. As I read this book, I loved joining Lucy as she went to a magical school, as she made friends with characters I couldn’t help but love, as she sat in on magic lessons – and we got to learn about magic with her!

The book does not delay with the plot. It moves quickly and is a fast-paced and really easy read, which made it easy for me to fly through it all in only two days! It’s worth me saying, that just because a book is a quick and easy read, that doesn’t in any way take away my enjoyment for the book. Sometimes a quick, easy and fun story to fly through is exactly what we need! As it is, I think this book did wonders for my reading, as when I finished it I instantly wanted to read more books, with this one having reminded me how magical reading is and why I love it so! I also instantly wanted to know if this book is going to have a sequel, but given that this book isn’t even out yet, I think that is a little premature thinking on my part…

The fast-paced plot I found engrossing and intriguing. There was magic, adventure, strange occurrences and a mystery to be solved. There was also a second subplot which I spent the first half of the book wondering about its relevance, only to have the penny drop in the second half of the book. I think it was actually all really cleverly woven together, and even when I figured some parts of the plot out, there were still so many questions running around in my head and I loved seeing how everything got answered and neatly tied up by the end! I enjoyed the world-building and learning about Drake’s magic school, how they keep it a secret from the outside world and everyone who doesn’t know about magic. I even liked the lessons on the magic we got to have a glimpse into in some of the chapters! I could tell this is a world that’s had a lot of thought put into it by the author. All of this combined with the plot twists and turns throughout the book meant I sped my way through it, desperate to know what came next and how everything would turn out in the end.

The book does cover some more complex themes and complex characters, but in a way that is accessible for younger audiences, which I not only liked that they were included, but think doing it in this way does take quite a bit of skill to do, and do it right – as can be seen in this book, which is indeed a great example of it being done right. Although I will say, sometimes I felt a little confused if this book is Ya OR NA (New Adult), as whilst it mostly reads like YA and the content feels YA, occasionally explicit language would be used that I would expect in an adult book. Or maybe these words just don’t have as strong an effect in Australia as they do here in the UK! It wasn’t something that bothered me, but something to be aware of if you’re wanting to read and/or recommend this book to someone.

I found whilst the characters didn’t have huge amounts of depth to them and weren’t the most well-written characters ever, I did still love them nonetheless. They have natural charm and cheekiness that brought them to life and made them enjoyable to read about and made their personalities jump right out of the pages. I loved their ‘normal-ness’ – their sarcasm and banter peppered throughout the pages, which actually did get me to laugh out loud a couple of times. In fact, after finishing the books, I found I was missing these characters and was wanting to read about them some more! The characters, the world-building, and the plot are the three key ingredients for making a good book – for me, anyway – and luckily, ‘The Not SO Chosen One‘ delivered on all three of these elements!

Will this book change history? No. Is it groundbreaking? Probably not. But it’s put a spin on the traditional ‘chosen one’ trope which felt fresh to me, and it had enough twists thrown into the book to keep me hanging and wanting more. Plus, a huge part of reading is to escape, to have adventures through books, to have fun. And if that is what you’re looking for, then ‘The Not So Chosen One‘ can provide just that. I had a wonderful time powering my way through this magical book quicker than I’ve read a lot of books lately – and now, I just want more! After an ending that has clearly been left open to interpretation, I can only hope this means this is not the last we have seen of Lucy and her adventures, nor Drake’s magic school.
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This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, Text Publishing  and  by #NetGalley. Opinions expressed are completely my own. 

I didn’t put it down, read it all at once. A wonderful piece of  work, look forward to more from Kate Emery.
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This review is based on an ARC. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book

Lucy is normal, ordinary, and pregnant. Then she has a day where everyone seems to be trying to get her to the greengrocer, and she discovers that there is a magical world, and that she has been accepted to Drake Academy. 

The only problem is…she can’t do magic. 

This is a fitting addition to the magical school genre. It is pretty definitely a set up for a series, and I am hopeful that this will be the case.
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