Review: A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

A Snicker of Magic
This book. THIS BOOK. My brain is crammed full of the most wonderful and factofabulous words right now; A Snicker of Magic is like an explosion (or a celebration) of words, magic, feels, and ice cream flavors. I tingled, I laughed, I sniveled, I rejoiced… and I feel like I’m homeward bound. Lloyd was able to make characters and words come alive with a bit of imagination and trust and just a snicker of magic, and it was an amazing story that succeeded in capturing my heart.

Title: A Snicker of Magic
Author: Natalie Lloyd
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Category: (Middle Grade) Magical Realism / Contemporary
Source: NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Jonah grinned as he leaned back in his seat. “People claim Ponder’s pies still have a snicker of magic.”

“A snicker?”

“That’s magic leftover,” Jonah explained. “Not good for much, not as fancy as it used to be – but enough to make it special.”

Twelve-year-old Felicity Juniper Pickle just moved to Midnight Gulch, a town where magic used to happen: where the Hancocks used to turn invisible, the Smiths baked secrets into pies, the Terrys called in the rain, and the Weatherly brothers played music that made everybody dance… but those are things of the past, and all that’s left now is a snicker of magic. And just when Felicity makes her first best friend, bonds with her aunt and uncle, and dispels the sense of loneliness she has felt her whole life, Felicity’s mother is itching to move again. Felicity’s new best friend, Jonah Pickett, is certain that if Felicity participates in the upcoming talent show, good things will happen; but even though Felicity is a fantastic word collector, she gets tongue-tied every time she steps on stage. To make her mother see Midnight Gulch as home and not just a stop on the way, Felicity needs to conquer her stage fright, her magic, and her past, and discover the truth behind the disappearance of magic in Midnight Gulch.


Felicity has an awesome power: she has the ability to see words as living things that form from people and objects, that have personalities and minds of their own. She catches the words that she likes by writing them down in her blue notebook and on her shoes, and sometimes she’d make them into poems for her younger sister, Frannie. The descriptions of the words that Felicity sees are marvelous and beautiful, and they make the black, typed words that we normally see come to life:

The letters were made of melted sunshine. They dripped down the window glass, warm and tingly against our faces. Believe is a powerful word to see and today. But that morning, I felt it.

In addition to her magic, Felicity is also awesome because she has a big heart. She cares about her family a lot, and her interactions with her sister and her mother made me like her more and more throughout the book. She has her own problems and fears, but she thinks about the big picture and puts her family first most of the time.

I knew my word-catching charade wasn’t the best way to make a fast friend at Stoneberry Elementary School. But it was the only way I could think of to make my sister feel better. And I think if you’re lucky, a sister is the same as a friend, but better. A sister is like a super-forever-infinity friend.

And Felicity’s new best friend, Jonah, is also incredibly nice and sweet. The two of them have a hint of something going on, and even though I refuse to believe that sixth graders can actually develop a full blown, heart-pounding relationship (#indenial), Felicity and Jonah are as close as it gets. Is it a platonic or romantic relationship? Who knows. But it makes me want to go “awwww” and it kept me grinning throughout most of the book, so you should probably book a dentist’s appointment before you read this.

Jonah Pickett was like snow days, field trips, candy stores, and Christmas Eve all blended into one big swoosh of a feeling.

The great characters in A Snicker of Magic also add an oomph to the plot. The plot itself is engrossing and captivating – not with twists and turns, but with more secrets revealed throughout the story, kind of like opening a present. A snicker of magic gets infused into every page, whether it be from characters, settings, ice cream flavors (Snickerdoodle Sucker Punch should be a real ice cream flavor!), words, or actions, and by the end it’s like you have this massive buildup of awesomeness that explodes and showers everyone with happiness and magic and LOVE.


I can’t stop quoting lines from A Snicker of Magic because everything is beautiful, sweet, and uplifting. I had tears in my eyes by the end because it was so touching, and this book is bound to give you a toothache with the sweetness overload. A Snicker of Magic makes words come alive with just a bit of magic and a lot of love, and it has a great message about the importance of family and friends that really touched my heart.

19 thoughts on “Review: A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

  1. YAY! I have an ARC copy of this book next to me right now (it arrived in the mail last week) so I’m really glad to hear how wonderful this book is! I shall have to read it this week (along with Frost Hollow Hall by Emma Carroll which I have been putting off FAR too long after I get a couple of reviews finished up and posted.

    Will be back to talk to you about A Snicker of Magic more in depth once I read it 😀

    • I can’t wait to hear your thoughts about this! I thought it was funny how this book was advertised as being able to “make your skin tingle, your eyes glisten…”, blah blah blah and I was like yeah right, and those things actually did happen to me while I was reading it haha.

    • Glad you like the quotes I shared, Katie! 😀 This was one where I had a hard time choosing what quotes to include because there were so many that I liked. I hope you get a chance to read it!

  2. O_O I’m sorry, Sophie. It took me a couple of months to actually get to commenting on this review. Wow. But you know, maybe it’s for the best, because I have actually read a good portion of the book by now!

    List of things that I need to say:

    1. The words! Oh my gosh, all the words in this book >_< I know, a book is supposed to have words in it, but A Snicker of Magic just gets the usual magic words have for me and dumps delicious buckets of ice cream all over it. Like you said, Felicity makes words come to life with her power… Actually, I think that even without her power, she would love words enough to give life to them.

    2. Felicity herself is also quite fantastic. I can really relate to her and the extreme awkwardness she feels when she has to actually say the words she loves so much and talk to people. I have had more than a few experiences where I mix up my words like her. And I also really just adore her love for her family and how great her heart is.

    3. Jonah and Felicity? I ship it. Totally. I'm imagining them growing up together, falling in romantic love, and marrying each other. There will be buckets of ice cream at the wedding, and lots of words floating around in Felicity's view.

    4. Uh, I also sort of love Day Grissom and his crush on Cleo. It's sooo adorable. I'm hoping that Cleo will say hi back to him at some point in the book.

    5. "By the end it’s like you have this massive buildup of awesomeness that explodes and showers everyone with happiness and magic and LOVE." <— I can't wait! ^_^

    • Haha, no problem! I do that sometimes too. 😛 I’m so glad you’re reading it, and I hope you’re liking it so far!

      YES YES YES YES YES to all of your points – I’m especially giddy over #1 and #3. This ship has sailed! And I love love love that wedding scene that you just described! :DD

      Ahhh can’t wait for you to finish this!

      • I’m loving it so far 😀 Almost done, actually. I have a feeling that I’m going to be word-vomiting my love for it on the blog either late today or early tomorrow 😛

        Oh, and what shall the name of the ship be? I’m thinking JonIcity or FeliciNah. I know, I’m bad at making ship names >_<

          • Oh! I actually posted a review a few days back– you’ll see it right under the Wandering Son review 🙂 Enjoy the word vomit!

            Jonalicity is fun to say, but Felinah is really adorable and also fun to say, so I choose Felinah. Note to self: always go to Sophie for ship names.

            • Ahhhh can’t believe I missed it! It’s now bookmarked and ready for a more thorough weekend perusal. I scrolled through it just now and it already made my day so much better. You’re awesome, Lesley! 😀

              And yay Felinah! (Somehow it makes me think of Princess Fiona from Shrek with kitty ears. I DON’T EVEN KNOW.)

  3. I found this book at my children’s spring book fair. I read it late into the night and then passed it to my son. We are both in love. He is even doing his end of the year reading project on it.
    It made me cry and it makes me smile just remembering it.
    *I see Jonah and Felicity being best friends for life (with a wedding in there somewhere). I also see them getting Frannie in on Pumpernickel

    • Ahh thanks for sharing your experience reading A Snicker of Magic, Monica! It made me smile. You and your son have such good tastes in books, haha. 😛

      And BIG YES to Jonah + Felicity ❤

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