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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Friggin' Days by Megan O'Russell is the tale of Bryant Adams. Bryant has received many lectures for daydreaming which tends to get him into trouble. He's just a normal teenager with divorced parents and a best friend who charms everyone he meets. Then everything changes when he finds a magical phone and his mom not so subtly gets him a chance to talk to the girl of his dreams by becoming her math tutor. Too bad things go south after he opens an app and starts a fire in the theater. The phone's owner shows up and threatens Bryant's mom if he doesn't hand it over, but he's not so sure if that's the right thing to do. As he's drawn into the middle of a fight, Bryant discovers an affinity for magic and works with a surprising ally.
Megan O'Russell delivers a fun and unique adventure which finds a magical phone in the hands of a normal teenager. Bryant is ordinary, often overlooked, and gets flustered around the girl of his dreams. No one would guess his dad is rich, but that's how Bryant prefers it. Bryant chooses keep his dad's wealth a secret which says a lot about his character because by doing this he's choosing to just be himself and be accepted for who he is. His best friend Devon has a charming and outgoing personality that wins everyone over, but he's also more than this. He's a loyal friend and accepts Bryant for who he is while also not shying away from being honest. Elizabeth is described as the perfect girl by Bryant, who has been smitten with her for years. She's the opposite of Bryant in attitude as she's outspoken and takes charge of the situation.
The phone offers these three teenagers a chance of adventure and chaos, while changing the dynamics between them. O'Russell takes a different approach to the idea of magic by giving it a modern spin through use of apps to do spells. The spells are so much fun, though they come with consequences such as setting things on fire and turning a flower into a giant bean-stalk equivalent plant. This twist on spells is what makes the story so much fun because it adds chaos and eccentricity to the idea of ordinary. The humor is often derived through the chaos the phone creates, but it's also drawn out of the dynamics of the characters and through Bryant's mom who adds charm whenever she's around. How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Friggin' Days is funny and chaotic, a unique take on magic and adventure, with twists and surprises, charming characters and a magical phone.