Can't Live Without You (Dory FantasMaGory #6)

Can't Live Without You (Dory FantasMaGory #6)
Age Range
Release Date
September 26, 2023
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When Dory loses track of her mom in the hardware store, it leads to a touch of separation anxiety. Dory suspects her mom will soon sail off on a ship across the world to eat cake and play kickball and never return. These are big feelings, and Dory knows what to do: She throws a sheet over her head and haunts her family everywhere they go so they can't leave her, much to the annoyance of her brother and sister. Then Dory’s longtime nemesis Mrs. Gobble Gracker reappears, wearing a wedding dress, and Dory’s mom makes an announcement that leaves not just Dory reeling but her siblings too. Maybe a haunting is exactly what's needed to get this family back to normal.

In her sixth book, Dory delivers hoots and oopses on every page, entangling her friends—real and imaginary—in fabulous plots that sometimes take even Dory herself by delightful surprise.

Editor review

1 review
Dory and her imagination
(Updated: January 28, 2024)
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
Dory has a vivid imagination which leads to unusual situations. The opening chapter finds her wanting to be a teenager named Rainbow but the purse she brings to school creates an issue. She has several imaginary characters including her friends Mr. Nuggy and Mary while Mrs. Gobble Gracker is a strange-looking woman with fangs. Mary uses a banana split to call Mr. Nuggy who’s able to create potions to help Dory, including a love potion. Dory is upset when she discovers Mozart is dead (he died a couple hundred years ago) and she’s afraid her mother may fall off a ship and get bitten by a shark. Dory’s creative mind produces many wacky scenes that will keep young readers guessing.
The narrative is accompanied by black and white drawings that help to visualize the events. These pictures are especially helpful when Dory interacts with her imaginary characters. Mr. Nuggles is a small man with a pointed hat, Mary has little horns, and Mrs. Gobble Gracker wears unusual outfits. The illustrations add detail to the descriptions such as when Dory is lost at the hardware store or taking ballet lessons. Speech bubbles provide amusing dialogue in the pictures like when a horrible odor follows Dory around school. Almost every page in the book has an illustration which helps the pace of the story for young readers and helps them visualize what’s happening.
Despite Dory’s imagination, the book deals with several real-life issues. Dory suffers from separation anxiety and sometimes becomes clingy around her mom. Dory has older siblings and they can be supportive or annoying depending on the situation. She’s in a dance class that she’s not crazy about and she gets upset when her dad takes her instead of her mom. Dory’s mom makes an announcement later in the book that will require some adjustments to the family’s home life.
What didn’t work as well:
There are scenes where Dory’s brother and sister talk to Mrs. Gobble Gracker which doesn’t make sense if the character is in Dory’s mind. Dory’s siblings must be pretending but it might confuse young readers. Dory’s random thoughts often take the story in unpredictable directions which may bother some readers. The plot doesn’t move in a straight line.
The final verdict:
This book can be read independently from the rest of the series and is most appropriate for an elementary audience. Readers must adapt to how Dory’s arbitrary thoughts control the plot but the whole story is based on realistic issues. Overall, this book should appeal to younger readers and I recommend they give it a shot.
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