Fantasy, Young Adult

Up in the air, Junior Birdman!

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

magonia book

The Skinny: Aza Ray is drowning in thin air. Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name. Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie? -From Goodreads

BFF?: So if you know me you’ll know that I don’t really like overly sarcastic characters or characters who are abrasive, so it felt very odd to like Aza right off the bat. From the first chapter I found her to be an intense character. While her abrasiveness was slightly off-putting, I felt like I could see through this hard exterior she had created for herself. I found myself thinking I would probably have the same attitude had I been sick like she had since birth. She also handled her illness with a humor I don’t know if I would be able to manage. However, once she found herself with the Magonians I think I started to lose interest in her. I can’t put my finger on it, but I think it mostly comes down to if you’re abducted by foreign beings or find yourself in a brand new world, for goodness sake don’t be rude to the natives. I’m just saying… you catch more flies with honey.

Readability: I’m sure someone out there loved the readability of this book. I found it sort of hard to keep up and focus on everything. A lot of it seemed very stream of consciousness which is good in some cases but this one was just too… something for me. Like Aza Ray, I can’t put my finger on it.

Crush Level: 1
1? Why so low you might ask. Honestly, I didn’t like Jason in that way. I didn’t even like him as a friend. Mostly because he reminded me of this one guy I know who sort of gets under my skin. Now, he was really nice to Aza and I think had I not had to read chapters from his perspective I might have developed a higher crush on him, but he was just not for me.

And there was some other guy and I don’t remember his name but he got a 1 too.

Bonus Points

on a boat
I LOVE boats. A fair amount of this book takes place on a ship. Not like a space ship but like a true ship, like a pirate ship! Ok, not a pirate ship, but you know… PIRATE SHIP! Argghh!

Crazy Illness
mystery illness
A lot of reviews I’ve read for Magonia mention that the beginning is pretty slow. I actually enjoyed the beginning more than the rest of the book. I loved learning about Aza’s illness and all the symptoms and treatments she’d gone through.

Commencement Speech: You know how there’s that one book that EVERYONE seems to love and so you start it with a certain excitement and expectation. You’re going along, everything’s great, your heartstrings are tugging, and then, all of a sudden… bird people. I’m not even kidding here. Bird people. I had the hardest time with this. And then the bird people had little doors on their chests so their special bird friend could live in there… yeah, it was as crazy to me as this probably sounds to you.

There were just too many things in this book that turned me off to it. Maybe I wasn’t feeling it. Maybe it was just too far out there. I don’t know. I just felt like I got lost so many times, I didn’t particularly enjoy a lot of the characters, and I felt like the plot was sort of all over the place. Maybe it wasn’t, but for me, it just was not a book I enjoyed very much, much to my sadness.

Yearbook Quote: None! ARC!

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