Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: Magonia – Maria Dahvana Headley


Magonia – Maria Dahvana Headley


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?



Review: I’m not a huge fan of this book. It has great reviews on Goodreads, so maybe this is a case of “It’s not you, it’s me.”

Aza has spent her entire life struggling to breathe. No doctor has been able to help her, and nobody can explain how she is still alive. A few days before her sixteenth birthday, she discovers what is causing her illness—and the cause turns out to be crazier than anyone could have predicted. Aza does not belong in this world.

This book is so imaginative. I’ve never read anything like it, and it’s a refreshing change. I like the strange plot and the feeling that literally anything could happen next. This is a bizarre book: People change skins, birds crawl down the characters’ throats, and there are boats in the sky. It’s weird (in an intriguing way).

I just couldn’t connect with Aza. I didn’t like her at all. Her voice got on my nerves, and she’s very bitchy. I understand that she’s sick, but she doesn’t have to act so whiny, judgmental, and superior to others. It was difficult for me to read from her perspective. She does get more bearable as the story progresses, but I never grew to care about her, so I had a hard time staying interested in her story.

I did care about Jason. He’s not entirely believable as a teenage character, but I (somewhat) admire his dedication to Aza. He knows that she’s out there somewhere, and she might need help, so he won’t stop until he finds her, even if his mission makes him seem crazy. I enjoyed most of the chapters written from his point-of-view.

A lot of things about this story feel flimsy. It could have used more everything: more character development, more worldbuilding, more description (I couldn’t picture any of the non-human characters), more action, more explanation of the plot events. I just wanted more.

I can totally understand why people love this book. It’s definitely unique. I actually think that all wannabe YA authors should read it because the genre could use an injection of creativity. It just didn’t work for me.


     

14 comments:

  1. I've actually seen a lot of mixed reviews about this book on Goodreads, and although the cover is to DIE for, it sounds too weird for me. And if I can't connect with the characters, well... I'll probably skip it.

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    1. The cover was my favorite part of the book. It is beautiful.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  2. This is actually one of my favorite books this year! ^_^ But I get why you didn't like it. To each their own! :)

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  3. This book did not work for me, so it's not just you. However, I know MANY people who loved it!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

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    1. It’s good to know that it’s not only me. Most reviewers seem to love it, so I wondered if I was missing something.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  4. I have seen mixed things on this. Not connecting with characters is the worst for me so see how this wouldn't have worked. Great review!

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    1. Both narrators got on my nerves a little, so finishing this one was difficult.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  5. Great review! The blurb does sound intriguing, but I hate whiny, bitchy characters, so it's probably not for me. It sounds just a little too weird for my taste as well. Thanks for the review!

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    1. It is a very weird book. Usually I like that kind of thing, but it didn’t work for me this time.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  6. It sucks not to click with a character or story but at least you stuck it out. Great review! :)

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    1. I kept hoping it would get better. I did like the end a lot more than the beginning.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  7. A really good review! I do want to read this one myself, but you showed the reasons why it couldn't work out so well. It's a shame about you not liking the character so much and some parts feeling like they could have used more work. But the world building does sound promising at least~

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    1. I hope you enjoy it. The world is interesting, but the characters annoyed me.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete

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