Friday, May 22, 2015

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

"It's me in this body, thank you, snarled and screwed up and not going to make it; let's not go on about things we can't revise. I'm an edited version of a real live girl, or at least, that's what I say when I want to tell you something and I would rather not talk about it but have to get it out of the way so we can move on to better topics..."

Aza Ray has a "history of hospitals." She suffers from a rare lung disease, so rare that they named it after her. Despite all the hospital visits and new drugs and treatments, Aza is still dying, unable to breath properly.

Aza spends her days with her best friend Jason. They visit rare book galleries and watch videos of giant squids, normal teenager stuff. They are pretty adorable, and Jason obviously loves her, though she doesn't think it's possible.

Things take a turn for the weird when Aza sees a ship in the clouds. She thinks it's just hallucinations, that her brain is finally starting to fail. Jason tells her about Magonia, which is a legendary city in the clouds. There are stories of ships in the sky, sailors who drown on land.

Soon after, a bird flies down Aza's throat (I know, it sounds weird) and her lungs give out. During the ride to the hospital, a lot of action takes place. Icy roads, a helicopter crash, and then Aza dies...and she also doesn't. Jason and her family go through the process of burying Aza. Meanwhile, she wakes up in Magonia.

 The beginning of Magonia was fantastic. I love Aza and how cynical she is, and I really love Aza and Jason's relationship. After Aza dies, even though I knew we were going to hear more from her, I cried. I thought it was a really good choice to switch to Jason's perspective. It really broke my heart, especially his alligator suit. The Magonia stuff is a little weird for me so I didn't like it as much as the beginning and the Jason chapters. Aza was taken away from her mother years ago and placed on earth to die. Now that she is in her true home, Aza must fulfill her destiny by saving Magonia from starvation.

Despite that, Magonia is a great story. It's very The Fault in Our Stars with a fantasy twist. I have heard that there will be a sequel, and I am definitely curious to read about the further adventures of Aza and Jason. I am predicting another great story in their future. 

I received my copy of Magonia from Edelweiss, courtesy of HarperCollins. It's available for purchase now.

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