Book - 2015 | First edition
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Aza Ray Boyle's life has been defined by a unique lung disease and her evolving friendship with Jason, but just before her sixteenth birthday, she's swept up into the sky-bound world of Magonia and discovers her true identity.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2015]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780062320520
Branch Call Number: YF HEADL-M
Characteristics: 309 pages ; 24 cm


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Publisher’s Weekly Best Young Adult Books of 2015

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sarahbru17 Sep 14, 2018

Characters: 6.5/10
Plot: 7/10
Writing: 8/10
The first 50 pages or so were a little tough to get through. It was largely internal character development, and I didn't like Aza's voice very much. It felt rather overdramatic and whiny--which was fair from the perspective of character development, but unpleasant and a little dragging from the point of plot.
However, when the twist came along about 1/4 of the way through the book, things got interesting, and Aza's voice felt more in place with the plot.
There were some elements in here that I have simply not seen before in sci-fi/fantasy. The canwr were especially unique, as were many of the other fauna mentioned throughout the world-building. Magonia itself was a fascinating country to learn about--although I still feel as though a lot of questions are left unanswered.
One of my least-favorite plot devices--intentionally witholding information from the protagonist merely to build suspense, and not for legitimate reasons--was used pretty heavily. It was so frustrating that, even after a lot of the gaps have been filled, I still have that lingering sense of confusion and uncertainty.
The writing style itself was unique. A few of the funky forms used, as well as the word choice and phrasing, made it feel very poetic--edging on prose poetry. This was a little halting at times, as it didn't flow with the normal rhythm of prose, but still beautiful.

Library_Jill Nov 09, 2016

A very unique sci-fi adventure, chock full of heart-wrenching moments, that still manages to feel satisfying, despite not answering all of the questions it raises. I loved Jason's character!

Jul 31, 2016

<Possible Spoilers>
I found this book rather interesting,
In the begining It had strong character design and a good plot. But nearing Aza's death, I got confused and charaters got weird.
I did enjoy the read, I just got confused during it.
It had beautiful writing and good ideas, Just a tad confusing.

Jul 07, 2016

This was a really interesting and unique book. Aza is a mostly likeable character but sometimes she does things that I don't like.
I think I liked the first 100 pages of the book best. At about 100 pages, there is a plot twist of a sort which changes everything and makes it all so much more confusing. I can't say much without spoiling things but this book is magical realism and Aza is magically transported to a land called Magonia and it is based on histories legends/stories of ships in the sky. The book didn't describe things properly and it used a ton of terms that weren't explained soon enough. For example: the people in the book are constantly saying 'by the breath' but you don't know what the breath is until past 200 pages. I really liked it but it should have been described more.
If you have read the book, you know about the whole singing business. I think it was a cool thing but I also hated it a bit. It was kind of like "You're a wizard Aza. In this world we sing with birds to make magic happen instead of wands." LOL!
And then there is the thing with Caru and Milekt (they are birds). Milekt is the equivalent to Aza's wand because she can't do magic without him. They talk about how birds choose you and people and birds become partners. You can't not see the Harry Potter in this. These things could have been good things but they were so similar to Harry Potter that it made me laugh. LOLOL
Another thing that needed more explaining is Zal and Caru. They are supposed to be singing partners but aren't anymore and I don't think the author told why in a good way.
Also, it felt like Aza developed a whole new personality that was never explained. Aza does not have the kind of personality that I can imagine her singing.
Some of the people that Aza meets throughout this book are portrayed in a certain way because you are supposed to like them, but you can kinda tell that they are going to end up being bad in the end. So umm... that was kind of stupid.
Other people in the book have no emotion.
Dai: Aza would reach for his hand, feelings would cross between them but there was no real emotion. The book described Aza feeling connected, which I think you were supposed to interpret as love but nah.
Zal: you could kinda tell from the beginning that she was the evil mother. "No one is more loved than you Aza." Honestly, she said that so many times that it naturally made me suspicious. The stupid lady needs to shut up.
Jik: this isn't really emotionless, but still didn't make sense. Jik told Aza tons of secret insider information even though they aren't even friends.
I don't get it and I don't like it.
Now lets talk about the love triangle. I really liked Jason in the beginning and I was really sad for him when Aza died, but then Dai came along. I fell a bit in like with him, but as I stated before, there was absolutely no emotion between him and Aza. And he betrayed her in the end-ugggh. But I did think it was cute how they had to sing together.
I'll finish with the ending. Umm... I hated it. I know there will be a second book, however that does not excuse the ending. I wanted Aza to end up with Dai and he betrayed her. And one more thing that should have been explained better is how when Dai and Aza were singing at the end, Aza tried to stop singing, but she couldn't because Dai was singing through her. Like... what the heck. That cannot happen. If the author wanted it to happen then she should have EXPLAINED IT!!!!!!
And since I wanted Aza to end up with Dai, I didn't like how she went home with Jason. Also, I hated how she went to see her parents and they were just like 'yeah come on in. lets have tea or something'
So i realize that this has been a really negative review, but I did really like this book. I loved the world that Maria Dahvana Headley created though and that is what has redeemed this book for me.

Mar 13, 2016

I absolutely loved this story!! It was written beautifully!

LPL_KimberlyL Feb 20, 2016

A highly unusual and fantastical book that isn't quite suited for every reader... The concept is truly original as it is based on historical accounts of ships in the sky, though the way the Magonian society functions is the brainchild of the author. The story will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman, Guillermo del Toro (specifically Pan's Labyrinth), Miyazaki films, and general lovers of magical realism. An unexpected and enchanting tale that runs rampant with creativity and imagination (and will make you believe in the power of family, friendship, and love). Breath-taking.

Dec 23, 2015

The idea was fascinating and would have made for a good story, but after a few good chapters, the story lost my attention. I loved the writing style though, and how the author used different word placement to really create an effect. Overall, it was just okay.

kirstd31 Oct 13, 2015

I did not care for this book. The story needed more development. Aza uses her powers once and she is stronger than any other Magonioan. I need more details to make the story believable.

MedinaReads Jul 10, 2015

In her new fantasy book, Magonia, Maria Dahvana Headley delivers a beautiful and fast paced story. Aza Ray has been dying for as long as she can remember. Her lungs don’t work properly and every day is could be her last. Until the night that she is taken to Magonia, the city in the clouds. Up in the sky she can breathe properly for the first time and discovers an identity she could never have imagined. Back on the ground, Aza’s best friend Jason searches tirelessly for the girl he’s always been in love with. This lyrical and sassy story will be loved by fans of John Green, adventure, and figuring out where you belong. Recommended by S.A., Brunswick Library, MCDL

Jul 01, 2015

Originally posted on my blog:

This book was super weird. Know that before going into it, and you may like it more than I did.

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Jul 01, 2015

brianna_c thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jun 27, 2015

Martke62 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

WVMLlibrarianShannon May 29, 2015

WVMLlibrarianShannon thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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