Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Review: Magic Or Madness by Justine Larbalestier

Magic Or Madness by Justine Larbalestier

Series: Magic Or Madness (#1)
Pages: 288
Publisher: Razorbill
Published: March 17th, 2005
IBSN: 9781595140227

My name is Reason Cansino. I was named Reason because my mother, Sarafina, thought it was prettier than Logic or Rationality or Intellect....

Reason has lived fifteen years in the Australian outback with her mother Sarafina. They're on the run from Reason's grandmother Esmeralda, who believes in magic and practices horrifying dark rituals. But when Sarafina suffers a mental breakdown, Reason is sent to the one place she fears most—Esmeralda's home in Sydney.

Nothing about the house or Esmeralda is what Reason expected. For the first time she finds herself questioning her mother's teachings. Then, when she walks through Esmeralda's back door in Sydney and finds herself on a New York City street, Reason is forced to face a shocking truth. Magic is real. And Reason is magic. 

[Synopsis by Goodreads]

Magic Or Madness is Justine Larbalestier's first YA novel. I've read Liar by her before, and it's one of my favorites. I enjoyed reading Magic Or Madness, but I wasn't wowed by it like I was her other books.

I recognised the writing style - simple, emotive, and captivating. The plot was tense, the characters were all realistic and dynamic, and the ending was satisfying. The premise was unique, and I liked how the book explored a downside to supernatural abilities.

I liked every element of the book, yet I finished feeling kind of indifferent (thus this incredibly short review). I can say that overall I found Magic Or Madness good but not great. I recommend it anyone who likes books which have a unique take to a common supernatural element, and give it a 3 out of 5.


I read this book for the Aussie YA Reading Challenge.