Wednesday 21 July 2021

Book Review: The Airways by Jennifer Mills (Contemporary/Literary Fiction)

Title: The Airways
Author: Jennifer Mills
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Publication Date: 27 July 2021
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Genre: Contemporary/Literary Fiction
Source: ARC from Publisher

I had a body once before. I didn't always love it. I knew the skin as my limit, and there were times I longed to leave it.

I knew better than to wish for this.

This is the story of Yun. It's the story of Adam.
Two young people. A familiar chase.

But this is not a love story.
It's a story of revenge, transformation, survival.

Feel something, the body commands. Feel this.
But it's a phantom . . . I go untouched.

They want their body back.

Who are we, if we lose hold of the body?
What might we become?

The Airways shifts between Sydney and Beijing, unsettling the boundaries of gender and power, consent and rage, self and other, and even life and death.

It took me several chapters to get into The Airways. I started it late one night and I think my brain was not awake enough to process it at first. When I came back to it the following evening, I started to get into the story and came to appreciate its clever style and interesting premise, which dwelt on themes of self-identity and personal agency, as well as the balance of life and death. It was intriguing, thought-provoking and well-written; however, when I turned the final page, I did wish I could have connected with the piece on more of an emotional level too, as my appreciate for it was mainly intellectual and I'd never come to care deeply for either of the main characters. Nonetheless, it is a book I am glad I had the opportunity to read and I would recommend it for fans of literary fiction looking for something with a fresh take on familiar themes. I am giving it four stars.

I received this book as a free ARC from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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