Hi friends! I’m super happy to share my thoughts on a graphic novel! For once, because I seriously don’t read enough graphic novels. I did pick this up for The Reading Rush Readathon, so this review is probably being written way earlier because I have the memory of a goldfish*. So let’s get started!
*i need to start taking notes. however, every time i try to take notes, my brain forgets everything it wanted to say within the two seconds it takes to think up a bullet point.
A huge thank you to NetGalley and Lion Forge for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.
One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.
Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.
I read this in one sitting which is rare for me! Am I the only one who gets distracted halfway through doing anything? Anyways, I really liked this one, but it felt like there was quite a bit of untapped potential.
✨The diversity was AMAZING!
Both of our main characters, Nova and Tam, are Chinese-American. I absolutely adored how their skin tones differed so much but were equally beautiful and of the same race! So often, stereotypes are given based off of skin colors but I was happy to see that this wasn’t the case here. Both fall on the LBTQ+ spectrum, and Nova is described and shown as having hearing aids! I can’t speak personally on any of the rep but I do think it was well-done!
✨The artwork was BEAUTIFUL. How the mint chocolate chip is everyone so talented? I can’t even draw a stick figure without it looking like a deformed watermelon stick*. The colored illustrations were so pretty!
*that might have sounded like nonsense but believe me it’s true
✨Witches! Werewolves! Magic! It made my heart so warm to see the witch-y aspects used both domestically and, well, in other ways. I loved how natural everything felt.
❄️The plot felt really cookie-cutter in my opinion. It wasn’t bad, it was just predictable. There was a lot of cuteness but it didn’t feel really unique to me. I wasn’t particularly invested, it was mainly just me being drawn in by the artwork and the sheer warmness of the story. But the plot itself? You could probably have it figured all out by the first chapter, and outlined in three bullet points.
❄️The romance felt really rushed. This is obviously a graphic novel stand-alone as of now, so we can’t have a ton of development. Still it felt like we went from childhood friends to MORE THAN FRIENDS in two minutes. My slow-burn heart was screaming. We didn’t get to see any relationship development on page, which left me feeling rather hollow.
❄️And finally, a point that’s totally my own bias coming out but WHY DIDN’T WE GET MORE MOONCAKES?! I was expecting more about the mooncakes, their significance in the character’s lives, or just something like that. But no, they were glossed over and I felt rejected. I really want to try one now!