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Mooncakes – Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu

Arc received from Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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★ ★ ★ ★ FOUR STARS

This book in one word: sweet. As a reader just getting in to graphic novels (I’m sooo late for the bus on this one) I found myself easily immersed in the chaotic and yet straightforward lives of Nova and Tam. I must admit, it took me a little while to get in to this book but once I did, I utterly enjoyed it.

Mooncakes tells the story of a young witch named Nova, and her Nannas (who are adorably intuitive and supportive), as their lives get increasingly more chaotic with the sudden arrival of unexpected guests in their New England town. One of whom happens to be Tam Lang – Nova’s childhood best friend and werewolf. Tan’s return brings along with it a new host of problems, including a witchcraft cult with demonic possession intentions.

What I really enjoyed about this novel was its simplicity. Although the story line itself got increasingly intense and the problems more complex, it was still a simple and satisfying read. The illustrations really captured my attention and interest. Before I knew it, I was done. I’ve been known to fly through novels before, but not often in one sitting. This was an utterly enjoyable quick read that I would definitely want to read again – at the very least to enjoy its illustrations by Wendy Xu one more time.

Nova and Tam’s relationship was a bit sudden, but considering their past it was still understandable. The progression of their relationship from that point onward though was a lot slower and heart-warming. The support of the Nannas was also endearingly sweet. Despite the horrors happening outside their home, on the inside it was as sweet as iced tea and I loved it that way! This graphic novel had the perfect balance of sweet and chaotic, with a dash of occult danger to spice up the mix.

While I am not as knowledgeable as I should be on gender and sexuality preferences, I’m all for freedom of choice and expression. I loved how this book took a straight forward approach to creating a loving, supportive family dynamic that featured a range of genders as well as sexualities. I’d love to see more of this in novels (graphic or prose). This was my first f/NB romance and it certainly won’t be my last!

Overall, I really enjoyed this read for my first graphic novel. I’ve definitely been missing out on a great genre – a problem I plan to fix very soon. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more works by this duo!

Jen

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