Review | Moonstruck Vol. 2 – Some Enchanted Evening

Werewolf barista Julie and her supernatural friends try to unwind at a party, but a conniving fraternity of fairy bros has other plans for our heroes. With one of their friends trapped in the frat house and the winter solstice (a notable night of magical mischief) looming ever-closer, it’s up to the amorous werewolves and gregarious centaur to save the day.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I was hoping to love this volume as much as I loved the first volume, but couldn’t quite get there. The constant fighting between Julie and Selena. I did appreciate that Selena got called out on her behavior, but there was just a little too much. I still loved the characters (let’s be honest, Chet is the most precious being) and the art style, but overall the story just didn’t gel for me.

Obviously Julie and Selena have a lot of things to work out, but some of the constant misunderstandings and arguments just really dampened the story for me. The fairies and their storylines were cool, but felt a little disjointed and incomplete.

I’m still interested to see what comes next, but a little worried that I won’t like it if it continues in the same vein.

Happy reading!

Review | My Riot by Rick Spears and Emmett Helen

Set in the early ’90s, My Riot is about a trio of teen girls team up to form a rock band and shake off society’s expectations of what it means to be a young woman coming of age in the modern world.

1991—Val, a teenager from a conservative family, has grown up dreaming of becoming a ballerina, but recently something has changed. She’s begun feeling pressure to conform to a specific idea of beauty, body type, and a personality that just doesn’t fit.

Val meets Kat, a smart, witty girl that doesn’t take any crap off anyone. Kat introduces Val to punk rock. Along with Rudie, another new friend, the three form an all-girl punk band they ironically name The Proper Ladies.

Soon Val and her friends find themselves caught up in a movement with other girls also starting bands—also finding their voice. Collectively, these “riot grrrls” discover that their songs ring out loud and powerful, and for Val, there’s no going back.

I didn’t know what to expect going into this one, and if I had to use one word to sum it up I would say it was very raw. It really tackles a lot of things mirrored in today’s society and does not shy away from it. We follow Val who isn’t quite sure what she wants in life, she just knows that something is missing and she transforms as she goes on her journey to find out who she really wants to be. It’s something everyone goes through, but in their own way and it was great to see her victories, missteps and heartbreaks along the way.

I really enjoyed the reading experience of this one, especially watching Val grow and define herself, while battling her own internal demons. The art style perfectly fit the feel of the story and changed to fit the mood perfectly.

Happy reading!

Review | The Hidden Witch

Aster and his family are adjusting to his unconventional talent for witchery; unlike the other boys in his family, he isn’t a shapeshifter. He’s taking classes with his grandmother and helping to keep an eye on his great-uncle whose corrupted magic wreaked havoc on the family.

Meanwhile, Aster’s friend from the non-magical part of town, Charlie, is having problems of her own — a curse has tried to attach itself to her. She runs to Aster and escapes it, but now the friends must find the source of the curse before more people — normal and magical alike — get hurt.

I was a little worried that this volume would be like a bridge between the first volume and the third, and while it did have some bridge elements it still stood really well on its own. There was a lot of character growth and transformation in this one and anyone who doesn’t love Aster and Charlie even more after reading this obviously will have read something different than I did.

I really loved the progression of some of the other characters that we met in the first volume, as well as introduction of new characters. Sedge’s sub plot in this one really hit me in the feels, and seeing him and Aster interacting and communicating more was great.

I’m kinda mad I slept on reading this one for so long, but so glad I did finally get to it. I can’t wait to pick up the next one!

Happy reading!

Review | Cat and Cat #2: Cat Out of Water

The adventures of Catherine and her cat, Sushi, continue in more comic escapades. To get away from it all, and get some rest and relaxation, Cat, her cat, and her dad visit the great outdoors. Being a single parent is never easy, and having a daughter such as Cat, not to mention a cat that’s also very much a part of the family, may be too much for her dad to handle no matter how much they all may love each other! Rough waters are ahead for the family of three, especially after Dad drops the bombshell: they’re moving! And we all know how much cats love water…!

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this one except that it would feature a playful and adventurous cat. The art style was very cute and colorful, though the chaos that was on some pages with sound/speech bubbles sometimes made it a little hard to read. I did feel that some of the pages could have benefited from traditional panels since that could provide some separation. All in all though it was full of fun adventures and scenarios that Sushi the cat and her owner Cat faced and experienced, it was heartwarming and fun.

Happy reading!

Review | Spells on Wheels

Kate Leth and Megan Levens team up for a magical new series! Spell on Wheels!

Three young witches head out on an east coast road trip to retrieve their stolen belongings and track down the mysterious thief before he can do any damage to–or with–their possessions.

As soon as I saw the premise for this graphic novel I wanted to pick it up. I loved Claire, Jolene and Andy as they went on an adventure to get back their belongings and figure who stole so many of their belongings. What follows is a series of escapades that are like mini episodes of shows like BtVS and Charmed. I loved their antics and personalities and overall it was a really enjoyable read.

The art style was full of rich color palettes and I loved the different settings that were created. Also each of the girls had a very clear and unique style, but they fit together and worked wonderfully together. You could tell that their friendship was solid and that they would help each other in turn.

Happy reading!

Review | The Tea Dragon Tapestry by Katie O’Neill

Join Greta and Minette once more for the heartwarming conclusion of the award-winning Tea Dragon series!

Over a year since being entrusted with Ginseng’s care, Greta still can’t chase away the cloud of mourning that hangs over the timid Tea Dragon. As she struggles to create something spectacular enough to impress a master blacksmith in search of an apprentice, she questions the true meaning of crafting, and the true meaning of caring for someone in grief. Meanwhile, Minette receives a surprise package from the monastery where she was once training to be a prophetess. Thrown into confusion about her path in life, the shy and reserved Minette finds that the more she opens her heart to others, the more clearly she can see what was always inside.

Told with the same care and charm as the previous installments of the Tea Dragon series, The Tea Dragon Tapestry welcomes old friends and new into a heartfelt story of purpose, love, and growth.

I won’t lie, I will probably read anything Katie O’Neill writes, her stories are filled with so much heart and her art style is beautiful. I really enjoyed how this installment brought all of the tea dragon stories together, but I did want more when I reached the end. I wish there was going to be more in the series/world simply because I feel like there was so much potential for more to be added to the story. Still, it was wonderful to see all of the characters again and see where they are in life and where life is taking them. While I did want more, I still loved the story overall and fell even more in love with tea dragons.

Happy reading!

Review | It’s Your Funeral

Marnie Winters was going to turn her life around; get out of the house, make friends, no more “Miserable Old Marnie!” Everything was going to plan, but then, of course, she died. Now, Marnie’s a ghost trapped on Earth, and the only one who can help her is the overenthusiastic, alien social worker, Xel, whose job is to help ghosts “close their file” and pass on. Are you ready for a sweetly nostalgic trip through Marnie’s life, correcting mistakes and righting what once went wrong? Well sorry, this isn’t that story! Xel has a much better idea to soothe Marnie’s troubled spirit: an internship in the hopeless bureaucracy of the trans-dimensional Department of Spectral Affairs!

This new do-gooder duo has their work cut out for them in a series of hilarious mishaps and misadventures throughout the space-time continuum (but mostly in and around the office) as Marnie finds pathways through her feelings of worthlessness by helping others.

A paranormal fantasy about healing, learning to love yourself, and being OK with being not OK, It’s Your Funeral is the cosmic office comedy you’ve been dying to read!

I loved the concept of this one, featuring Marnie, who quite suddenly finds herself a ghost suddenly meeting her case worker, Xel – at the Department of Spectral Affairs. They’re struggling to find her place in the afterlife so they end up working together in the DSA.

To me, Marnie was a very unlikeable character. While I understood she was upset, angry and miserable, she was often downright mean to those who were trying to help her. There were definitely lessons learned and I loved the overall messages about healing, but I would have enjoyed it more if she was dialed back just a little bit.

I did love all of the different characters and how Marnie got to know their unique personalities. I also really loved the different settings and the art style. Each characters had different styles/colors of text bubbles, so that was great when you might not be sure who is talking. Overall the story was fun and did have a number of messages conveyed.

Happy reading!

Review | Fangs

A new gothic romance story from the creator of the enormously popular Sarah’s Scribbles comics.

Vamp is three hundred years old but in all that time, she has never met her match. This all changes one night in a bar when she meets a charming werewolf. FANGS chronicles the humor, sweetness, and awkwardness of meeting someone perfectly suited to you but also vastly different.

As soon as I heard Sarah Anderson was coming out with something new I wanted to get my hands on it. Fangs is her typical short comic format, but this time we’re following a vampire and werewolf as they begin and grow their relationship. Many of the comics had the perfect combination of humor and heartfelt sentiments as they navigate their life together. There were as many moments that made me laugh as there were moments that made me say “awwwwww” This is a great addition to her collection of works and I look forward to seeing more from her in the future.

Happy reading!

Review | Frankie Comics

When they discover a kitten asleep in their doorway, real-life artist couple Rachel and Mike immediately fall prey to her charms. Soon, the new queen of their home is a blue point Siamese cat named Frankie. Stealing snacks, making mischief, and taking snuggling very seriously, Frankie proves, again and again, the wholesome joys of a feline companion.

Hilarious indie comics darling Frankie Comics is collected for the first time in this full-color hardcover edition – purrfect for cat lovers everywhere. 

As an owner of a very crazy cat, I was eager to pick up this one and read about the adventures of another cat. Sure, a lot of the situations are pretty normal for most cats and examples of everyday life with a cat, but with the adorable art and full personality of Frankie, it was a joy to read. Frankie’s antics are hilarious and heartwarming as she takes over her human’s lives.

Anyone who loves cats or lives with cats will probably identify with a number of these comics. They are entertaining, quirky and full of love.

Happy reading!

Review | Ghosts

Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake – and her own.

I’ve been enjoying all the hard hitting middle grade graphic novels I’ve been finding that address real issues/worries that people may face. This story really tackles the fears that go along with the possibility of losing a family member, especially if that loss may be untimely. It looks at the point of view of both someone looking at losing someone in the future as well as the perspective of the person struggling for their life.

I really loved how this was explored by the family’s move to a town where ghosts are the norm, not only that, but it was a place where Dia de los Muertos was openly celebrated and loved. It ended up being the perfect place for the two sisters to learn about and accept mortality in different ways. Both of them grow and face their fears, while also making new friends and learning about their culture.

Happy reading!