The Raven Boys is the first novel in The Raven Cycles series by Maggie Stiefvater. Maggie Stiefvater’s already a well known fiction author and I loved her previous series The Wolves of Mercy Falls so I had high hopes with this series. [Spoilers] I’m already liking this series.
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Hello readers! I am finally back with another book review. For this week’s review, I’m jumping away from the spicy crazy romance of Beautiful Bastard to the spicy space adventure that is Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes.
As mentioned before, this novel is on the spicy side, and that includes lots of bilingual swearing and implied sex scenes. So keep that in mind if you’re planning to gift this to a younger reader.
If you are a sci-fi fan and have been longing for a story starring a Latinx Capitan and psychic cats, continue reading.
Witches and vampires dating? Read it. Witches and
demons dating also read that. But witches and werewolves, nope never.
When I saw the cover to Mooncakes, I immediately knew I needed to read it this fall.
Mooncakes is a graphic novel written by Suzanne Walker and illustrated by Wendy Xu and came out this October. Nova Hoang is a witch who works at her grandmothers’ magic bookstore assisting customers with that day to day spell work. Nova also helps in solve supernatural happenings in her small town so when she hears about a giant white wolf in the woods Nova decides to investigate. However, when Nova comes face to face with the wolf, she realizes the wolf is none other than her old crush Tam Lang.
Tam confesses to Nova that while coming back into town, they spotted a horse demon in the woods. Nova agrees to help Tam, but they soon discover that Tam is the only one who can stop the demon by using their werewolf magic. While all this is going on, Nova and Tam decide to pick up where they left off and start dating.
I loved so many things about this book, but here are just a few of them. Nova is hard of hearing, and her blue hearing aids are visible in every panel she appears in. I loved that Nova’s disability remained visible throughout this novel. I returned to previous panels to search for them, and they were always there. My ignorance made me appreciate the visibility of Nova’s disability throughout this book, and it also made me pay closer attention to the artwork and not get swept up in the story.
I loved that Mooncakes included LGBTQ+ characters. Tam
Lang, the love interest, uses they/them pronouns and is a super cool white
werewolf. Additionally, I was surprised to learn that Nova has two nanas. All
the descriptions of this book I had previously read stated that Nova works at
her grandmother’s bookshop, which is technically true, but Nova having two
grandmothers is an extra special detail that you do not discover until you read
Lastly, I want to emphasize that readers pay attention to the background artwork during scenes because there are lots of cute Easter eggs. In particular, popular YA novels are visible behind Nova in the bookshop. This is super cool, considering Wendy Xu is a curator of YA and children’s books.
I do not have many negative points about this novel, but for the sake of this review, I decided to neat pick some details of this story. One thing I could never figure out was Nova’s age. This story takes place during the fall season, and considering that Nova never goes to school, I assumed she was 18 or older. Nova also mentions becoming best friends with Tatyana in high school, and the use of past tense suggests that both of them are older than high school age. Lastly, what happened to Terry? Will we ever know the answer to that mystery?
Mooncakes is up there with Don’t Date Rosa Santos as one of my favorite books this year. Mooncakes is the first graphic novel I have ever read, and I loved the way that the artwork flows with the story. I think I may need to add more graphic novels and even manga to my tbr list based on the artwork alone.