Gretel Graphic Novel Review

Gretel by Ben Meares
Rating: 4 Stars
Series: Standalone
Length: 148 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
Gretel’s story has been more nightmare than fairy tale ever since the tragic events of her childhood involving her brother and a maniacal witch. These events have left her cursed with a life that will span centuries.

After consuming the heart of a psychic witch, Gretel has been gifted the power of premonition. But when she has a psychic vision foretelling the end of the world, Gretel must open old wounds if she wants to try and prevent it from coming true.

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Book Review: The Wicker King

The Wicker King by K. Ancrum
Rating: 2 Stars
Series: Standalone
Length: 305 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
When August learns that his best friend, Jack, shows signs of degenerative hallucinatory disorder, he is determined to help Jack cope. Jack’s vivid and long-term visions take the form of an elaborate fantasy world layered over our own—a world ruled by the Wicker King. As Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy in this alternate world, even August begins to question what is real or not.

August and Jack struggle to keep afloat as they teeter between fantasy and their own emotions. In the end, each must choose his own truth.

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Book Review: More Happy Than Not

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Series: 
Length: 306 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
Sixteen-year-old Aaron Soto is struggling to find happiness after a family tragedy leaves him reeling. He’s slowly remembering what happiness might feel like this summer with the support of his girlfriend Genevieve, but it’s his new best friend, Thomas, who really gets Aaron to open up about his past and confront his future.

As Thomas and Aaron get closer, Aaron discovers things about himself that threaten to shatter his newfound contentment. A revolutionary memory-alteration procedure, courtesy of the Leteo Institute, might be the way to straighten himself out. But what if it means forgetting who he truly is?

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Human Review

Human by Diego Agrimbau, Lucas Varela (Illustrator)
Rating: 2 Stars
Series: Standalone
Length: 138 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon]

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
Planet Earth: 500,000 years in the future. Humans have been extinct for millennia. Two scientists, Robert and June, have been orbiting the Earth, waiting for the planet to become habitable once more. With the help of a team of robots, they plan to start over from scratch: a new Adam and Eve who won’t make the same mistakes as their ancestors. But first Robert has to find June, who seems to have landed somewhere else in this vast jungle—their Eden—full of grotesque creatures and strange primates…

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Snug: A Collection of Comics About Dating Your Best Friend Review

Snug: A Collection of Comics About Dating Your Best Friend by Catana Chetwynd
Rating: 4 Stars
Series: Standalone
Length: 136 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes and Noble]

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
Why bother getting out of bed when you could stay bundled up with that special someone and a book of cozy, cute comics. From the author of the bestselling Little Moments of Love comes Snug, a collection of comics that perfectly captures the honest, playful, and relatable snapshots of romantic life.

Chetwynd’s second book has the same charming and inviting style as her first and includes 50 percent new, never-before-shared comics. Snug is a celebration of the quirks and peculiarities of every one of us—and the magic that happens when we find our matching puzzle piece.

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Book Review: Reverie

Reverie by Ryan La Sala
Rating: 4 Stars
Series: Standalone
Length: 384 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
Ryan La Sala’s debut fantasy is an #OwnVoices story following Kane Montgomery, a gay teenager piecing his life back together after an attack robs him of his memories. As Kane searches for who he was, he uncovers a war for the creative rights to reality itself, each battle played out in an imagined world turned real: a reverie.

Reveries are worlds born from a person’s private fantasies, and once they manifest they can only be unraveled by bringing their conflicts to resolution. Reveries have rules and plots, magic and monsters, and one wrong step could twist the entire thing into a lethal, labyrinthine nightmare. Unraveling them is dangerous work, but it’s what Kane and The Others do.

Or did, until one of The Others purged Kane of his memories. But now Kane is back, and solving the mystery of his betrayal is the only way to unite his team and defeat reality’s latest threat: Poesy, a sorceress bent on harvesting the reveries for their pure, imaginative power.

But what use might a drag queen sorceress have with a menagerie of stolen reveries? And should Kane, a boy with no love for a team that betrayed him, fight to stop her, or defect to aid her?

Reverie is about the seduction of escaping inwards, about the worlds we hide within ourselves, and the danger of dreams that come true.

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Reading Quirks: Weird Things That Bookish Nerds Do! Review

Reading Quirks: Weird Things That Bookish Nerds Do! by The Wild Detectives, Laura Pacheco (Illustrator)
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Series: Standalone
Length: 96 Pages
Purchase: [Barnes & Noble]

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
A light-hearted ode to the immense pleasure of reading and its resulting neuroses in a collection of cartoons created by beloved bookstore The Wild Detectives

Who hasn’t peeked over the shoulder of the person reading next to them on the subway, curious about the book in their hands? Who doesn’t secretly love skipping the party to stay home and read? Who hasn’t daydreamed of catching the eye of a future significant other as you discover from across the room that you’re reading the same book? If you’re a reader, you know you’ve been there, and probably in so many other weird places as well, right? That’s what happens with readers, they have these strange traits, these particular ways, that separate them from the rest. Reading Quirks explores, in 72 lighthearted four-frame cartoons, all these weird things readers do, from the existential dilemma of picking your next read to the frustrations of watching an overzealous dog-earer in action. The series was written and created by a bookstore in Dallas, The Wild Detectives, originally as a social media campaign—a way to connect with other readers over a shared understanding of what it means to be crazy about books. Laura Pacheco’s adorable illustrations introduce a cast of endearing characters, whose flaws and obsessions range from disarming good nature to mischievous playfulness. Reading Quirks is a witty and light-hearted ode to the immense pleasure of reading and its resulting byproduct: neurosis.

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Book Review: Four Dead Queens

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Series: Standalone
Length: 429 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
Get in quick, get out quicker.

These are the words Keralie Corrington lives by as the preeminent dipper in the Concord, the central area uniting the four quadrants of Quadara. She steals under the guidance of her mentor Mackiel, who runs a black market selling their bounty to buyers desperate for what they can’t get in their own quarter. For in the nation of Quadara, each quarter is strictly divided from the other. Four queens rule together, one from each region:

Toria: the intellectual quarter that values education and ambition
Ludia: the pleasure quarter that values celebration, passion, and entertainment
Archia: the agricultural quarter that values simplicity and nature
Eonia: the futurist quarter that values technology, stoicism and harmonious community

When Keralie intercepts a comm disk coming from the House of Concord, what seems like a standard job goes horribly wrong. Upon watching the comm disks, Keralie sees all four queens murdered in four brutal ways. Hoping that discovering the intended recipient will reveal the culprit – information that is bound to be valuable bartering material with the palace – Keralie teams up with Varin Bollt, the Eonist messenger she stole from, to complete Varin’s original job and see where it takes them.

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A Brief Review: A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd (Conception)
Rating: 4 Stars
Series: Standalone
Length: 206 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting– he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd– whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself– Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

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Graphic Novel Review: Mooncakes

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker, Wendy Xu (Artist)
Rating: 5 Stars
Series:  Standalone
Length: 259 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.

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.

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