Cover Image: Haphaven

Haphaven

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Alex is 8 years old when her father dies. She becomes very superstitious. When her mother suddenly gets seriously ill she has to do something. The only way to save her mother is to go to the magical world of Haphaven. 
I liked the story, but I didn't quite like the style of the illustrations. I especially didn't like the way Alex looked
You can read my review (in Dutch) on my website Ikvindlezenleuk: https://ikvindlezenleuk.nl/2019/03/harper-haphaven/
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This story was definitely interesting and unique. I really liked it. The adventure that the main character sets out is definitely thrilling and at times a little confusing for me. But overall it was something that I would purchase and read on my own. 

I typically don’t like these types of books, because the whole world building and slow starts really turn me off. I’m glad I stuck with it and continued to read it because it was definitely a treat.
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I don't know what it is, but I have really been enjoying stories like this. It takes fairy tale elements and puts it into a modern setting. There is a mixture of the real world and a fantasy world that complement each other nicely. In this story, Alex is a young lady that is turning thirteen and her world revolves around superstitions. When one of them threatens her mother's life, she sets out on a journey to find a cure.

The fairy tale elements and the superstitions are great. The real winner for me is the characters. The book takes a decent amount of time establishing Alex's history and her motivation. That could give it a slow start for some, but it pays off. The supporting characters are wonderful too. I found them to be funny and they worked well within Alex's story. I loved the art. It is perfect for the story without being too cartoony.
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A harrowing story that deals with grief, self-discovery, and... leprechauns. 

It had a bit of a slow start but it picked up by the time Alex was transported (Alice in Wonderland style) to Haphaven, a land of mystery and a place where superstitious Alex fits right in. The journey to help her mom was really fun, and I liked the twistiness that the author threw in there. I called one of the twists from the moment of introduction, but I still enjoyed watching it play out!

I did kind of expect Alex to have a little more respect or caution about this new world she's been thrown into - if only because she's introduced as a very superstitious character, and superstition usually goes hand in hand with caution. Plus, it never does you any good to be rude in a fairytale, which Alex should know.

The art style isn't my favorite, but that's totally subjective and the artist conveyed what was happening well, so no complaints there.


Thank you to NetGalley and Lion Forge for providing a digital ARC.
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This started off a bit slow but I was absolutely loving it by the end. Alex is a preteen who follows all the superstitions. One day she finally listens to her mother, steps on a crack and breaks her mother's back. Then she gets transported to Haphaven, the land of the Leprechauns where she goes on a quest to heal her mother. It's got a definite Alice in Wonderland or Wizard of Oz vibe to it in that we're in another world that definitely feels a little dangerous and off kilter. I like how the author played with some of those familiar fairy tale tropes. By the end I was completely all in and rooting all out for Alex.
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I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Haphaven is a graphic novel by Norm Harper and Louie Joyce which follows the main character, Alex, as she finds herself in a world where the superstitions her father instilled in her reign supreme and she must fight corruption and learn about her family’s superstitious past, all whilst worrying about her mother’s broken back (because of course, Alex stepped on a crack and her mother’s back actually broke).

Perhaps the thing that is most important to me when reading graphic novels (and, indeed, comics or manga as well) is that the art style does not put me off. Typically I do find myself drawn to graphic novels with an art style that particularly appeals to me, but so long as the art style is not something I dislike I can enjoy the story well-enough, and that was the case with Haphaven. The artwork was not incredible or particularly unique or imaginative or beautiful, but it was pleasing enough and communicated the story clearly.

Of course, when getting an ARC from NetGalley, it isn’t like getting a book in a bookshop (or even online)… you don’t see the artwork until you download the book! So, unlike what typically draws me to graphic novels, in this case it was the concept which made me download the book. The book follows a normal girl into a world where all superstitions are real. I’m all for slightly quirky, magical-realism, alternate reality type things, so this was right up my alley in that respect. If you aren’t prepared to suspend disbelief, however, this is not the story for you.

I loved the concept, but the execution was less solid: not bad, but not great either. I wasn’t particularly enamoured by any of the characters, which is usually what draws me to a story (except for one or two of the side characters), and in general the world development and character development felt fairly sparse, but otherwise it was definitely an enjoyable read an interesting exploration of the power of superstition. At times, it felt like the story tried to do too much in the way of plot, sacrificing this greater development in the process… you can’t fit everything in such a short story, but I felt that I would have enjoyed a story with sparser plot and more developed world and character… but that’s just my personal preference.

In conclusion, I gave this graphic novel a respectable 3 out of 5 stars and definitely recommend checking out if you’re interested by the concept of a world where superstitions come true!
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You know all those superstitions? Horseshoes can be good luck, as well as a rabbit’s foot? Or if you step on a crack, you’ll break your mother’s crack. All that is what this graphic novel is about. In a world where superstitions and luck rules, it can also effect Earth as well, especially to Alex and her family.

To have a world ruled by luck and superstitions is a really cool and original idea. I have never seen this before and I was immediately intrigued when I first saw this. I would have never even come up with this idea either. What I also liked in the story featured is how the two worlds are connection and the history that connects Alex to all of it as well.

Everything in Hapheaven really connects to the story and idea really well, which makes everything flow almost flawlessly. Mostly everything is just interesting and to see how everything works made this a good read.
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With a nice art style, and a very fun writing, Haphaven was a very nice and easy read!

I just love anything that will mix Superstitions with reality since there's something in me that actually belives it and at the same time don't! 

Very fun, and totally a graphic novel I would give to my middle grade cousins!
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Most of my comics are digital, though a few deserve physical copies both to hold in hand and to have on a prominent shelf, and Haphaven is one of those.

The art and writing are in sync, with both hiding clever details. Characters are endearing, and the twists are surprising and natural. It's the kind of book an adult can love and a kid can fall into-- and for those who are both, it's perfect.
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'Haphaven' by Norm Harper with art by Louie Joyce is a story about luck and superstition and what one young woman will do to fix things.

Alex Mills was raised on superstitions by her father.  It's been handed down in the family from her great great grandfather and Alex lives by the rules.  When her father's luck runs out and her mother has an accident that could only have been caused by breaking a rule, Alex gets help to turn things around.  She ends up in a strange place called Haphaven and makes a group of strange friends along the way.  

I really liked this story.  The worldbuilding was interesting and the characters weren't bad.  The art wasn't my favorite, but it works for the story.  This would be a decent young adult graphic novel to recommend.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Lion Forge, Diamond Book Distributors, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.   Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
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The central conceit here is a unique one - that superstitions in this dimension directly correlate to realities of life in another, more magical dimension. The protagonist must adhere to superstition in order to travel through Haphaven and save her mother. As she learns more about the world, she realizes that she needs to truly understand how these things work together in order to fix everything, not just her mother but her whole world and Haphaven too. The stories she's heard aren't enough. And I liked the line between natural magic and real superstitions with interference from magical beings and simple misbeliefs. The first third was sort of shallow but if you power through, the level of engagement improves.
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CW: ableist slurs

This was a nice read. It wasn't super serious though it touched on some matters. I wish that it'd explored grief in a more open way, idk. I felt like it touched on it but didn't quite get to a point where I was satisfied.

But it wasn't bad, short and sweet.
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Received via NetGalley for review.

With fun illustrations that service the plot well, this graphic novel would be a great addition to any middle-school library. The plot is original and well-developed, and the characters develop realistically. A fun read!
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This was an interesting story and had some great characters, it's just not really my cup of tea. I think people who are interested in the summary should definitely give this graphic novel a chance, I just didn't connect with it.
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Despite the graphic novel being very fast paced, it didn’t feel too rushed and even worked in the plot’s favor as Alex and the other characters are constantly on the move. Alex is a strong and intelligent young lady that isn’t afraid to leap into action even in the face of a danger that has her cornered. The art style uses soft colors beautifully that create especially emotional moments for the characters and features bright colors to place emphasis on certain objects in the panels. My only complaint is that Alex is seen always carrying around a bat that has lucky symbols carved into them that was given to her by her father, though she doesn’t use it as often as I thought she would. It becomes more of a symbol of her being unable to let go of this dependency on being given luck by her relative Zane and think this would have been more evident if she were to spend a few more moments looking down at the symbols on the bat rather than just swing them at some trees.
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I am not the sort of person who really believes that luck and superstition are real things that genuinely influence the world in ways that we cannot imagine. With that said, I absolutely loved graphic novel, Haphaven by Norm Harper and illustrated by Louie Joyce. Following the tale of a supposed lucky family whose luck has gone wrong, and a very superstitious young girl who took after her father, Haphaven details the journey of Alex Mills as she sets out to save her non-believing mother after having stepped on a crack she'd avoided her entire life when her mom attempts to instill upon Alex the ridiculousness of her superstitions. But finding a way to turn around the bad luck she incurred by stepping on the crack in the sidewalk and, resultingly, breaking her mother's back is not going to be easy in the slightest. When a leprechaun appears in her home shortly after the event to take her on an adventure to Haphaven, the world in which good and bad luck is determined, there is no hesitation for Alex. She knows she must go to save her mom.

I had an immense amount of fun reading this novel and I think one of the things that really made this book for me lay in the family story that Alex's father tells her at the very beginning of the novel, that of their ancestor whose luck ran out and who therefore set off to find Lady Luck and restore what he had lost. But things don't go according to plan. And luck changes for everyone.

Soon, Alex travels to the land of luck and superstitions, setting out to save her mother by getting the rabbits foot and fighting past a jinx to retrieve it. With the help of Penny--find a Penny, pick it up!--a lucky leprechaun, she soon learns that not everything in Haphaven is what it seems and knowing who to trust can be harder than anyone could imagine.

From the hero to the villain, I adored Haphaven. I don't want to get into too many details as it would certainly spoil the story, but suffice to say that there is so much to this graphic novel worth loving. Alex's journey is oodles of fun and while I don't believe in the specific superstitions that Alex does, I did find it to be a wonderfully told story with so many fun and amazing elements. Haphaven is at the end of the rainbow, everyone, and I would highly encourage journeying there.

I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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It is from a new author so it wasn't the best graphic novel I've ever read, but I think it had an interesting plot with good characters. The illustrations weren't revolutionary but added a lot to the story.
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The main character is a girl who believes in superstitions. She doesn't want to celebrate her 13th birthday because the number 13 is unlucky. I love the illustrations. Kids in middle school and high school will love the illustrations and how the girl overcomes the obstacles that she is forced to deal with. This was a great graphic novel!
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4*
Pros: Magical world-building. Refreshing premiss and plot. Interesting twists and turns. Beautiful colors and composition. PoC leading character. Interracial love story included. Witty and fun banter. Interesting take on luck and superstitions.
Cons: Too fast-paced.
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Definitely a unique fantasy read, despite some familiar tropes. How it plays with the tropes (chosen one, family legacy, twists/reveals) makes it worth a read.
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