Cover Image: Mooncakes

Mooncakes

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Member Reviews

Mooncakes written by Suzanne Walker and illustrated by Wendy Xu is the most adorable graphic novel/comic that I absolutely regret not reading sooner. I did not get around to the review copy I received of it last year, but its Hugo shortlisting (and presence in the voter packet) finally prompted me to pick it up. 

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.

I didn't actually realise, until I started reading, that this was a story about a witch who wears hearing aids and a non-binary werewolf. If I had known, I would have definitely read it sooner! Oh well, the important thing is that I've now read this adorable story and I have added all Xu's planned books to my Goodreads want list and Walker's stories to my Pocket list. 

There was only one thing I didn't like about Mooncakes: the fact that this book is the entirety of the story and we won't be getting more. I really enjoyed reading about both characters and the utter charm of the art and worldbuilding (the forest spirits were so cute!) and would love to be able to spend more time with them. That said, the story was not lacking in any way. It was a complete story with a nice arc for the main characters, including cuteness and peril and a happy ending.

I highly recommend Mooncakes to anyone who likes cute graphic novels/comics, paranormal romance and the various representations I mentioned above. I enjoyed it a lot and I am going to be keeping an eye on future work by both of these creators.

5 / 5 stars

First published: 2019, Oni Press
Series: Seems not :-(
Format read: PDF
Source: Publisher via NetGalley and also Hugo Voter Packet
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I have been raving about the comic to everyone I know. It was so enjoyable to read such a cute story about witches, love, and family. I loved Nova's grandmothers, as well as Nova's relationship with Tam. Nova is a witch, Tam is a shapeshifter. Someone is using dark magic to hunt shapeshifters, so Tam turns to Nova's family for help. There's humor, mystery, and interesting characters. I adored the lgbtq+ and disability rep.
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A cute story between friends who finds a relationship they had forgotten. A little magic, a little mystery, this story is great for everyone.
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The Mooncakes graphic novel is a precious and innocent masterpiece.  This story is so full of love, compassion, and truths.  I found the storyline to be immensely captivating and this graphic was hard to put down because of it.  The characters were likable and relatable; and the diversity in this novel is so important, real, and believable.
Alone the synopsis and the cover are intriguing making this one an immediate pickup; then you dive into the novel itself and quickly get sucked in with the beautiful artwork which captures the magical elements of this story perfectly.
The only reason I didn't give this a full five stars is that the ending was expected and no surprise to me who the "bad guy" was.
Overall, cute story and artwork.  I will recommend this one for sure!

xx
Haylz
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This book is truly the most adorable, magic filled, inclusive graphic novel I've ever read.
From the start, I adored Tam and their outlook on life. They are such a unique and loveable character and I truly enjoyed being able to see them grow.
The grandmothers in this story melted my heart. It's not often in books that you get to see older members of the lbgtq+ community and this book managed to fill a small void in my heart that even I did not know existed.
The art style in this novel is outstanding!! The use of colours and facial expressions made it seems so realistic and lovely.
I loved Nova and the casual disability representation in this book. Nova is so precious and her dynamic with her grandmothers is so cute!
The witchy, magic vibes in this book are to die for!!
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The cover made me hope for some “cooking is magic” action, so I felt a bit betrayed by it when that didn’t happen.  Mooncakes had no impact on the plot! But otherwise a cute story.  Some coming of age stuff, some excellent representation, but most of the beats felt a bit trite. This didn’t feel like it tread any new ground, which is fine, but disappointing after all of the good stuff I had heard about this.  I also wasn’t a huge fan of the art.  Most of the characters looked so similar to each other that I had a hard time some times remembering who was whom, and I also found the omnipresent warm color palette monotonous.
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I went into this story without knowing anything about it, and was pleasantly surprised! I loved this diverse YA urban fantasy. The plot was super engaging and multi-faceted - which both some minor family drama, a budding romance, and then the A-plot and danger. I absolutely loved the world that Walker and Xu created, and really hope I get to see more someday. Absolutely charming and lovely.
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Is this a standalone? Is there going to be more? Because I really need more of this story. I absolutely adored this story and the characters! 

Nova is a witch working at her grandmothers' bookshop. She sells magic books as well as finding the source of any supernatural disturbance in her New England town. One night she follows a white wolf that turns out to be her childhood friend Tam. When they realize that there's a major supernatural disturbance in the town, can they work together to fight it?

I loved all of the characters in this story. And I loved the easy acceptance of the magic. Most of all, I loved the easy way that all the characters respected the choices and identities of other characters. The art was great and I feel the characterization in the art was true to the characters. The rep in this book is great as well and I felt like it was done really well. It didn't feel like any of the characters was "token" or inserted for diversity. Everything about this book was great!
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Beautiful illustrations and a great story! I loved it! Can’t wait to use it in my library book club.
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I thought this was super good! I’d love to reread it in the Fall because the witchy New England feel was lovely and would be perfect for that time of year. I also loved that Nova wears hearing aids- more positive representation definitely would have made me a lot more open to them as a child with hearing issues.
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This is such a cute graphic novel! I myself love comics and graphic novels, especially when they deal with magic and magical creatures! 
I saw "Mooncakes" everywhere on social media, so I got so excited, when I got this book for free, in exchange for an honest review.
And all I can say is, that I absolutely loved the magical story! The characters are so diverse, which I adored! Very big reading recommendation!
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“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.” — Taken from the summary on Goodreads.

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu has been recommended so much by the internet book communities, and I was not at all disappointed. The artwork is absolutely gorgeous and the story is as heartwarming as any story could ever get. The diversity included in this novel is amazing as well, including diverse characters both real and mythological.
Overall, there really wasn’t anything I didn’t like in this novel. However, there were elements which I thought could be expanded upon. I feel like some aspects were limited, such as the mythology included in certain parts of the story. We see mythical creatures that live in the nearby forest, though with no explanation as to what they are or where they come from — all we know is that they are friends of the heroes. In addition to this mythology, I would’ve liked to have seen more lore about werewolves, which admittedly the protagonists are not so learned in. This they did a good job with, creating a limited perspective in the narration so that readers are able to learn and go on this adventure along with the protagonists. In any case, I hope perhaps Walker and Xu will go on to expand this universe a bit more, as not only do I want to know more about the mythology of Mooncakes, but I just want to read more of Walker and Xu’s work!
While there is so much explained about Tam’s (the werewolf) fight for self-realization, but not so much for Nova’s (the young witch). We see Nova at some odds with her parents about her not having left home to find herself. In the end she does decide to leave to find herself, but we don’t get much insight into the decision making that went on in her mind. While this isn’t necessarily essential to Nova’s character, I’d still like to have seen some more about her character and personality.
The following are the elements of this book I absolutely loved. One thing this book did phenomenally is portray diverse characters in abundance and depth. Nova Huang comes from a half-Chinese half-Jewish family — portrayed wonderfully by the joint celebration of Chinese New Year and Sukkot. She is raised by two grandmothers. She is also in a queer relationship with Tam Lang who is also, I assume, POC, and is non-binary. Unfortunately we don’t get to meet too many other characters besides Nova’s family and the antagonists, but I have no doubt Walker and Xu would portray them with the same care and depth.
What can I say about Wendy Xu’s art in this book other than that it is amazing. The colors remind me of Autumn (no surprise as it is very themed for Halloween), and while they are simple drawings, they are colored and expressed so vividly. I especially liked the trees and the art of the mythical forest creatures — I just want a whole book of Xu’s mythical creatures!
It is clear from the beginning that Nova and Tam have a history as childhood friends (and perhaps more), and so it was no surprise that they fell together so quickly in the beginning of the book. In addition, the two from the start are willing to work on their relationship, it’s not star-crossed or fated, it’s simply made and worked on by two people who have a lot of love to give. Of course there is a grand kiss at the end, but instead of it being a kiss after a long slow burn, it is a kiss of relief that things can finally settle.
I recommend Mooncakes to anyone who needs a bit of love and magic in their life.
I know this is my first book of 2020, but I can already see it being one of my favorites.
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Mooncakes
By: Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu
Diamond Book Distributors
Lion Forge
Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Teen and YA
256 pages
Publish Date 15 October 2019
#Mooncakes #NetGalley



This is a cute graphic novel that you should read around Halloween time. I gave it 4 stars. This is about two young ladies one who is a witch and the other one a werewolf. There is a demon in the area and they are trying to get rid of it. You are thrown in right away with a little back ground about their past. This novel has a great family atmosphere and you can read it in a day. There is also female/female romance in this book.  I would recommend this book it is a fun read.
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My Thoughts:
I've been wanting to read more graphic novels this year. It's something that I love to do, but don't do very often for whatever reason. I heard quite a few people on booktube talk about how good Mooncakes is so I decided to check it out. Unfortunately, I ended up not enjoying it as much as I had hoped I would.

Mooncakes had so much potential. The graphic novel is full of things I usually love reading about, such as witches, shifters, and LGBTQ+ characters. Unfortunately, the story fell flat for me. Throughout reading the graphic novel, I was confused because parts of it didn't seem to make sense. It almost felt like there was another book in the series that came before it that I should have read. However, when looking on Goodreads, it appears to be the only book in the series. There were references to things that had happened to the characters previously and inside jokes between them that I didn't get at all.

The other thing that I didn't like about Mooncakes was that the main characters didn't have distinct personalities. They were just cookie cutter and plain. Other than their physical abilities, there was nothing to make them stand out from other characters in the graphic novel, or characters I had read about in other books. In fact, I had to go slow and keep looking at the art work to remember which character was which because their personalities were so similar. I had to backtrack several time in the story line because I kept getting them confused.

I really wanted to love Mooncakes. It has all of the elements that I usually love in a story line. However, this graphic novel just wasn't for me. I found it confusing, and hard to distinguish between the characters. I would like to give this author another try in the future though because I know a lot of people that did love this graphic novel.

I give Mooncakes: 2/5.
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I don’t have too much to say about this title. It’s going to be really popular with teen readers who like LGBTQIA+ characters and fantasy. I can also see it being enjoyed by readers of fanfic. The story drags at times, but the characters and colorful artwork keep it engaging.
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Y’all. I’ve been following the artist, Wendy Xu, on Twitter for ages. Then I saw her promote Mooncakes and I was THROUGH THE ROOF.

Queer, beautifully written and drawn, and such a cute story! This one is entering the Hall of Favorites for sure.

It’s got magical elements, a nonbinary character, and FOOD. What’s not to love?

Sure, the ending felt a little rushed, but graphic novels tend to read quick anyway so I wasn’t too bothered by it. Regardless, whatever Wendy and Suzanne have planned next, count me in.
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A really cute Graphic novel! Even though I‘m usually not a Fan of graphic novels with fantasy elements, I think the overall Story and the characters were so much fun, especially if you read it around Halloween.

4/5
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I adored this graphic novel! I not only loved our two main characters and how cute they were together but I also loved the family dynamic. The characters in this graphic novel felt real and were easy to relate too. The diversity and representation within is truly one of the books shining moments!   The art style and colour pallet were so amazingly put together. There is not a flaw in this graphic novel for me. Its a 5 out of 5!  Such a cute and very autumnal read! I cannot wait  to get my hands on a physical copy! 


*I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *
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This was such a quick, fun read and I can't wait to get my hands on a full color copy! This is one that I really want to buy for my friends because I really think they would love it.
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This was just one of the most goshdarned sweetest graphic novels I've ever read! I was absolutely enchanted from the first page, and I didn't want to let go when it was done. 

There is so much great representation in this graphic novel (Chinese, deaf, queer, non-binary), not to mention magic, cats, a bookstore, supernatural creatures, and just about the cutest relationships ever! There is some unexplained magic/elements that characters just shrug off, so don't expect explanations for everything -- but it's still such a fun and cute story! I wish there was a sequel because I absolutely love Nova and Tam.
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