Cover Image: The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor

The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor

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A warm, happy blanket of a read - it feels like you are being hugged by all of your favorite romance, adventure, science fiction/fantasy, hero's quest tropes (but make it very funny).  I love this as an adult, particularly as a woman who was very, very much like our heroine Haley, and would have fallen IN LOVE with this as a teenager.  This was one I stretched out to savor and I very much hope that our author chooses to return to Willowweep Manor in any way they choose.  Perhaps an archaeological site is plagued by a series of murders and all the culprits are aliens?  A cruise ship haunted by the ghosts of elves and dwarves? This is a world that can interact with almost any literary genre and I hope Ms. Garrity just goes ham on all of it.
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Gothic romance novel fans or anti-fans will get a kick out of the satire and fun in this quick paced and original graphic novel.

Haley loves gothic romance novels and catches negative comments for it at school. When she dives in a river to save a drowning man, she enters a parallel universe...one just like her novels. While she's convinced, at first, it's her gothic romance dreams come true, things take a slightly different twist. Soon, she's not only dealing with rifts through the universe but an evil, which she has no clue how she can defeat. 

Although I read the blurb, this read still was anything but expected. Haley is a wonderful character—overly dramatic, a true dreamer, and yet, a carries a bit of bite when needed. Her 'over-the-top' way of seeing life is endearing and funny, especially when the other characters flow in totally different directions of their own. Every one is ridiculous, and still, it's hard not to cheer for them the entire way through.

The illustrations are well done and make the tale very easy to follow. They add all the drama and settings needed to make this novel work. They allow the extreme moments and humor to wiggle its way into the drama nicely. I enjoyed flipping through these.

This is an odd tale and did make me raise an eyebrow more than a few times. So, don't expect normal because this is not it. The science fiction additions twist the satire in very original directions...and yet, it's addictive. Even when I really wondered about several twists, I didn't want to put this one down because I was curious what would happen next.
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If you read through Jane Eyre in one sitting
If you were marked down on a quiz on Agnes Grey because "you don't know that yet" because you read ahead
If you had fantasies of being the other Brontë sister
If you can quote the dialogue  (and point out where it's different from the book) of any film adaptation of Wuthering Heights
If you would love an excellent homage to Gothic Romance that isn't afraid to smile, wink, and romp through the genre

"The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor" is the book for you!

Shaenon K Garrity's plotting and dialogue are spot-on; Christopher Baldwin's illustrations are lively and he can draw an archetypical character while keeping the artwork fresh.

"The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor"  works for both the fan of the genre and as an introduction to the genre, or for anyone who''s ready for a fine romp through the literaure.
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A cute YA/middle grade read about a girl who loves gothic romances and isn't afraid to show it...even if that means writing every single book report in school on gothic romances. Though Haley might not have had enough gothic romances for one life time, her English teacher sure has. Thus she sends Haley on an assignment to read and review something other than gothic romances...her grade depends on it. 

This sends Haley out in the world lamenting - much like a gothic heroine- her circumstances. Until she stumbles upon a handsome drowning young man and gets transported to a universe of gothic romance proportions - quite literarily Haley's dream come true. 

Thus she embarks on a mission to help save three dashing gothic heroes to save their home - Willowweep Manor- and the two universes that this world keeps in balance. Can it be done? Will Haley make it back to her world? Will she really want to? And will she have time to write that new book report her teacher so desperately wants to see not be about a gothic romance? 

Find Out.
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If you had a period in your life where you dramatically threw yourself on couches, practiced your shocked gasp as well a your delicate faint, and if you had a time when teachers begged you to talk about ANYTHING other than your current hyperfixation, then you and our protagonist have a lot in common. You also are going to love this book. Because Halley's love for gothic romance novels turns into an adventure when she falls into one! Complete with all the tropes and ....spaceships?? This book genuinely has something for everyone.
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This is the story of Haley who is obsessed with gothic romance.  So when she sees a man in the river she thinks it is her time to shine.  Now she is in a strange new universe trying to save it from an all consuming evil.  Several of the panels had a light source and it looked so good that you expected the pages to be warm to the touch.  I also love that the story takes all the silly features of a gothic romance and just runs with them.  I love a book that isn't afraid to make fun of itself.  I think this will be a fun addition to my classroom and my home library.

Creative Team:
Shaenon K Garrity
Christopher Baldwin
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This YA graphic novel was very humorous and enjoyable. Haley, a high school student obsessed with classic Gothic romance novels, finds herself transported to a world that resembles her favorite books after saving a stranger from drowning in a river. I do think that readers need to be familiar with novels like Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre in order to fully appreciate the satire and jokes in the story.

I wish the plot was a bit more tight and focused. In addition to playing with Gothic tropes, the story also includes a sci-fi element with pocket universes and threats from another dimension. These different elements did not always come together cohesively. While many of the jokes had me laughing out loud, sometimes these humorous or melodramatic moments interrupted the pacing of the story.

I enjoyed this story and it kept me laughing from beginning to end, but I was left with a lot of questions about the internal logic of this story.

I also wanted to note that when I downloaded this on the Netgalley Shelf app, the quality was very low. I struggled to read the text and make out details in the artwork.

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the eARC.
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I did not care for The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor.  My first issue is that the writing is slightly blurry and some of the words can’t be read at all.  Other than that, I just didn’t care for the story.  The idea was a good one, but I don’ think that it was executed well.  Instead of being humorous the story is just bizarre.  I would not recommend this story to others.
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Haley is obsessed with gothic novels (Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, etc.) It's to the point where she dresses like she's a princess and has been banned from using the gothic novels for book reports. If she lived in a castle, life would probably be just fine. 
One night, when she's walking home from school, she sees a man drowning. She doesn't quite mean to fall in the river but she does manage to rescue him. But the other side of the river isn't the town she left. It's another reality. One that she knows immediately from all of her reading down to and including guessing that there are three brothers who live there.
But in this alternate universe, life is not as easy as it would be in some of Haley's books. It is threatened by a neighboring universe of bile that wants to take over the small universe and then Cecily's own. 
This book is amazing in the fact that it builds an entire world while trying to adhere to many of the tropes of the gothic novels. Oldest brother Laurence is the steadfast heir. Cuthbert, the youngest, is feckless having debts despite never having gambled. Montague, the one Haley rescued, is... a middle child. 
This book is charming, self-referential in the best ways, and often funny. I love that the prototypical heroine umbrella came in useful and that this adventure Haley figured out which role she truly would play in a gothic novel.

Four and a half stars
This book comes out July 20th, 2021
ARC kindly provided by Simon and Schuster's Children Publishing, and NetGalley
Opinions are my own
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This was a nice story about a girl, Haley, who loves gothic, romantic novels.  She gets pulled into a land straight out of her dreams, there is even a ghost! Here she has to solve a mystery and try to fix the realm before it is destroyed.  If she can't save the realm, then her world will be overtaken by a force of ultimate evil.  
I really liked the artwork in this graphic novel, and Haley was such a fun character!  The other characters in the story were great too; they were caricatures of classic gothic archetypes.
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** Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Right out of the gate I knew I would love this graphic novel. The cover tells me so much, a Gothic novel that doesn't take itself seriously and drops the best literary jokes! I laughed out loud while reading Willowweep Manor and desperately hope there are more stories like this one from Shaeonon Garrity. 

Haley LOVES Gothic Novels, and after she saves a stranger from drowning she finds herself the only hope to save a gothic "pocket dimension" from being destroyed and therefore releasing the Penultimate Evil. Which is a fun plot and the characters Haley meets are fabulously fun. Haley sums up herself the best.

"I'm a Gothic Heroine. And I've read a heck of a lot of books." 

If you're looking for a fun chuckle, murderous rabbits, and the tropes we love to hate; being made fun of, then this awesome graphic novel is for you!
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I haven't had this much fun reading a graphic novel in a long time. I loved it!

Haley loves, loves, loves gothic romance literature. She is all about Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. Her teacher has had enough, though, and assigns Haley a book report about literally anything else. On her way home, she has to save a man who has fallen into a river, when they wash up on the shores of Willowweep Manor, the gothic castle of Haley's dreams. But as she begins to investigate what's really going on in this castle, she realizes that nothing is quite what she thinks. And unlike the gothic heroines in Haley's books, Haley has to come to the rescue to not only save Willowweep, but also all of time and space.

Like I said above, this was so much fun. Being a huge classic gothic romance fan myself, I wished I was in Haley's shoes! She was so smart and so funny, and I would definitely love to be best friends with her. This is an awesome book with a great story and visuals. Loved, loved, loved it!
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This book is a fun read, but ultimately some of the jokes fall flat.

3 stars

Appeal Terms:
Storyline and Pace: plot-driven and fast-paced
Character: brooding and courageous
Tone: melancholy, offbeat
Writing Style: Banter-filled
Illustration: Cartoony

I think this book was fun and I would definitely read the next one in the series. However, I think I would have preferred this through a different medium, such as a television show. The jokes would have worked a bit better there. You will definitely like this book if you like Gravity Falls with the fun elements of science, humor, and characterization all rolled into one. Overall, I wasn't super impressed but I would be interested to read if there was a sequel.
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Whether you love Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights or detest them, this graphic novel is for you.  This short graphic novel makes fun of the many predictable tropes in Gothic fiction both in the words and in the artwork.  Our heroine saves a man from drowning and is pulled into an alternate world where the Gothic era characters fight against the zombifying bile. It is a quick enjoyable story, but I’ll admit the premise requires some suspension of disbelief.  If a reader is unfamiliar with the tropes the author is poking fun at, I’m sure they will still enjoy the story, albeit somewhat less.

Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the advance copy in exchange for my unbiased review.
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This is so fun! Haley, a gothic romance nerd, literally falls into a scene from a book and finds herself in the well-dressed role of "maiden." The story gets a weird sci-fi twist, and all the characters in their respective roles -- heartsick poet, goofy dandy, curmudgeonly older brother, and Haley the maiden -- must defy their tropes in order to save Willowweep from the creeping bile.

The setting has all the elements of a gothic romance: a wind-swept moor, a hermitage, a ghost, a mysterious housekeeper, and a very spooky forest. But also a weird space time continuum machine that needs repair to prevent universe leakage. Stir in some casual representation, a healthy dose of diversity, a lesson about bucking stereotypes, and pitch-perfect dialogue, and you'll wind up with a great book. Taking it to the next level with beautiful and humorous illustrations makes The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor an absolute gem.

I'm neither a gothic romance nor sci-fi nerd, nor am I a regular reader of graphic novels. But this piece was just so frothy, so gorgeous, so dynamically designed that I devoured it in one gulp. 

Thanks to NetGalley, the author, the illustrator, and the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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I loved this fantastic take on the gothic novel. Haley loves gothic novels so much she wants to be in one--and she gets her chance through a freak accident when she tries to save a drowning man from a river. Finding herself in a gothic world full of desolate moors and creaky old houses, Haley learns that she--and the world she comes from--are in danger, and she's got to make a stand. The whole book was fun and clever, the dialogue spot-on, and the character development perfect. I'd love to read more of these characters' adventures.
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Hilarious graphic novel spoof of the gothic romance. Seasoned readers and high school students who are more familiar with romantic tropes are sure to get a kick out of this. Haley is the perfect heroine. Delightful!
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This is a gothic, science fiction romantic graphic novel.  I loved the main character, Haley, with her lovely braids!  When she tries to rescue what she thinks is a drowning man, she slips into another world. A very strange yet familiar world filled with gothic mountains, cliffs and mansions.  After Haley writes the report on this adventure, her teacher can't get onto her anymore for only wanting to read book and write reports about Jane Eyre. . 
Thanks to Shaenon K Garrity, McElderry Books and NetGalley for sending me this arc.
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On a dark and stormy night, Gothic romance-obsessed Haley sees a stranger drowning in the river. Of course she decides to help him, but suddenly she’s transported into what seems like the setting of a Gothic romance novel! There’s a brooding lordling, his two brothers—the poet and the spendthrift—a ghost only she can see, a glum housekeeper, and a mysterious mystery in the dark stone walls of the manor. But things aren’t quite what they seem…

Okay, this was fantastic. It was a brilliant send-up to Gothic romances and the various novels mimicking them. It was both parody and homage that went straight from fantasy to science fiction, complete with metaphysical pocket dimensions, a blorb monster and some other wonderful things.

Definitely a quick, fun read if you’re looking for a graphic novel to spark joy. The illustrations are fabulous and the adventure is rollickingly entertaining and bunnies-to-the-rafters funny.
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Haley is reprimanded by her teacher for writing a book report on a gothic romance novel.  The teacher doesn’t want to see anymore goth romance book reports.  Haley must write another book report on a different book or else!  As she walks home, she sees a man drowning in the river.  She decides to save him.  The next thing she knows is that she is in a strange place.  She finds that when she arrives at Willowweep Manor, that there is a creepy housekeeper Wilhelmina, lords Cuthbert and Laurence, and a resident ghost Cecily.  She finds out that Montague who she saved in the river is missing.  She is asked to help find Montague, their brother and to help save their gasket universe from the Bile.   The Bile is a hideous creature disguised as a friar that threatens to take over.  It is a small universe that keeps multi-universes safe.  To save this universe she must repair the Infernal Device that keeps their universe safe.  Will she find Montague?  Will she be able to fix the Infernal Device?  To save their world the lords must act differently from their “prescribed” roles.  Can they?  

A dark color palette is perfect for the theme of the graphic novel.  It fits perfectly with the story’s mystery.  The author uses different perspectives to create dramatic visuals.  It is a well-paced graphic novel that is funny.  It is a story about being in charge of your own life.
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