Suzanne Walker; Wendy Xu (Illustrator)
Mooncakes was one of the most wonderful graphic novels I have had the pleasure to read.
At the center of it are Nova, a female witch who is hard-of-hearing, and Tam, a relatable and lovable warewolf (hold on it gets crazier). I loved both characters so much, they are really strong, well-written characters with great character development. Each page breathes their relationship to life and we feel almost immediatgely that we have known them for years.
As you may have guessed there is an friends-to-lovers romance brewing in the background and without giving away too much the ending is not what you expect from a YA graphic novel about romance. One big takeaway I had is how the author and artists showed real change in these characters over time. We (the reader) grow in our understanding of their relationship and dynamic as they also are growing in each other’s life.
Much will be made about the use of marginalized characters in this book, and it is certainly a focal points, but largely the characters feel so real and relatable to a YA audience and the story is compelling that it never stands out as forced, it just is a very real look at complex modern characters. It is constantly shown that Nova wears hearing aids and I think it is so important to so very prominently feature this kind of diversity in YA, without ever making it a big deal.
The art absolutely shines, but Wendy Xu’s colors deserve the largest round of applause for creating a vibrant world for these characters to inhabit.
CRITICS HAVE SAID
“Charming, inclusive, and so much fun.”- Book Riot
“While the romantic tension takes center stage, there’s enough sorcery here to please aspiring witches. Throw in refreshingly natural dialogue and relatable family drama, and you’ve got a must-have for all graphic-novel collections. ” – Booklist
- “This sweet, spellbinding story will appeal to fans of magic and romance.―School Library Journal
IF YOU LOVE THIS BOOK, THEN TRY:
- In Real Life by Cory Doctorow
- Bloom by Kevin Panetta
- The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner