Werewolf barista Julie and her new girlfriend go on a date to a close-up magic show, but all heck breaks loose when the magician casts a horrible spell on their friend Chet. Now it's up to the team of mythical pals to stop the illicit illusionist before it's too late.
The first chapter of the brand new, all-ages magical coffee-laden adventure from Lumberjanes creator GRACE ELLIS and talented newcomer SHAE BEAGLE.
Grace Ellis is a writer best known for co-creating and co-writing Lumberjanes, a New York Times bestselling, Eisner and GLAAD Award-winning comic, though you won't hear her brag about it unless you ask her directly. She has written several episodes of the animated series Bravest Warriors. Grace lives in Columbus, Ohio, where she co-parents a preternaturally smart cat, even though she's more of a dog person.
This was soooo fun, and what it lacked in patchy storytelling made up for in its incredible art and lovable characters. The main character is latina, fat, and queer, the love interest is black and queer (yes, it's f/f romance!), and the prominent side character is non-binary, queer, and literally a mix of kenji and kuzco from the emporer's new groove (they were SO sweet but funny and definitely my favorite part of the book). Not to mention all of these characters are mythological creatures!
I loved reading the characters' interactions because the banter was so cute and fun, both platonic and romanticly. The action began to get a bit confusing toward the end and I wish it was explained better what was happening, but I loved the world building and the characters' relationships with each other so I'm definitely continuing this series.
If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times before but I simply adore pastel fantasy worlds: the AUs that blend modern technology with traditional mythology. You know the ones that have witches drinking their potions from Starbucks thermos and vampires that cannot take selfies? You can imagine my excitement the moment I learned Moonstruck existed. Lesbian werewolves in a pastel urban fantasy coffee shop AU? A dream come true!
From the very first page, I fell in love with the world and its characters. The blossoming relationship between Julie and Selena was wholesome and sweet but still captured the awkwardness and anxiety of developing a crush on someone. Julie’s relationship with Chet, her best friend, was also super sweet. They supported each other through some really difficult times and all the bad puns made my heart burst. Cass was probably my favourite character out of the whole series, though. I cannot wait to see more of her in the next volume!
The storytelling and worldbuilding, however, were far from perfect. Some panels were downright confusing. Chapters four and five were a little haphazard and I really hope that the next volume feels more cohesive and fluid. Elements of the world need more fleshing out. I am still unsure how humans fit into this world and the werewolf discrimination was never really explained. It has so much potential. I hope that Ellis and Beagle are able to tap into it.
The scope of diversity really made a difference. Attention to detail for small things - like having wheelchair-accessible seats for sirens in the background of the theatre scenes - was wonderful. I also loved that identity and labels were briefly discussed. It was mainly around Chet’s situation with body dysphoria but there was also an interesting moment between Julie and Selena that I wish had been expanded.
Overall? This was a sweet graphic novel with great potential and amazing artwork. I loved the world and the characters. The world needs a little more detail and the plot needs to be streamlined a little better but damn, its potential has me excited.
➸ Trigger warnings for .
▷ Representation: Julie (mc) is a plus-size Latina lesbian; Selena (li) is a plus-size Black lesbian; Chet (sc) uses they/them pronouns; queer, bipoc & disabled scs.
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This is a REALLY tough graphic novel for me to rate and review!
→ P R O S : • ADORABLE artwork • so much diverse rep! POC, queer rep, fat rep, all kinds ♥ • some cute pop culture references (the neopets knockoff site killed me)
→ C O N S : • mostly kind of boring? • Selena very abruptly goes from SUPER SWEET to a total jerkface, why?? • everyone is SO MEAN to Julie! all the time! She makes it REALLY clear over and over that she doesn't want to be picked on, but nobody ever stops and nobody is ever called out on it?! • Lindi is a super toxic friend and it's just... laughed off? • the actual storyline became really messy and poorly fleshed out in the last 2 "issues"
So, I don't know. 3.5 stars, but I've gotta round down. :( I'm really sad because so many of my friends adore this GN that I swore I would, too, plus it's so hard to find positive fat rep.
3.5 STARS I thought this was fun and the storyline was unique and interesting, but I didn't really love any of the characters and was honestly annoyed with pretty much all of them at some point. Especially because trivial things were fought about and it just made me roll my eyes a lot. It felt like this maybe should have been targeted towards a younger audience.
I appreciated the world building and diversity but I found this to be very shallow. I thought it was going to be a romantic comedy set in a magical world of mystical beings, but then Chet came along as a third wheel and completely derailed the plot. What became the plot gets resolved with no explanation other than a "whoosh". The burgeoning relationship quickly became toxic in the last two issues. This was just all over the map. I quite liked the art though. I'm sure younger readers will love this.
This was such a cute, diverse, and beautifully drawn graphic novel with centaurs, werewolves, witches, seers, vampires, and more & I loved it. It wasn't perfect, there were a lot of insecurities that never got addressed but all the same, it was adorable and I loved it.
What I Liked: - The Romance: I really liked the romance at this point. I thought Julie and Selena's relationship was refreshing and you could really feel the excitement of a new relationship. I also enjoyed the f/f romance representation.
-The Art: The art style was really nice and I really enjoyed the overall colour scheme of it. I also liked the cafe scenes and the tarot cards that are shown twice in the story.
What I Didn't Like: - The Humor: So this is said to be a funny, witchy, romance, fantasy graphic novel. This had jokes that just fell super flat for me to the point it was cringe worthy, in my opinion.
- The Other Story: The sections that followed another graphic novel that the character was reading were... unnecessary? just why? The random pages from the other graphic novel that are added to this book are often random and ruin the flow of the current plot.
- The Plot: The focus in volume one was getting everyone used to the characters. There are also werewolves, ghosts, and other types of creatures. This one had a premise similar to a Pokemon movie to be quite honest. A spell has been cast on their friend Chet and our main character Julie, and her girlfriend Selena have to figure out how to reverse it.
- The Q&A: I am quite confused as to why this is included. Throughout the graphic novel, there are a random question and answer sections with a celebrity. They are scattered around with no context and do not add to the plot.
Werewolves, sweet cute romance, a hilarious centaur friend, magicians, drama, and more! This book will pull you in and not spit you out until the end.
So I have been meaning to read this book for ages, the cover was what pulled me in. These girls looked adorable and cute together and I wanted to see them get together/go on dates/etc.
But this book is so much more than just cute dates and cute romance. There is some drama and tension when an evil magician steals Chet's magic (aka his centaurness) and he returns to a normal human. It is up to our characters to get the magic back, unmask the fiend that did it, and fix the problems. But between that we also see two girls getting closer together, and Chet going from worrying and feeling depressed to also wondering if the hot Minotaur guy still would like him.
While I did love Julie, I did think, and sorry if this is rude, that she was a bit too oversensitive. The littlest mention of something dog-related and she raised her shackles or acted like the world was ending. I am sorry, maybe if we had a bit more of a backstory on why she is acting like this, I may have understood it a bit more, but now I just found it a bit silly. OMG someone calls me a puppy, oh no, I must immediately humpfh and leave this building. Girrrrllll.... But I did love her, and I could understand that it wasn't always easy for her to be a werewolf. Especially when one just changes without warning when emotions rise. So I was delighted that she had found a fellow werewolf girl who loves/likes her and was there for her when she needed a cuddle or a hug. I did also like that she was a barista (albeit a bit clumsy).
Pluspoints go to Cass for being totally epic and fun. I loved her going in prophecy/vision mode and it was always interesting to hear her prophecies.
I also love the rest of the cast (well the good guys at least), they are so diverse and fun.
Oh and it was quite interesting that this isn't a world with just supernatural creatures, but that there are also humans. I would like to see more of how this world works. Are there more humans? How is the relationship between supernatural and humans?
The reason why I am not rating this book a full 5 stars, or even more is due to two points that I didn't like. One the magician and how that was handled. There was such a build-up, so much planning, so much research, and some smaller battles, but then it ends in a very anti-climax and easy/lazy way. Not a bang, but more like a fizz and problem solved. Then there were those Pleasant Mountain Sisters that were just so boring that I eventually was dreading it when they came around. It definitely didn't help that the style didn't fit the main comic at all.
The art (well the main comic one) is soft, adorable, and pretty. I just adore the way the artist drew the characters.
I hope that there are going to be more volumes in this series, I need to see more Julie and Selena, and of course the ever fun Chet. :)
This felt very rushed. I really think it could have been so much better if it was longer and more fleshed out. Parts were confusing like...what happened. Where did the butt go? What is that guys backstory? What did Anderson say? And there are so many unresolved issues with the main f/f couple, which granted I wouldn't expect all that to be cleared up in just one volume, so hopefully that gets more fleshed out later.
Just issues here and there. That isn't to say it doesn't have anything good going for it though because it does. It's cute, very queer positive with several poc characters and they are good characters. I like the fantasy aspect in the real world and how it felt like it wanted to tackle some things but just felt...rushed.
I will consider checking out volume 2 and seeing what happens. It just sadly fell short for me.
This Moonstruck is super-duper absolutely squeetastically adorbs. SO much cute! It stars a low-self-esteemed, overly-apologetic, floofy werewolf barista , Julie, who begins by mooooning over her new crush, Serena.
Her BFF (pictured above), Chet, is a fellow barista and a centaur who can catch dropped mugs between their horse knees. Talent! And they're also crushing madly on local heartthrob floofy hipster-lumberjack Tauren named Manuel. In this edgy college town, there are vampires and a snake-headed Gorgon person, witches, ghosts, a villain...and a lot of things happen with all these characters.
This has the wholesome, upbeat feel of the old Archie comics or the newer Goldie Vance, only in soft pastel and bubblegum colors. But for some reason, it didn't work for me. It was too much, I am too old, and I found myself flaring my nostrils at the twee of it all far too many times so I just did a quick skim and called it good.
If you like the supernatural, today's hip youth, all the floof, everything LGBTQA + allies, more floof, new love, mystery and mayhem and missing butts, magic shows, con artists, first fights but no make-up sex because this rated E for Everyone, and coffee shops, go get this and consume it now because you will love it. Also, brush your teeth afterward or else suffer the cavities brought on by saccharine overdose.
I wanted to love this so much and I did like it, I just didn’t love it.
Let’s start with the good
• Julie and Selena are both qpoc and fat. Both characters are also lesbians. • The fat rep was so well done. The characters were drawn beautifully!! • It’s ownvoices for queer rep. • Julie’s best friend, Chet, is non-binary and a centaur!!! • Fantasy= Monsters, ghost some supernatural side characters. • It made me smile so much!! •The artwork is fabulous.
The reasons this isn’t five stars
• We don’t know much about any of the characters especially Selena! • I was disappointed with the way their relationship was portrayed. Selena and Julie have only been on two dates and their romance felt a little rushed. However what really annoyed me was Selena’s attitude towards Julie at the end. Especially the scene with the book!! I get she wanted to protect her but the way she spoke to her was horrible. • Near the end the plot fell short.
Overall I liked it but I wish we knew more about the plot and Julie and Selena’s relationship was protrayed better!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Moonstruck is the first volume of a graphic novel series.
Julie is a werewolf barista working in a quaint coffeeshop with her centaur friend, Chet. Julie has a new girlfriend who she's all excited about and finds herself detailing it all to Chet. When Julie finds a flyer for an underground magic show and invites her girlfriend and Chet to see it, she doesn't expect it to be a bad time... and it is. In a shocking turn of events, Chet's magic is stripped away from them and they lose their centaur-ness. Now they're a "normal" human and the culprit is at large.
Now, while that sounds exciting, the truth is that this volume was extremely boring. I LOVED the diversity of the cast—queer representation, people from many different backgrounds, multiple types of love and relationships expressed, etc.—but when the story itself started to roll things turned both confusing and boring real fast.
I wish there had been more substance. Maybe this is resolved in later volumes, but at this point I think that's it for me.
This graphic novel is utterly adorable and an awful lot of fun. It's set in a college town full of happily coexisting magical creatures, with romantic subplots and a team-of-friends quest, I really, really enjoyed it. I also loved the larger message about not quashing parts of yourself (or anyone else!) to be "normal."
The writing was fun and the artwork was super-cute, but for some reason, there were a couple of key scenes in the second half where I couldn't quite follow the exact logic of what was going on. However, this is where I have to say that I am NOT a visual person, so it's entirely possible that there were clues in the artwork that I wasn't following! And even so, I still enjoyed the whole experience so much. The two bits of action that confused me were very small pieces of a wonderful larger whole, and they didn't stop me from having a great time throughout.
I'm a little conflicted on this one. I was absolutely in love with it in the first half: the illustrations are adorable, the world is full of all kinds of magic, it begins at a coffee shop and has a cute f/f romance between two poc fat werewolves (Selena is Black and Julie is Latina). But then the relationship gets... not so cute. Selena is sometimes controlling and even insulting. Although this is addressed, I wasn't sure how I felt about it--was the relationship toxic or just flawed? I don't think there's enough here to be able to tell for sure. And I fully admit that I prefer my romance fluffy and basically conflict-free, so I think I'm bringing my own baggage into it. I still want to continue with the series, because everything else was 5 stars for me, but I got hung up on feeling really bad for Julie.
"Can you really call yourself a hero if you do things that hurt the people you care about?"
This was one of my most anticipated comics and I gotta say... I'm disappointed. The art style and color palette was GORGEOUS but the plot and writing was not the best. BUT we did get lesbians and a non binary character so I would definitely recommend it in terms of diversity!! I was just super confused as to what was going on and I don't think I'll continue this series.
This was such a cute and very diverse story! I just loved the drawing style and the colours that were used, it was all so nice. Every character has its own unique personality that definitely shows on the page. I just want to see more of Julie and Selena because I feel like we didn't get enough of the two of them. I'm looking forward to reading the second volume.
The art here is wonderful and there's some fun ideas within the story. However despite a good beginning the pacing felt disjointed and the story felt rushed. It couldn't adequately focus on either of the central conflicts so both felt underdeveloped.
Hmmm. It was just ok? I loved the art and the diversity was excellent. But the writing was all over the place, Selena and Julie annoyed me, and I wasn’t a fan of the “book within a book.” Overall I was more bored than enthusiastic about the story.
I’d been looking forward to reading this, and then I was disappointed. I liked the artwork a lot, and the wealth of diversity. I liked Chet a lot, but never really warmed to Julie, and she’s the main character. I also never really got the point of parts of this story, so *sigh* I won’t be continuing this series.
Originally I gave this graphic novel 5 stars but after some time and consideration, I decided to lower it to 4 stars instead… don’t get me wrong, I still plenty enjoyed it, just not as much as I thought in the moment ;) I loved the diverse group of characters in the story, although I wasn’t the biggest fan of the actual main character… I mean, I liked her, but I truly loved more the secondary ones… the whole premise of this paranormal comic was very interesting and I am definitely curious enough to pick up the sequel :) the art style is absolutely beautiful :) it’s not gonna be for everyone, but I still would encourage you to give it a try ;)