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Séance Tea Party

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After watching her circle of friends seemingly fade away, Lora is determined to still have fun on her own, so when a tea party leads Lora to discovering Alexa, the ghost that haunts her house, they soon become best friends.

272 pages

First published September 15, 2020

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About the author

Reimena Yee

22 books264 followers
A strange and fancy author-artist, born in the dusty city of Kuala Lumpur. Having once been an academia aspirant, she looks at the world with infinite awe and curiosity. She loves history, the beauty in the mundane, and whimsically spooky things.

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5 stars
2,933 (44%)
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3 stars
938 (14%)
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17 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,223 reviews
Profile Image for s.penkevich.
965 reviews6,836 followers
August 30, 2023
If you need a good soul-cleansing cry, this is your book.
Reimena Yee’s Seance Tea Party is a gorgeous and bittersweet graphic novel that tenderly addresses the anxieties of growing up. Lora is reaching an age where she feels her friends drifting apart, especially from her as their interests turn towards those of typical teenagers while she still enjoys things she fears her friends view as childish. A lover of all things spooky, she holds a seance and meets Alexa, the ghost who haunts her house. While Lora is fearful of the future and growing up, Alexa has missed the opportunity to grow up and watches as generations of children pass her by. The juxtaposition in emotional plights helps them form a deep, meaningful friendship and support system while also pulling them apart. This isn’t a coming-of-age story as much as it is a pre-coming-of-age and explores just how emotionally challenging that period of change can be.

I picked this one up for my soon-to-be 10 year old daughter and read it myself, so charmed by the artwork that I couldn’t resist. This is a book that will warm the heart of anyone of any age and I’ll admit there were several tears, especially at the elegantly executed conclusion. This is a challenging age for children, such as my own child who has expressed similar anxieties as Lora and I was glad for a book that addressed this issues with such empathy and insight. The emotions feel authentic and gives the reader the language to understand their similar anxiety, beautifully rendered in Yee’s adorable artwork that perfectly embodies that autumnal setting of the book. It is a book about holding onto the magic in life, which is something I often find I myself can do when reading YA graphic novels. Being able to revisit the emotions of youth to better understand them and use it in conversation with my daughter is something I’ve come to really appreciate and enjoy. Plus we can share a book and bond over that.

This is a lovely little book that addresses a cool variety of issues and pieces them together like a quilt. It reminds me a bit of Katie O'Neill’s Tea Dragon books in the way it handles complex emotions with a quiet grace. Yee really excels with the graphic format, with an excellent variety of framed shots that keep the storytelling fresh and handles movement and passage of time really well. The opening sequence is a montage of several weeks in Lora’s life that really sets the stage perfectly and the storyboarding montage technique was done so perfectly that only a few pages in I was already in awe at Yee’s talents. This book is warm and tender like a hug after hurt feelings. The friendship between the two is really adorable and the side plots of Alexa piecing together what her life was like is really heart wrenching but beautiful. Great for any age, grab some tissues and get ready for a truly endearing supernatural friendship story.

Profile Image for Bookishrealm.
2,084 reviews5,051 followers
September 13, 2022
I don't think I've read a middle grade graphic novel that tore my soul to pieces. I've had Séance Tea Party on my radar for a while; however, I don't think I really ever realized what the story would focus on. While it's a cute, wholesome story about a young girl who is into all things spooky, the larger narrative is about the fear associated with growing up and letting go. Lora finds that she feels less comfortable than her friends with the prospect of becoming a teenager. Instead, she wants to continue to focus on the various things that they did as children. As a result, she befriends a ghost who makes her feel more comfortable about her decision. There's a unique and intriguing sub-plot associated with the ghost that tore my heart to pieces. As the two narratives are woven together, readers receive the opportunity to see how Yee carefully and beautifully addresses the fear that we all have in growing up and letting go. The artwork was gorgeous filled with vibrant colors that feel like all the fall vibes you could ever want. There are panels that simply focus on the art with little to no text. Yee does a beautiful job balancing this method with panels that contain a lot of text. It works well for the story at hand. There is plenty of representation in the main characters and side characters. If you are looking for a new middle grade graphic novel for the fall/winter, I would recommend checking this out.
Profile Image for Melina Souza.
357 reviews1,877 followers
February 8, 2021
Que livro mais amorzinho!
Amei tanto a arte quanto a história do livro.
Lora é uma garota de 12 anos que está com medo de crescer, pois acha que isso significa deixar para tras todas as coisas legais da sua infância. Ela acaba se sentindo muito sozinha e resolve fazer uma Séance Tea Party para se comunicar com espíritos e assim acaba encontrando Alexa, um fantasma de uma garota de 13/14 anos que mora em sua casa.
Juntas as duas se divertem e se ajudam a enfrentar seus medos.
Profile Image for CW ✨.
669 reviews1,713 followers
September 14, 2020
After reading this book, I just sobbed. Sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.
Seance Tea Party is such a splendid and beautiful book about ghosts and friendship - and it's one of the few books I've read that shows that growing up and growing old is not just a privilege, but can be a beautiful thing too.

- Follows Lora, a Malaysian teen who finds herself drifting away from her friends. When she meets Alexa, a ghost, their friendship blossoms and grows, and they soon become best friends. When Alexa starts putting together the pieces of her past, their friendship will change forever.
- Despite the fact that my 'premise in a sentence' sounds ominous, it really isn't. This is a soft, emotional, and gentle book about how things change, people grow up, but friendship lasts forever.
- lol okay now I am crying again
- But honestly - this book is so beautiful. The illustrations for this was SO gorgeous and so inspirational to me. You'll love the detail and how warm the art feels.
- It's... also about growing up and I think it has one of the most beautiful portrayals of growing up I've ever read.

Please, please read this.

I was provided an eARC of this book by the author. This does not influence my opinions in any way.

Trigger/content warning:
Profile Image for may ➹.
494 reviews2,071 followers
August 6, 2021
Oh, this was just so lovely, and felt like a much-needed warm hug. This is the story of Lora, a girl afraid of growing up and losing herself/her friends, and the ghost girl who helps her realize that Lora will be okay and also goes through her own arc of growing up. It’s also a story about friendship and how the good friends are everlasting, about trying new things and realizing who you are changes as you grow. I at first didn’t think I would connect much with the story, but it ended up resonating a lot with me, especially since I’m in my own transition period of my life where the idea of growing up is intimidating. Séance Tea Party is so special in that even though it’s geared towards young kids, I think older teens and adults can also find themselves soothed by it—I think we all are a little fearful of growing up sometimes, but this book also does an excellent job of showing how being able to grow old is a gift. And of course, the art adds so much to the story and the comforting feel of it, with how whimsical and cute the illustrations are. Just a beautiful book all around.

:: representation :: Malaysian wlw MC, Black mlm side character, Latine side characters, wlw side character, side characters of color

:: content warnings :: talk of death, illness
Profile Image for Melki.
6,037 reviews2,387 followers
November 27, 2021
Lora is in no hurry to grow up. While other girls her age seem caught up in a whirlwind of clothes, makeup, and boys, she prefers the comfortable activities she's known since childhood. One day she uses a spirit board, and actually conjures a ghost named Alexa who shares Lora's interests, and soon the two are best pals. But Alexa died tragically young, and has made something of a career of being an imaginary friend to countless other youngsters, only to watch them grow up and forget her.

This sweet, poignant tale struck a chord with me, as I, too, was late to mature. I remember coming home from my first boy/girl party, and sobbing because I didn't want things to change, and it had all been so much more fun when it was just us girls. Oh, to have had this book then!


Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Jodie✨.
72 reviews3,920 followers
April 9, 2022
4.5 stars! I loved this graphic novel and all its delightful spooky vivid illustrations. Definitely some of the best art I’ve seen in a graphic novel thus far. This is a story that follows our main character Nora into her first year as a teen and the trials and tribulations that come with growing up whilst everyone around you changes and you cling to your childhood for dear life. We then get the opposite end of the spectrum from our ghostie who wants nothing more than to grow up and grow old and lives vicariously through the children she haunts/visits. This is a beautiful heartwarming story of friendship and childhood with deliciously spooky vibes.
Profile Image for Artemis Crescent.
902 reviews
January 22, 2023
Oh my goddesses.

Was this graphic novel made for me?

How can I relate to a fantasy story this much?

'Séance Tea Party' has practically everything that I love: A cute, soft, cartoony art aesthetic; the theme of the power of imagination and childhood; the theme of growing up; a cute Halloween motif; cute and gorgeous magical creatures, big or little; a POC, LBGTQ, outcast female lead who loves all things witchy and has a distinctive, comfy style (mainly in black and purple fashion); friendship, with no romance to permeate everything; geeky characters and references; a simple but engaging and compelling mystery element; touching, sad and very human subject matters, while the story stays hopeful and sweet; an older, female, POC fantasy and fairy tale writer character; and overall a flawless mixture of fantasy and reality to the narrative.

'Séance Tea Party' is like 'Anya's Ghost' (but without any dark and ulterior motives), the works of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, and the works of Kay O'Neill (who, incidentally, wrote a glowing review of this book for the blurb).

It's scary how much I relate to the protagonist, Lora Xi. She's a preteen girl who is upset that all her childhood friends are growing up and drifting away from her, expressing new and "mature" interests. It's like they are fading from her life, and so she is lonely and stuck playing make-believe by herself. Lora doesn't want to lose her child's heart and free and easy outlook on life. But it's as hard being a young girl as it is being a woman of any age.

One day, as a "witch", Lora ends up summoning a ghost girl named Alexa while playing at a séance tea party with her imaginary fairy creatures. Alexa was also Lora's "imaginary" friend from when she was younger. Now she's back.

Maybe someone who can't grow up, who will always be around for her, is what Lora wants and needs. They can make magic together, forever.

But what happens when Lora makes up with one of her old friends (Bobby, also a POC and on the LBGTQ spectrum), and makes new ones with some older girls? What will happen to Alexa when she starts becoming the lonely one?

Who is she, anyway? Even she doesn't know that.

What decade did she come from? How did she die? Who were her friends from when she was alive, and where are they now?

Will Alexa want to stay a child and remain stuck in the same place for all eternity? Or will the ghost want to give up the ghost, and want to grow up after all? To just move on, like everyone else she's ever interacted with?

I mentioned how much I relate to Lora, and she is a lot like me; now and from when I was a kid (except that I envy her being able to make friends so easily, even when she's so shy and doesn't believe in herself). We share the same interests and tastes. She is just one powerful touch in a graphic novel full of magic in every single beautiful and darling page.

'Séance Tea Party' is the second graphic novel in a row I've read today that's Halloween themed, contains LBGTQ content, is literally magical and supernatural, and is a sweet, wholesome children's coming-of-age tale; the first book was 'Beetle & the Hollowbones' (they both even feature cat ears as symbols of childhood!). I adore them, but I love 'Séance Tea Party' more for its all-encompassing relatability, and how much it's like the masterpieces that Kay O'Neill creates, such as 'The Tea Dragon Society' (of course). There's a charming, imaginative, whimsical, wistful, poignant and moving feel to it; it never gives up its child's heart to cynicism, nor its faith in human nature and the power of imagination.

Also, that moment when Alexa looks in a mirror and uses Lora's purple lipstick to draw lines on it - age lines, for her face - and she sees herself as she might have looked like if she'd lived long enough to old age, like her childhood friends? That is bone-chilling.

Countless beautiful meanings and life lessons are to be found in 'Séance Tea Party'. It is pure, comfortable, aureate, kind, friendly, tea-and-biscuit-covered love in book form. It has a bit of everything.

One of my new favourite graphic novels of all time, say hello. What a perfect experience for me.

Magic can be found anywhere - in the mind, in the environment, in books, in family, in friendships old and new. And however fleeting all these can be - as time waits on no one and is merciless - like magic, they can last forever. Work hard at it; hold on to them, never take them for granted, believe in yourself, be yourself, keep your child's heart and imagination, and you'll be fine.

So never be afraid to grow up.

"But that's what growing up is, no? Not knowing, and being confused. [...] No adult has any idea what they're doing all the time [...] And that's not a bad thing. [...] You get to make your own choices, and see those choices through. [...] You'll lose yourself sometimes and then discover something new. You'll be remaking and developing who you are as you live and love. [...] Do you see it, Lora? This is magic by another name -- freedom. [...] It's a blessing worth celebrating."

Final Score: 5/5
November 3, 2021
Awww I loved this. Such a heartwarming, book huggable read! Growing up sounds terrible. No one has time to do anything fun, or play outside, or use their imagination. Everything is suddenly so serious. People are more interested in their looks & what others think about them than having fun adventures. Who wants that? Not Lora. After watching her circle of friends seemingly fade away, Lora is determined to still have fun on her own. A tea party with a twist leaves Lora to re-discovering Alexa, the ghost that haunts her house -- & Lora's old imaginary friend! Lora & Alexa are thrilled to meet kindred spirits & they become best friends . . . but unfortunately, not everything can last forever. Such great atmospheric fall time art, & full of great messages. Like how we think we lose our magic that we had as kids, but we don’t. Life just makes it harder to see sometimes, & you have to always remember that you still have that same magic inside. Also, how lucky we are for each & every day on this earth. Loved this. And Reimena Yee’s artwork is absolutely beautiful! Highly recommend!💜
Profile Image for jagodasbooks .
620 reviews80 followers
June 22, 2023
"Why are you crying?" Stfu this book hits too close to home😭
Profile Image for milliereadsalot.
591 reviews97 followers
October 12, 2022
The most gorgeous illustrations and a really lovely, heartwarming story all about friendship and the fear of growing up. I think it will definitely be a big help to anyone who is at that age where you’re on the verge of leaving childhood and the anxieties that that transition can bring up. It was very whimsical and sweet, and perfect for this time of year too!
Profile Image for Danielle.
Author 2 books232 followers
December 26, 2020
I so enjoyed this graphic novel, a story to inspire readers to stay true to the magic and imagination and loving spirit of childhood through all of life's changes.
Profile Image for Maia.
Author 8 books2,526 followers
April 12, 2021
Lora Xi is a 12 year old with a vivid imagination, full of spirits, fairies and ghosts. But as she enters junior high, her friends all seem to be moving on from imaginative play. Feeling abandoned, Lora holds a séance tea party and meets a real ghost: Alexa Hudson, who died in the 1970s. Lora is delighted to have a new friend who won't grow up and leave her. But Lora isn't fixed in time herself: as she ages, Alexa fades. This a very beautiful and whimsical young adult story, though I didn't find the passage of time a hundred percent believable, I still enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Rod Brown.
5,549 reviews197 followers
November 5, 2020
The melancholy story of a 12-year-old girl afraid of growing up and the ghost of a 14-year-old girl who befriends her. Light humor and general sweetness keep it from being too downbeat.
Profile Image for Andrew.
1,553 reviews91 followers
February 23, 2020
Lora's friends are growing up, wrapped up in things like crushes, social media, and parties, while she's still happy to continue being a kid, surrounded by the enchanting critters she's met. When she gets the idea of hosting a séance tea party in her room, she unknowingly invites a kind ghost her age named Alexa into her life. The two form a friendship full of fun and excitement, but as time goes by, Lora also begins to be swept away in adolescence, while Alexa begins to question what life would be like if she were able to grow up. Séance Tea Party is charming, bittersweet, and absolutely magical. This is one of my new top favorite graphic novels, and I know it will resonate with others just the same.
Profile Image for Jess Darlington.
82 reviews8 followers
November 19, 2020
I loved this way more than I thought I would! The artwork was beautiful, it’s very aesthetically pleasing and very autumnal, I related to the main character SO much and the story was so touching and the meaning behind it...! I think every young girl should read this.
It made me cry!!!!
Profile Image for Katey Moore.
238 reviews6 followers
June 10, 2021
The vibes hooked me and the cuteness kept me. This story is cute and sad and heartwarming all in one. I LOVE the artwork.

My favorite part is at the back of the book where the artist/author discusses her process. It's a beautiful behind-the-scenes look at writing a graphic novel that every kid deserves a peak at.

Read this book in your favorite cozy sweater.
Profile Image for Mehsi.
12.3k reviews373 followers
December 11, 2020
This was a fantastic graphic about friendship, about growing up, about learning about oneself, and about so much more.

Meet Lora, a girl about to go from child to teen and she is not ready yet (and I so know that feeling). One day she decides to do a seance and so she meets Alexa, a ghost in her house. I really enjoyed reading about Alexa and Lora and seeing their friendship grow. But I also loved Lora and how she found her way as the months passed. How she met new people and how she made new friends (though really I thought that group of girls was way older, I was quite surprised when we found out they were just 15). I loved seeing Lora experiment with things and find her way in this new teen world. I could definitely understand her feelings on many points. When I was her age I didn’t particularly care about fashion or celebrities. Just give me a good book, and later some good manga/anime, and I was set. So I didn’t fit in that much. But I did find friends who understood me and with whom I shared interests.

I loved the message that while you grow up you don’t need to forget or lose your inner child and the magic that resides there. Because that is so true. Just because you grow up doesn’t mean you have to give up everything you love as a child.

In the meantime Alexa finds out more about herself. About who she was, her friends, and I loved those parts, but also made me sad because I read enough stories to know how this would end.
I really loved Alexa as a character, I loved how she could hug and dance and hold things, not many ghosts can do that so I was delighted. I loved how she was totally immersed in browsing on the internet.

The ending was just a big tear-fest, and I cried. Beautifully written.

Gorgeous illustrations, the style is just wonderful and I want more of Reimena’s art now!

I really enjoyed this book a lot. It was wonderful and gorgeous and WOW. I would highly recommend it to all.

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/
Profile Image for Suhailah.
221 reviews20 followers
September 17, 2023
👻 ☕ ❤️ 😭

My soul has a touch of sorrow, but this was beautifully sad. For a YA graphic novel, this displays a lot of strong emotions, important life topics – growing up, growing old, and even includes representation.

The Artwork:
Charming, whimsical, and meaningful. The spooky theme definitely energized my pre-Halloween vibes! I loved taking my time getting absorbed in the artwork’s atmosphere. Very well done.

This story teaches you to learn to find the magic you have inside yourself and hold onto it no matter what happens. Growing up doesn’t mean you have to lose your inner child or your imagination. Always stay true to yourself and who you are.

I’ve heard the Tea Dragon series is comparable to this story, so I’m really looking forward to enjoying those soon as well!

P.S. Totally wish I would have had a ghosty friend like this growing up!

Favorite Quotes:

👻”You must be lonely then…that’s the afterlife… That’s life too…”

👻”Come they said….it is time to go home. She took their hand. And left for a different world, where she would never endure another day of pain and tears….”
Profile Image for Bree Hill.
822 reviews578 followers
April 30, 2023
Imaginary friends, girlhood, holding on a bit tighter and for a bit longer, not wanting things to change…the devastation and beauty of girlhood is so smartly captured in this graphic novel. I adored the premise and the artwork is stunning!
Profile Image for Marijana☕✨.
498 reviews86 followers
May 21, 2023
Tek sam se negde kod polovine bolje povezala sa pričom zato što je baš za tinejdžere, što naravno ne znači da se „odrasli“ neće oduševiti. Pre svega nas podseća da je moguće zadržati magiju koju smo osećali u detinjstvu, upravo zato što smo mi ti koji su je stvorili i percipirali. Moramo da odrastemo, ali ne moramo nužno da se odreknemo mašte i stvari koje nas usrećuju. Ilustracije su preslatke, daju cosy vajb i mislim da je bolje čitati tokom jeseni.
Profile Image for Valentina.
190 reviews21 followers
April 11, 2021
This was so cute! I loved the art style so much as well. I almost teared up at the end. What a adorable story with a great vibe. Recommend picking it up around Halloween, tho.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,223 reviews

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