A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.
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.
ARC acquired at Book Expo in exchange for an honest review.
“The next full moon snuck up on me…”
Oh friends, this was truly the graphic novel I’ve been waiting forever for. From witchy magic, to unconditional family and found family love, to being the person you want to be on your own time, to the cutest F/NB relationship ever, I am so in love with Mooncakes!
One night, in a sleepy and paranormal New England town, a witch follows a white wolf into the woods. She doesn’t know what to expect, but it most certainly isn’t a horse demon fighting with her childhood crush! With the help of one another (and some cute grandmas) they unfold a story about a cult and people wanting to harness werewolf magic for their own.
And the two main characters of this graphic novel are everything! One, being Nova, who is Chinese-American, and still coping with the loss of her parents, while living with her two grandmothers (be still, my heart). All of these women are witches and collect rare spell books! And Tam, who is also Chinese-American, and a nonbinary werewolf who grew up with Nova, but recently left their family who wasn’t very kind to them.
And if I haven’t already sold you with the plot and the five star rating, this is also just a story about two young adults learning who they want to be, both separately and together. Nova and Tam are both dealing with hurt from their parents, and even though it is a different kind of hurt, they are there for one another, and unconditionally support one another. It’s beautiful, and powerful, and I had the biggest smile on my face while reading from the first to last page.
Overall, this really was the queer, magical story that I’ve always wanted. I loved the rep, I loved the story, I loved the illustrations, I love the banter, and I truly love both of these main characters so very much. I can’t wait to see what Wendy and Suzanne do next! Also, I’m totally buying mooncakes on the way home tomorrow, because your girl has such a craving.
This was such a soft and lovely story filled with so many magical moments. From it's amazing cast of characters to its storyline that had me hooked from the start. Mooncakes was a joy to behold and the romance between Tam and Nova gave me all the feels. Tam is a non-binary werewolf and Nova is a chinese-american queer witch that lives with her two (kickass) grandmothers. I enjoyed the art style and the narrative kept me turning the pages. This was such a cute read that I flew through but I really wish that we got more substance on the magic system and the backgrounds of each character that led them to their arcs. Nevertheless, highly recommend to anyone looking for something to swoon over!
I never knew how much I needed this precious graphic novel about a queer hard-of-hearing witch and a nonbinary werewolf (both Chinese-American) childhood-friends-to-lovers relationship, but WOW, here we are and this is going to be one of my favorite releases of the year, no doubt at all.
Because I'm having a hard time putting into normal review formatting how much I loved this, let the bullets do their thing:
• DIVERSITY FOR DAAAAYYYYYS • Not only are both MCs Chinese-American and queer, but Nova has two grandmas in a relationship with each other, too?! KILLING ME WITH CUTENESS, Y’ALL • Such sweet and wholesome witchy rep, please give me more stories about good witches interacting with nature and doing sweet protective craft ♥ • This art is adorable, full stop, and can we just take a moment to appreciate the precious quiet detail of Tam’s ears?! • Tam uses they/them pronouns (and even corrects other characters) and the other characters are so respectful of them! • Multiple references to Nova’s hearing aids ♥ • Nova’s bestie is the obligatory skeptic character who’s also a trip and ships Nova/Tam so hard, A++ wing-woman over here • Everything is just so wholesome and precious and we stan 😭
I seriously can't recommend this highly enough and I hope everyone picks it up and obsesses over it when it releases this October! 😍🎃🔮
Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
This was absolutely everything. I loved everything about this. The characters, the witchy vibes, the representation, the illustrations, the relationships, EVERYTHING! I can't wait to get a final copy when it comes out in October so I can see all of the full colour illustrations. PICK THIS UP IN OCTOBER FRIENDS!
My thoughts in a nutshell It could've been better. Let's start with what I adored this graphic novel. I enjoyed the drawing style. It is gorgeous. I really like that the main character is non-binary and another protagonist is half Chinese-half American queer witch. I think the diversity works very well in this novel. The family dynamic and friendship is powerful. It is a vital part of the comic. I don't like the in medias res beginning. This novel didn't have a reasonable starting point or accurate ending. I hate the insta love. We didn't know the character's past. I don't understand the title. Why is it 'Mooncake'? I don't remember any of that. Overall, it is just okay. It was sometimes monotonous. The story didn't hold my attention. I gave it 3 stars. It was a fast read. I wouldn't recommend buying it if you can borrow it from the library.
The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I see a very adorable graphic novel about witches and sweets, I automatically and unequivocally press 'want to read'. No questions asked. And it was worth it because it was soo cute and funny and lovely! I really loved it!
Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an e-copy for an honest review!
I never felt so happy with a representative until this book. Mooncakes offered a diverse cast of characters — from a hard of a hearing witch, non-binary werewolf to queer grandmothers. There was no sense that any of the characters were "tokens" or placed for clarity's cause, making this book more substantial. Not to say, the notion of a werewolf and witch love story truly piqued my interest.
Be that as it may, even after reading a few graphic novels, I'm not sure if I have yet to be completely equipped with the nature of it even when I've read them in a stretch (I often find it underdeveloped) or Mooncakes just begins its story abruptly. Like how the plot picks up or even the romance— there isn't too much exposition, but only enough to give you a sense of the characters' backstories. I enjoy the magical component of the book, but some of it is still a little puzzling for me to fully comprehend.
Nevertheless, this is still one magical and adventurous book! Reading this during spooktober makes me love the book even more as it fits with the vibe. It has wonderful illustrations; delivering the right ambiance on each scene. I could almost feel the crisp, clear fall air and lovely autumn moonlight. Amazing representations and indeed, a heartwarming read.
This book was charming and a fresh perspective from a diverse cast. I loved that the love interest is non-binary and the main character wears hearing aids, and all were discussed so naturally. This is definitely a great book to come out in October because the cozy and fall vibe of this book is definitely there. But although it was quick and cute, I found it to be a bit cookie cutter and generic, plot-wise. It almost reads like a middle grade because the events occur formulaically, the characters make questionable decisions that force them to suffer the consequences, and there is a bit of instalove. I guess what I was wishing for was more emotional depth to the characters. Still, I enjoyed my reading experience despite the ARC I read being unfinished (half the art wasn't colored in), so I'm sure the final version will be stunning and this book will be a lot of people's jam.
Witches, werewolves, demons, ghosts, a dude with a bird for a head…this book has it all for a great spooky season read. Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and wonderfully illustrated by Wendy Xu (who wrote and illustrated the very lovely Tidesong) is an adorable queer graphic novel packed full of action and emotion. When Tam, a werewolf runaway, returns to their childhood town to hunt a demon they are reunited with their former best friend, Nova, who aims to help them in their quest to discover ancient werewolf powers to defeat the demon. It is a story of experimentation, research and romance, with a large cast that examines family dynamics and trauma and while the story is a bit clunky it is so sweet and heartwarming that I couldn’t help but love it.
Also there is plenty of Witchcraft!
One thing I really enjoyed about Mooncakes was how much it covers that will be relatable to teens living lives outside the realm of witches and werewolves. Tam is running from an abusive step-father, Nova is dealing both with the death of her parents and her parents (as ghosts) disappointed in her for not leaving town to pursue her dreams of witchcraft. Along the way we have friendly neighbors hiding ulterior motives, cults and a full on demon stalking about the town so mileage may vary if this is like your town or not. Seemed pretty believable as far as Holland, MI goes. I really enjoyed that there was non-binary representation with Tam using they/them pronouns and nobody having any issue switching to that, as well as Nova using hearing aids and finding ways to combine them with her magic to be more powerful. So that was all very cool. Speaking of which, the action scenes are pretty great and one thing Wendy Xu excels at is having frames that are stuffed full of things going on without ever feeling overcrowded or confusing.
The artwork is fantastic in this and has a bit of a Studio Ghibli vibe to it with all the cottagecore scenery and outfits. It’s just all so very pretty to look at. The story itself is pretty involved with a pretty rich world and a lot of implied backstory, though sometimes it does feel less like being dropped into a larger world you can pick up through context and more like you accidentally skipped over an earlier volume or something. The characters are adorable though, if even a bit one-note, but I quite enjoyed them all interacting and supporting one another. It’s cute enough to gloss over a lot.
So if you want a good queer graphic novel, Mooncakes is an adorable delight full of fun. This is perfect for the coming Halloween season, or just a cute read any time of the year.
Absolutely stunning artwork, beautiful magic system. However, the plot was extremely weak, the story seemed secondary to characters which in turn made it difficult for me to get attached to them. Romance felt very rushed even though history was indicated, it was off page and so felt more insta-love than anything else. Overachieving, majorly powerful adults who let the teens go risk their lives always baffle me and pull me out of the story with "wait but why". Very cute but a miss for me.
Qué sorpresa me encontré cuando leí Mooncakes. A decir verdad me esperaba una historia sencilla y tierna, pero todo fue mucho más allá.
Aquí tenemos a Nova, una chica aprendiz de bruja que, un día, sigue a un lobo blanco hasta el bosque. Allí se da cuenta de que ese lobo es su amigue de la infancia y su crush desde hace años, Tam. Con ese reencuentro, Nova entiende que Tam ha estado huyendo de un culto extraño que quiere usar su magia de werewolf para el mal. Así que, juntes, empezarán a reconstruir esa amistad (y algo más) que dejaron inconclusa mientras intentan enfrentarse a este peligro que nunca imaginaron.
¿Qué les puedo decir? Me encantó la historia, amé la representación y las ilustraciones son hermosas. Creo que Mooncakes es una de esas novelas gráficas que esconde una trama sencilla, pero muy wholesome y feel-good. Además, puntos extra por creatividad porque me niego a creer que fui la única que pensó que iba a ser una historia sobre una pastelería de brujas o algo por el estilo, oops.
Adorable Story ✔️ Beautiful Artwork ✔️ Family Dynamic ✔️ Magic ✔️ Super Cute Main Characters ✔️
This will be one of the books that I will buy for sure when it comes out although I’ve already read it. It has everything that I want in one book and the representation of someone who has a hearing disability is really nice. 💛
P.S. I’m so thankful to Netgalley and the publisher who gave an opportunity to me to read this book.
That was so cute and included so many things that I adored!
This had everything for a great graphic novel- witches, demons, werewolves, friendship, family and love. It also included cults, sadistic plans and occult rituals.
Nova is a witch, working with her two Nana’s (both witches) in their rather unique bookstore. They procure certain books that help with spell research and work; from curses to potions to igniting magic. The family also do a little witchcraft on the side to help with neighbourhood issues from the supernatural.
One day Nova hears of a white wolf roaming the forest, a demon prowling in the area, and flashing lights occurring at random times. The white wolf reminds her of a friend from childhood, a friend she was in love with, and so she sets out to investigate the mysterious happenings in the forest.
Here she encounters not only an unexpected demon, but also her old best friend and crush, Tam... who also happens to be a werewolf. Soon Nova discovers there are more sinister forces at work, posing danger to her family and to Tam.
This book explored and incorporated inclusivity very well! There is a F/NB relationship, a plus-sized character, and disability representation. While these were all made apparent of the character (either through drawings or phrases), the character’s were never solely that one thing, and were made 3D with human emotions and interactions (or witches and werewolves of course!).
Nova also had such an interesting family in terms of ghosts and seeing how the consequences of magic can go wrong!
There were some amazing moments in the novel where love, family and friendship provided such a supportive, and non-judgemental, zone.
I received an ARC of this book for free from The Book Drop.
Omg this book was so cute! It was cozy and fluffy and just plain adorable!
First off, I loved the artwork! I had an ARC so I only had a little bit of the full color artwork, but from what I saw, it is amazing. The artwork gave the book a really cozy and autumn feel, which matched the entire vibe of the book.
I also loved the representation. Nova is queer, Chinese American, hard-of-hearing, and has two grandmothers who are in a relationship with each other. Tam is non-binary and also Chinese American. I loved how all of these elements were incorporated into the story. For example, Nova’s hearing aids get talked about a lot throughout the book.
The supporting characters were great as well. Nova’s friend, Tatyana, was awesome and I loved their friendship. Another standout was Nova’s cousin Terry (if you’ve read the book, you’ll know why).
Also the bookshop/cafe that Nova’s grandmothers own is the cutest thing ever, especially the special room dedicated to the witchy books.
The storyline is fairly simple but it worked. This is just a feel good graphic novel and a straight forward plot was exactly what it needed.
A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.
Mooncakes was the cutest thing I’ve read in ages! And the artwork was fabulous. I loved Nova, Tam, and the Nanas. It was a fun, action packed read and I have a feeling I’ll pick it back up around Halloween because it's absolutely perfect for fall!
ARC provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review!
🌟 This has been getting all the 5 stars and all the love recently and so I had to check what all of this is about! I feel like I am not fair to comics and picture books and I always give the same reason: It was just because I started those with my currently favorite comic which is Saga. The writing, characters, drawing and story-line are all perfect in that one! I am looking for something as good but it looks like I will still be doing it.
🌟 Mooncakes was not bad, the drawings were a bit meh for my own taste, the plot is a bit for younger readers with power of friendship and love... etc. It was obvious from the start where the story was going. There was diversity for sure with a disabled character wearing a hearing aid device, a non binary character and a queer relationship. So if these are things you like then I do in fact recommend this book!
🌟 I don't know if I was supposed to feel anything because I mostly did not and that usually affect my ratings of books. As usual, I am a hard to please person so there are higher chances you are going to like this if you read it so don't let this review discourage you!
Graphic novels are not usually my first choice of books. But after seeing the book cover, I couldn't resist the urge. I just had to read Mooncakes.
Mooncakes is a cute paranormal story, filled with magic, love, family... In a paranormal city, Nova, a teen witch goes to the woods and follows a white wolf. It turns out that the wolf is her high-school crush, Tam. It would all be lovely, but Tam is in life danger and needs help. The two girls help each other and their connection grows throughout the book.
The scenery of the cosy home of Nova's grandmothers and the lovely bookshelves gave me a wonderful feeling of comfort. I loved their warm house, the lovely relationship they had and the love you could feel through the pages.
I enjoyed Mooncakes - it was adorable. If you like graphic novels, cute art and a little sparkle of magic - this book will not disappoint you.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Lion Forge, for sending me an E-Arc copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the e-arc!
REP: both MC's are Chinese American, Nova is hard-of-hearing, wears hearing aids and is queer, Tam is nonbinary, f/f relationship between Nova's grandma's.
T H I N G S I L O V E D : - so cute and fun! - loved the magical Autumn vibes! - the relationships are SO cute (between Tam & Nova, between the grandmas AND the female friendship between Nova and her muggle bestie is so well done) - THE MAGIC DOOR TO THE ENCHANTED FOREST WITH THE SPIRIT CREATURES IS EVERYTHING - the nana's!!!! are everything!!!
T H I N G S I D I D N ' T L O V E : - didn't have that 5 star feeling for me :( - very predictable and generic storyline - not my favourite art style, but still super cute!
I loved this graphic novel so much! I am new to magic system and fantasy reads but this one is simple to read and follow.
The art work gets better with the subsequent chapters. And woah! Who would have thought one of the characters would share my name?! The chemistry between the characters is strong and all the characters are just too sweet. What I loved the most was the 'nerd' talk right from the beginning. The dialogue bubbles are well put; the art sequences are well maintained. The cover rocks! Those who love manga will know what I mean. The witches, the wolves, the magic and all the reading they did were like dream come true for a reader like me reading about them, seeing people like me doing exactly what I would do if I was in that world. I dig the romance as well. It was subtle yet cute. I love the ending. The action and the 'togetherness'!
I cannot wait to see the final copy with all the pages completely colourful!
Thanks netgalley for the book!! This is my first ever book I got and I am pretty excited. And rightfully so!
I love the fact that book uses a Gender Non-conforming character and the book is wonderful at using They/Them pronouns. The relationship in the story is touching and cute. That is the part of the story I enjoyed.
I was looking forward to reading this story about witches. It had been on my TBR list for months and I requested at the library back in August. I had high hopes for this story. I do think the characters are decent, but something did not work for me. The whole demon in the woods didn't seem to work too well.
I did like the grandmothers couple and they were good at magic. I think the stakes at the beginning didn't seem to be very high. The stakes didn't get high until the very end and it didn't feel earned. The story did have some charm, but the story simple did not fully work for me. I'm most certain it is simply my opinion.
It's worth a read, I would say, don't expect the best story ever. It's a decent fantasy/love story.
Ok, things I liked: The art style was really beautiful, and might I add, quite original. Plus, I did enjoy the supernatural elements of the story, style wise.
Things I did not like: The characters were bland and boring, not well realized at all, and I didn't care for them (I don't think we actually know anything substantial about Nova and Tam, besides that the former wears a hearing aid and the latter is non-binary). Although Nova's grandmothers have potential, as they are delightfully quirky, they are merely side characters and we mostly focus on the romance between Nova and Tam (boring). The plot was muddled at best, oddly paced and at most times didn't make any sense. Generally, I found it to be quite a superficial read, without any real depth, which is precisely what prevented me from giving it a higher rating.
I'm just sad, because I love witches and I expected to love this story too -well, I at least hoped it would be entertaining.
3.75 stars rounded upto 4. I really enjoyed this it definitely has those cute heart-warming Heartstopper vibes. I loved the magic and the art style was stunning!! I want to live in that witchy library and have my own black cat book store. A fun and cozy story of friendship, love, family and inner strength with great representation!