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On a Sunbeam
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BotM Discussions > June 2020 BotM - On a Sunbeam

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message 1: by Erin (last edited Jul 01, 2020 01:22PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin (panelparty) | 196 comments Mod
It was a close race, but one book prevailed - and June's BotM is On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden! Originally published as a webcomic, this book is also available as a collected edition. Have you read any other Tillie Walden books? What did you think of this one? Can't wait to hear your thoughts on this book!

As a reminder, this discussion thread is FULL SPOILERS for On a Sunbeam!

This month, you can listen to the IRCB team's discussion of this book on July 1st. If it's ok to read your comments on the show, please post them before June 28th, and include "OK TO AIR" in your post!


Erin (panelparty) | 196 comments Mod
I absolutely loved this! Maybe I'm biased because I nominated it, but this one has been on my list for awhile - I just love Tillie Walden's art! Every page is bursting with cosmic detail and vibrant colors.

I was apprehensive about nominating this title due to its size (it clocks in at over 500 printed pages) but don't be scared off! It is a really quick read, many pages have very few words on them.

More than just a love story in space, On a Sunbeam captures the realities of life - your first job, your school bully, the one that got away - and weaves them into a tale of adventure across the universe. ★★★★★


Lenny (lennylenlen) | 129 comments Erin, great nomination for this month. I'm also a big fan of this graphic novel.

I'm not sure I'll be able to fully reread online this month so here's my full review when I read it last year, and here are my favorite parts -

- Women in space! Just women, nonbinary and genderqueer people! In space! She creates this world so effortlessly you might not even realize it's without men (reminds me of Octavia Butler) and all of the characters feel so authentic
- All spaceships should be koi fish spaceships
- Walden's bold use of color like Erin said - there is visceral atmosphere to Sunbeam's world. This time around I'm noticing how the use of color is an intentional, slow build. I love how she uses imagery like fog rather than panels to show transitions, and also thin panels of natural elements and color
- The final 100 pages or so are absolutely thrilling.

I would have preferred less boarding school life and more time with secondary characters who had big moments in the third act...though I realize the boarding school time impacted Mia's character. And perhaps it felt differently reading as a webcomic as it was coming out, than as one complete a graphic novel.


message 4: by Ed (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ed Erwin | 157 comments I've read 5 chapters so far, and I'm very confused. Due to another review, I've realized now that it is jumping back and forth between time periods. I hadn't realized that. D'oh! I think I'll re-start from the beginning.


message 5: by Ed (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ed Erwin | 157 comments Starting over from the beginning really helped. I understand so much more now and I really like it. I've finished 10 chapters, so I'm halfway through and will probably finish this weekend.


Otto | 5 comments Ed wrote: "... I've realized now that it is jumping back and forth between time periods. I hadn't realized that. D'oh! ..."

Yea, the time changes were a bit confusing. Luckily I usually noticed the scene changes quickly, but every time there was a scene change I would get confused with the characters all over again. I'm seriously going to start making notes of names and relations as I read books. :P


message 7: by Nancy (new)

Nancy | 108 comments I gave this book a valiant effort but I just could not engage with the story. I've heard good things about Tillie Walden's other books, but I was annoyed by all the characters. Had the book been shorter I would have pushed through but at 500+ pages I had to set it aside after 100 pages. I'm disappointed- as many of you really seemed to like it, and I had high hopes.


Lenny (lennylenlen) | 129 comments Nancy, I totally understand the crazy long length of the book and that it's a tough one to get through. I almost put it down several times myself. I'd recommend skimming the flashback stuff since it's less important in the long run, in my opinion at least - but if you don't feel like picking it back up I totally get that too.


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