Mini Reviews: eARCS!


Little Mama by Halim Mahmouidi

4 stars

Content warnings: somewhat graphic depictions of child and animal abuse (including infant abuse), underaged drinking, mentions of thoughts of suicide

This graphic novel follows Brenda, who is abused by her mother and then later her mother’s boyfriend. It is dark and emotional yet beautifully told.

I don’t know where to start with this review. I knew nothing about this graphic novel going in and it took me by surprise, especially with how dark it was. I mean that both in how sad and hard hitting the content was, but also in the artwork. This entire graphic novel is grey, white, and black. I feel like normally I would not enjoy that just because I really like seeing things in color and seeing how artists use color to tell their stories, but in this case the lack of color said so much and added so much depth to the story. The story itself was hard hitting and so sad, I cannot explain all of the emotions I felt while reading this. It broke my heart to see all that these characters were going to but also, it all seemed so real. This is sadly a thing that is entirely real, that happens every day. There were so many scenes where teachers and social workers felt so helpless because they could not do anything to help Brenda and I felt helpless right alongside them.

I feel like I cannot recommend it enough if the subject manner is something you are up for.


Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker

5 stars

This graphic novel follows Nova and Tam! The two of them have magic abilities (though they are very different to say the least) and they are reunited after years of being seperated and begin to rekindle their friendship and something more all while facing supernatural threats.

I think it may be my first or my second favorite graphic novel of all time? I am not quite sure if it tops On A Sunbeam or not, but if it doesn’t, it sure is close. I read this in the middle of July, but this screams autumn. There are so many fall and spooky and witchy vibes and it is excellent! This graphic novel is also full of rep! One of the main characters, Tam, is nonbinary! And both of them are queer (yeah, that’s right, this is a graphic novel about queer witches)!!

The artwork throughout this was so pretty and so amazing and the use of colors was so good I am not over it. The border colors changed to a darker color when the plot got more intense, it was just so good. The characters in this are also amazing! Tam and Nova and her grandmother’s were so well developed, I loved it so much!

Overall thoughts: this needs to be on your fall TBR. It is so good and so autumnal, you won’t want to miss it.


Hercules by Zarus and Dalena

3 stars

This graphic novel follows Hercules and his partner in crime as he tries to live up to the memory of his older brother by succeeding in intergalactic agent school. One major step to achieving that goal is to observing a very peculiar earthling child.

This was solidly okay. The art style wasn’t for me, but I am very weird about graphic novel art styles to begin with. It was also very short, I feel like if things had been explained more over a longer span I would have enjoyed it a lot more. As it was, this was kind of just eh for me. I thought that the time on Earth was really nice and I liked to see Hercules navigate that situation and try and genuinely help someone, even if it was slightly for his own gain at first. I also thought that his best friend was a cool character, though Hercules treated him pretty badly, especially at the beginning, and never apologized.

I was also a little confused as to what the central plotline was supposed to be. I thought, given the title, that it was all about his adventure to Earth but that didn’t seem to be the main thing. There were mentions and a few scenes with a villian, but he was once again under explained and readers are left to try and put the pieces together and guess what happened.

Overall, I would recommend this for younger readers. I didn’t enjoy it myself, but I can see younger readers thinking it was really fun and getting super into it.


I’m a Gay Wizard by V.S. Santoni

I am not giving this a proper rating because this was a DNF (something super super rare for someone who has literally only DNFed one book in her life) but if I had to give it a rating, it would be one star (also super rare for me). I got so excited when I saw this up on Netgalley, I mean, it literally screams about how gay it is from the title and there is magic, so I thought I would be set. Unfortunately, I was not set. I only read 14% of this book because I couldn’t get through more than that, but I will tell you the things I didn’t like about that fourteen percent.

#1: The time skips around and makes no sense. This was especially a problem at the beginning. It seemed like every seven paragraphs we were jumping from two months “before extraction” to a year afterwards then back to before then back to after and so on. It was just a mess and it confused me, I had no idea when or where I was and I wasn’t a fan.

#2: The characters were so childish? and just kind of not written well? I don’t know how to elaborate on this and maybe it is just that I quit reading before they got more developed or something, but they were all acting so much younger than they were and it was a lot for me.

#3: The writing in general. The writing in this was basically just messy. Between the time jumps and the random sound effects and weird dialogue, I just couldn’t stand it.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this. But, I have seen some five star ratings on goodreads so maybe I am just being overly critical. If you think this is for you, you should look into some more reviews.

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