I have been given many ARCs since my last graphic novel wrap up. Here is a summary of them and my reviews!
Wynd Book One: Flight of the Prince
Wynd seems like a regular boy in the fantastical world of Esseriel, except he’s got a magical secret. Now he’s set off on a journey with his best friend and the boy of his dreams to discover the magic in the world around him and, most importantly, within himself.
YOU CAN’T FIND YOUR HOME UNTIL YOU FIND YOURSELF.
Wynd lives a quiet life in Pipetown — working at the local tavern, out of sight in the secret rooms beneath the floorboards, often stealing away to catch glimpses of the son of the castle’s groundskeeper as he works.
But Wynd also has a secret… magical blood betrayed by his pointed ears, forbidden within the city limits. His shaggy hair has obscured them for most of his life, but now that Wynd is a teenager they are growing too unwieldy to hide.
Joined by his best friend Oakley and Thorn, the groundskeeper’s son, Wynd’s strange dreams and an encounter with the city guard send him on the most dangerous adventure he could imagine, where Wynd will discover the magic in the world around him and, most importantly, the magic within himself.
I thought this was a sweet little graphic novel! It was pretty fast-paced with a lot of interesting characters. I wish we had gotten a little more world-building and backstory. They did a “tell don’t show” method of telling us the lore, which felt a little bit like a cop-out. The art was really gorgeous and I can’t wait to see what happens next!
Cheer up! Love and Pom Poms by Crystal Frasier and Val Wise
Annie is a smart, antisocial lesbian starting her senior year of high school who’s under pressure to join the cheerleader squad to make friends and round out her college applications. Her former friend BeeBee is a people-pleaser—a trans girl who must keep her parents happy with her grades and social life to keep their support of her transition. Through the rigors of squad training and amped up social pressures (not to mention micro aggressions and other queer youth problems), the two girls rekindle a friendship they thought they’d lost and discover there may be other, sweeter feelings springing up between them.
This graphic novel was one of the sweetest things I’ve read in a while. Firstly, the art is gorgeous and incredibly well done. I liked how detailed the style was without feeling messy or overwhelming. The color palette was really gorgeous for this specific novel. The story was heartwarming and amusing, with a ton packed into the short graphic novel. This is a full story, which I appreciated a lot. There is no cliffhanger to leave you frustrated and wanting the next story immediately. The way this novel addressed different identities and setting boundaries with others was really wonderful!
The New Girl (Elle) by Kid Toussaint and Aveline Stokart
Elle is just another teenage girl… most of the time. Bubbly and good-natured, she wastes no time making friends on her first day at her new school. But Elle has a secret: she hasn’t come alone. She’s brought with her a colorful mix of personalities, which come out when she least expects it… Who is Elle, really? And will her new friends stand by her when they find out the truth?
This was a really fun book! I enjoyed it a lot and am almost kind of sad that it’s over. I can’t wait to read more from this series when more is translated to English.
The art in this story was absolutely beautiful, and this graphic novel could get many stars based on that alone. However, the story was interesting and unique to top it all off! Elle has a fantastic set of friends who are ready to help her find the answers, and they’re patient with the different versions of her. I thought that was a really cool aspect. Using the hair color to reflect these changes translated really well, as well.
Very excited about the next book!
Brindille by Frederic Brremaud and Federico Bertolucci
A frail young girl flees a roaring forest fire in the middle of the night desperately taking refuge in a cave where she quickly loses consciousness. She wakes up in a strange, tiny village populated by fairy-like creatures. Her hosts seem intrigued by the sparkles of light that seem to surround her. The village chieftain explains that one of their hunters found her passed out in the forest and brought her back here for treatment. He asks who she is, but she remembers nothing except for a wall and flames. The chief is baffled by her tale as there has not been any fire in the forest lately, and yet the young woman does indeed show signs of burns. Somewhat recovered and dressed in woodland clothes made by the villagers, the young lady asks to meet the hunter who found her in the forest. She asks her savior to take her to where he found her, hoping that seeing the place will restore her memory. But Melissa refuses — the rules of the village say that only hunters can enter the forest, and all of the sparkles surrounding the girl would catch the eyes of predators living in these woods…
What follows is a tale of discovery, magic, tragedy, and adventure, as the girl discovers powers that may or may not be borne of an ancient evil. She befriends a cunning, talking wolf along the way, and together the two set out on a journey that will not soon be easily forgotten.
A beautifully illustrated, magical fairy tale sure to appeal to young teens and up, created by the award-winning team behind the world-renowned LOVE series of wordless wildlife graphic novels.
The art style of this graphic novel was absolutely gorgeous. The story was very par for the course, though. It followed many tropes that already exist. The story was definitely elevated by the lush artwork, however. The pacing was quick, and I enjoyed the story for what it was. I would have liked a little bit more back story on the villains, but I don’t know if that would have worked in the story in general. Overall, this was solid!
Nightmare in Savannah by Lela Gwen
Alexa moves to Savannah to get away from her past. Too bad her past is a Google search away and her parent’s criminal acts quickly make her an outcast. Good thing Fae, Chloe, & Skye aren’t high on the social ladder and give Alexa a group to feel comfortable in. But after a long night of debauchery, they transform into the town’s worst nightmare; Fairies.
This story is incredibly fast-paced, and honestly? I enjoyed that. The storyline is made clearer by reading the snippets of the Fay Hunters guide that’s included. I will say, the ending was a little bit confusing to me, but that could just be me. The story could have benefited from a little bit more detailing, but for a quick one-shot graphic novel, this was really solid.