Review: Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker + Wendy Xu

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Goodreads | Blackwells

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.

I’ve wanted to read this since before it was released. In fact, I even had an e-arc on Netgalley, but unfortunately I couldn’t download the file for some reason. I’ve been looking for a copy ever since but could never find them, and I finally managed to get one a month or so ago! I think they’ve been reprinted as there is still a few available on Blackwell’s and Forbidden Planet if you’re looking for one.

I was a little hesitant that this wouldn’t live up to expectations as I’ve wanted to read it for over a year, but it really did. This was gorgeous. The artwork was absolutely beautiful and the colours were stunning. As soon as I opened the book I knew I was going to love the art style. I devoured this and read it in two sittings (it would have been one if I didn’t stop for a phone call in the middle!).

I loved that this was a contemporary book with paranormal elements that just feel ‘normal’ for the story. It talked about family, friendship and relationships but also demons, magic, witches and werewolves. And I felt like it just worked. Nothing felt forced, it was a perfect combination. There was also so much diversity, with Asian-American main characters, a non-binary main character, queer relationships and even a main character with a hearing impairment. This all felt natural and flowed really well in the story, but are still discussed in relation to it. Nova’s hearing impairment was discussed in relation to her magic, and is not ignored in the face of anything.

I adored everything about this. The characters are lovely and so well written – I related to them instantly and loved their relationships. The world was super interesting. The plot was adventurous, but the story didn’t shy away from important and hard-hitting discussions. The artwork was vibrant and utterly addictive. I’m so, so glad I read this, it felt like a hug, a warm blanket, a cup of hot chocolate. I feel like it’s one I will re-read again and again!

★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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5 thoughts on “Review: Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker + Wendy Xu

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