Saturday Smalls — July 20th, 2019

July 20, 2019

This week’s mini review round-up includes the following:

  1. adult romance novel
  2. YA fantasy graphic novel
  3. adult paranormal mystery graphic novel
  4. YA mystery graphic novel

Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata

TITLE: Dear Aaron
AUTHOR: Mariana Zapata
GENRE: Romance

Ruby Santos knew exactly what she was getting herself into when she signed up to write a soldier overseas. The guidelines were simple: one letter or email a week for the length of his or her deployment. Care packages were optional. Been there, done that. She thought she knew what to expect. What she didn’t count on was falling in love with the guy.


Everyone deserves hugs and to know that someone in the world still worries about them, no matter what they’re doing, or even if they’re mad at one another.

This has been sitting on my shelf awaiting review for far too long, and I literally only kept putting off writing this up because I knew it was going to make me want to drop everything and reread it, and guess what? I was right! 100% restraining myself right now from closing out of this review-in-progress to go curl up with my kindle and relive all of the precious feels with Ruby and Aaron, because I miss them very much.

“I look at you and I can’t stop smiling. That’s all. You’re adorable.”

Straight up, this is one of the slowest-burning romances I’ve ever seen in my life, but it’s worth every moment of waiting, because you get to watch these two form the most beautiful, hilarious, wonderful best-friendship as they fall in love, and it’s just… *wistful sigh* What’s not to love about it? Seriously, it’s incredibly sappy, but if you, like me, have a tendency for falling in love with your best friend (check) and getting to know your crush through text messages and emails (also check—hi, honey!) and swooning over syrupy sweet, protective, funny types (check again!), you can’t pass this one up.


Mooncakes by Suzanne  Walker

TITLE: Mooncakes
AUTHOR: Suzanne Walker
GENRE: Fantasy

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 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:

  • 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!

Double Life by Valérie Vernay

TITLE: Rose, Vol. 1: Double Life
AUTHOR: Denis Lapiere
GENRE: Paranormal/Mystery

Twenty-one-year-old Rose just wants to be left alone. But Rose has a secret: she has the ability to split herself in two. Her spirit can leave her body and wander around freely, going into apartments and watching people live their lives. When her father, a private detective working on a financial political scandal, is murdered, Rose takes it upon herself to find the man responsible.


Definitely an interesting start to the trilogy! I’d be very intrigued to see where things go after that cliffhanger. No spoilers here, but Rose has some sort of strange ability where she can perform a sort of astral projection: her soul leaves her body and wanders around untethered, allowing her to eavesdrop, speak to ghosts, and now, investigate her father’s murder. The art is simple but nice and the translation is well-done.

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Heavy Vinyl, Vol. 1 by Carly Usdin

TITLE: Heavy Vinyl, Vol. 1
AUTHOR: Carly Usdin
GENRE: Mystery

Starry-eyed Chris has just started the dream job every outcast kid in town wants: working at Vinyl Mayhem. It’s as rad as she imagined; her boss is BOSS, her co-workers spend their time arguing over music, pushing against the patriarchy, and endlessly trying to form a band. When Rosie Riot, the staff’s favorite singer, mysteriously vanishes the night before her band’s show, Chris discovers her co-workers are doing more than just sorting vinyl . . . Her local indie record store is also a front for a teen girl vigilante fight club!


This was super cute and I enjoyed it a lot. It didn’t “wow” me and some of the commentary on feminism actually felt very out of left field (like don’t get me wrong, I agreed with the points being made! I just wasn’t sure how it related to the actual topic at hand sometimes), hence 4 stars instead of 5, but generally I’m just always gonna be here for cute queer girls and girls of color having each other’s backs, kicking asses, and being hilarious and awkward.



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More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

    1. Oh I loved reading mooncakes! It was so freaking cute!

    1. Wasn’t Mooncakes just adorable? I got an ARC of it at BookCon, but it wasn’t in full color so I definitely plan on rereading it once it releases! I loved the art style so very much and noticed all sorts of little details in so many of the pages that were in full color!

    1. You just reminded me that I have to read Mooncakes, it looks like so much fun!

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