The Tea Dragon Tapestry | Book Review

I fell in love with The Tea Dragon series overnight (thanks to Hoopla) and then needed to catch up on sleep for 18 hours, like Chamomile. After my power nap, I immediately ordered the physical copies to experience it again. Once I found out that the third and (sadly) final instalment was coming out I knew it had to go on my TBR.

By: Julia Agris

DISCLAIMER: Thanks to NetGalley for giving us an eARC of this graphic novel, for free, to review.

I fell in love with The Tea Dragon series overnight (thanks to Hoopla) and then needed to catch up on sleep for 18 hours, like Chamomile. After my power nap, I immediately ordered the physical copies to experience it again. Once I found out that the third and (sadly) final instalment was coming out I knew it had to go on my TBR.

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The Tea Dragon Tapestry

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Join Greta and Minette once more for the heartwarming conclusion of the award-winning Tea Dragon series!

Over a year since being entrusted with Ginseng’s care, Greta still can’t chase away the cloud of mourning that hangs over the timid Tea Dragon. As she struggles to create something spectacular enough to impress a master blacksmith in search of an apprentice, she questions the true meaning of crafting, and the true meaning of caring for someone in grief. (Read more on goodreads)

Throughout the series, we were introduced to a multitude of different (and diverse) characters – it is in this book that we finally get to see them meet. Additionally, we get to see Greta and Minette’s friendship grow deeper as they both struggle with personal problems. Greta is unsure what to make for her blacksmith apprenticeship test AND trying to make Ginseng happy after the death of her previous owner. Meanwhile, Minette is dealing with a lost sense of guidance.

The themes of loss (of a person, passion, identify, path), longing and even belonging are all relatable. Although simple, they are basic human emotions seeing these characters handling it while they support each other makes you root for them all the way.

Not only do the cast make you want to keep reading but, just a glance at the art should be enough of a reason for you to pick this up.

O’Neill’s art style the perfect mix of adorable and whimsical. Everything feels organic, all doodles are in the right place, all Tea Dragons looking cute as heck… it makes me want to rip out every page and poster them around my house. In Chapter Two, there is a beautiful full-page spread of Minette’s dream sequence and WOW can I live there forever?

One might say that there is no giant plot twists or action-packed scenes. That is because the story is very character driven, which is what I enjoyed the most besides the art. The characters feel genuine and help each other grow – they want to see their friends/ family succeed. This is what moves the story forward. Their care for one another is like a warm hug.

“Everything that happens is part of your wholeness. The sadness, the loss, the hurt, as well as the joy, the love, the friendship — it is all part of your tapestry […] remember, that you are already whole.”

katie o’neill, the tea dragon tapestry

The age group for this book is: children, middle grade, and young adult. I recommend it to everyone no matter the age. It’s filled with diversity and very real human problems. It has supportive characters! It has beautiful messages about growth and relationships! It has ADORABLE TEA DRAGONS (need I say more) and if that’s not enough O’Neill has provided supplemental lore into the world of Tea Dragons at the back of the book again.

The Tea Dragon Tapestry will be released on September 1st, 2020 and you know I will be picking it up, alongside the card game.

My Riot | Book Review

If you know me by now, then you know that I love graphic novels. So when I saw My Riot was on NetGalley I knew that I had to immediately read it.

By: Julia Agris

DISCLAIMER: Thanks to NetGalley for giving us an eARC of this graphic novel, for free, to review.

If you know me by now, then you know that I love graphic novels. So when I saw My Riot was on NetGalley I knew that I had to immediately read it.

My Riot by Rick Spears

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Set in the early ’90s, My Riot is about a trio of teen girls team up to form a rock band and shake off society’s expectations of what it means to be a young woman coming of age in the modern world.

1991—Val, a teenager from a conservative family, has grown up dreaming of becoming a ballerina, but recently something has changed. She’s begun feeling pressure to conform to a specific idea of beauty, body type, and a personality that just doesn’t fit.

Trigger warnings: body image shaming, eating disorders, sexism, slut-shaming

Chapter 1, “A Riot of Our Own” opens with Val at her first job interview, revealing (too much about herself) what most teenagers feel at that age. After being told by her ballet instructor that she should start smoking to shed five pounds, she mets Kat. She seems to be the badass type, who I honestly wish we got to know more about.

Kat introduces her to Rudie and her first punk rock show. Together, the three of them end up forming an all-girl punk band named The Proper Ladies.

In Chapter 2, “A Romantic ‘Pas de Deux'”, they nailed the feeling of a mosh pit and that’s when I knew I’d really like this graphic novel. You can tell that Val is falling hard for this scene. Later on, she even mentions, “Confusing things are somehow made clear in the chaos of clashing guitars.”

This is such coming of age story where the girls get to find their own voices, writing music about body image and even birth control. The Proper Ladies ring true to the the Riot Grrrl movement – a wave of underground feminist punk music. It’s a story of female friendship, support and empowerment.

The artwork is quite simple colour-wise but I feel like this adds to the feel of 90’s zine culture.

As I said, I wish we got to learn a bit more about the other girls (Kat and Rudie) however Val’s growth had me rooting for her the entire time. I grew up as a scen/emo kid and I related to this so hard.

My Riot‘s public release date is: September 8th, 2020 and you bet you can catch me picking up a physical copy.