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.

Our 2020 Reading Rush TBR

This is the year we are going to join the Reading Rush! We know that we probably won’t be able to read all our picks but fingers crossed!

This is the year we are going to join the Reading Rush! We know that we probably won’t be able to read all our picks but fingers crossed!

Here are the prompts:

1/ Read a book with a cover that matches the colour of your birth stone.
2/ Read a book that starts with the word “The”.
3/ Read a book that inspired a movie you’ve already seen.
4/ Read the first book you touch.
5/ Read a book completely outside of your house.
6/ Read a book in a genre that you’ve always wanted to read more of.
7/ Read a book that takes place on a different continent than where you live.

Alia’s Picks

  1. Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
  2. The Red House Mystery by A. A. Milne
  3. A Series of Unfortunate Events – The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
  4. Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation by Ari Folman
  5. I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya
  6. A Quick and Easy Guide to Queer and Trans Identities by Madi G.
  7. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

Julia’s Picks

  1. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  3. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
  4. Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson
  5. Thief of Thieves by Robert Kirkman
  6. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath / Romanov by Nadine Brandes
  7. Romanov by Nadine Brandes

What do you plan on reading this week?

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.

June 2018 | Monthly Favourites

Alia’s Picks

Song: Nice For What by Drake.

Literally been listening to it all the time on my bus rides home. It’s tooo catchy!

33917107Book: I didn’t read a lot in June because I had just started a new job and also I was moving at the same time. But I did manage to read On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century. It was a great little essay, about the size of We Should All Be Feminists. You could definitely read this is one sitting, which is great for such an insightful and important essay.

TV Show: I just finished the first season of Bates Motel (Netflix). It was pretty good, although I wish the ending had been stronger, especially cause you can kinda predict how it’s gonna end. I’m curious to see what happens in the second season, but I’m torn between that and the second season Lost. I’ve never finished the series and I borrowed the DVDs from a friend, so I think I might jump into that!

jwMovie:  I watched Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and it was soooo good! Like all the Jurassic movies, it was definitely campy but it was a lot of fun to watch. If anyone watched Jurassic World and were disappointed that there weren’t many “scary” scenes, then this movie will totally make it up to you! I spent 90% of my time in the theater on the edge of my seat.

Game: I recently bought a Nintendo Switch and I’ve been playing Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It’s such an amazing game and at the same time a huuuuge time wasting trap. I swear I spent two hours just climbing mountains and cooking food! So far I’ve defeated all the divine beasts and now I’m searching for some of the memories I’ve missed. I’m probably not going to fight Ganon for awhile, since I’m still exploring all the areas.

Also this.

App: I re-downloaded Pokemon Go last week, after watching the Nintendo Switch trailer for the Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu!/Let’s Go Eevee! and it made me want to play all over again. Of course, now everyone who kept playing is amazing at this game and I have like five Pokemon. I also don’t live ANYWHERE near a gym or any stops. The pokemon ball drought is real friends.

YouTuber: I’ve been watching a ton of ProZD videos this month. He has a great one for Avengers: Infinity War. If you’ve seen the movie, I’d definitely check it out! Plus a lot of his videos are like less than five minutes, so you can binge them pretty easy.

Julia’s Picks

Song: Ball For Me ft. Nicki Minaj by Post Malone

Post Malone has been suuuuuch a vibe for me this summer. This song is probably one of my favourite bops off of beerbongs & bentleys. TBH how could it not be when it has this line: “Call me Buffy cause that’s what I slay like”?

Book: Like Alia, I haven’t had much time to read this month. But I’m so close to finishing Brandon Sanderson’s The Bands of Mourning, which is the sixth book in the Mistborn series. I love this author and everything about this world.

TV Show: Everything Sucks

Once I read the description for this show I immediately knew that I needed it in my life. Everything Sucks follows high school students navigating their way through their first relationships, fitting in and a film premiere. It takes places in the 90’s and the references are great – there’s a scene when Luke recreates Oasis’s “Wonderwall” music video to ask out his crush.

Movie: Just last week I went to watch Hereditary and I quite enjoyed it. It was suspenseful and definitely is worthy of a rewatch, especially now that I googled a lot afterwards. Alex Wolff is great and did a great acting job. I wish I didn’t watch it in theatres because the crowd definitely ruined some of the mood but ohhhh well.

Product: I received a Hola Neon liquid lipstick from one of my etsy bags and I’ve using it quite a lot. It goes on pretty nice, doesn’t dry my lips out AND it’s cruelty free!

Game: My friends and I have been playing a LOT of Jackbox 4. The first 3 games are so good that we haven’t even gotten to the other ones! Monster Seeking Monster has got to be my favourite though because everyone’s pick up lines are toooo cheesy!

If you’ve never heard of Jackbox, it’s a party game you play with your friends using your phones/ tablets/ laptops. There’s usually 4-5 games in each set and they’re hilarious.

App: I’ve been trying to get my Instagram to ascend to a whole ‘notha level by tryna keep to the same filter. Hence, my constant use of Filmborn. It gives your photos different film aesthetics such as: Fujifilm and Kodak. It’s really fun to play around with!

YouTuber: Jeffree Star is an icon. That is all.