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The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor

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Nimona meets Paper Girls with a literary twist in this wickedly funny graphic novel about a teenager who is swept up in a strange new universe and must save it from an all-consuming evil in order to return home. One dark and stormy night, Haley sees a stranger drowning in the river. Since her greatest passion is Gothic romance novels, she knows her moment has come. But when Nimona meets Paper Girls with a literary twist in this wickedly funny graphic novel about a teenager who is swept up in a strange new universe and must save it from an all-consuming evil in order to return home. One dark and stormy night, Haley sees a stranger drowning in the river. Since her greatest passion is Gothic romance novels, she knows her moment has come. But when Haley leaps into the water to rescue the stranger, she awakens in Willowweep. It certainly looks like the setting of one of her favorite books: A stately manor. A sinister housekeeper. Three brooding brothers. There’s even a ghost. Except Willowweep is not what it seems. Its romantic exterior hides the workings of a pocket universe—the only protection our world has against a great force of penultimate evil, and its defenses are crumbling. Could cruel fate make Haley the heroine that Willowweep needs?


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Nimona meets Paper Girls with a literary twist in this wickedly funny graphic novel about a teenager who is swept up in a strange new universe and must save it from an all-consuming evil in order to return home. One dark and stormy night, Haley sees a stranger drowning in the river. Since her greatest passion is Gothic romance novels, she knows her moment has come. But when Nimona meets Paper Girls with a literary twist in this wickedly funny graphic novel about a teenager who is swept up in a strange new universe and must save it from an all-consuming evil in order to return home. One dark and stormy night, Haley sees a stranger drowning in the river. Since her greatest passion is Gothic romance novels, she knows her moment has come. But when Haley leaps into the water to rescue the stranger, she awakens in Willowweep. It certainly looks like the setting of one of her favorite books: A stately manor. A sinister housekeeper. Three brooding brothers. There’s even a ghost. Except Willowweep is not what it seems. Its romantic exterior hides the workings of a pocket universe—the only protection our world has against a great force of penultimate evil, and its defenses are crumbling. Could cruel fate make Haley the heroine that Willowweep needs?

30 review for The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine from How Useful It Is

    A fun read, this book with the brothers were hilarious. Especially their attempts at poetry. The serious brother gifted the maiden his lock of hair as a way to woo her! The youngest brother seems childish. It would have been great if readers were informed of their individual age. The illustrations made the story extra funny, with characters looking surprise with their extra wide open mouths. I liked the housekeeper with her perching up on the tip top of the chair just to see outside of the tall A fun read, this book with the brothers were hilarious. Especially their attempts at poetry. The serious brother gifted the maiden his lock of hair as a way to woo her! The youngest brother seems childish. It would have been great if readers were informed of their individual age. The illustrations made the story extra funny, with characters looking surprise with their extra wide open mouths. I liked the housekeeper with her perching up on the tip top of the chair just to see outside of the tall window. The ghost and the Bile’s true form was definitely unexpected. Yes, like Haley, I would prefer their former body. The tool to catch the Bile was clever and took me by surprise. This book followed Haley. Her teacher just told her to pick a new topic for her book report because she did it again on gothic romance. On her way home, she saw someone in the water under the bridge. She jumped in to rescue him. They were washed up on the rocks and the next day some men found Haley and brought her to Willowweep Manor. The oldest brother, Laurence wanted to send Haley home but she wanted to stay to explore and recognized that the guy she rescued the night before was the middle brother. Laurence warned Haley that Willowweep Manor wasn’t safe for visitors. Haley soon found out that there’s this Bile that was trying to destroy Willowweep and she decided to stay to help rid of it. The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor was an interesting read. I haven’t read anything like it so I enjoyed the unique story line. The brooding oldest brother and his dare to make his day any worse was a scene to be adored. The illustrations for his face was just right! There’s a bit of LGBT love at the end that I was not expecting, so despite the recommended reading age to be 12, I would say this book is for teens instead of middle grade like I originally thought. I liked that Haley decided for herself what she was instead of settling on the title given to her by the brothers. Also she alone decided what she can and can’t do instead of letting others decide for her. It’s inspiring for young readers to have strong characters to look up to. I recommend everyone to read this book! xoxo, Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.com for more details Many thanks to Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    I'm a Gothic Heroine. And I've read a heck of a lot of books. When Haley tries to rescue a drowning man she slips through a crack into a strange, yet familiar world - a world filled with gothic tropes: moody gentlemen, ghosts, and iron-willed housekeepers. But, there's an evil presence that threatens to destroy this delightful place, and Haley's book-smart knowledge of dusty old novels may just come in handy when it comes to saving the world. This was an immensely enjoyable romp that kept me laugh I'm a Gothic Heroine. And I've read a heck of a lot of books. When Haley tries to rescue a drowning man she slips through a crack into a strange, yet familiar world - a world filled with gothic tropes: moody gentlemen, ghosts, and iron-willed housekeepers. But, there's an evil presence that threatens to destroy this delightful place, and Haley's book-smart knowledge of dusty old novels may just come in handy when it comes to saving the world. This was an immensely enjoyable romp that kept me laughing. Highly recommended to those with the right sense of humor. This fun title releases on July 20th. It is S-O-O-O worth the wait. A huge amount of thanks to NetGalley, and the publisher for letting me read this entertaining book. I can't wait to buy my own copy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Geoff

    By far the best alternate universe portal fantasy gothic romance graphic novel that I have ever read. Sure it hasn't had much competition in that category, but Willowweep manor has deep deadpan humor, Garrity is at her enthusiastically nerdy best here, and Baldwin's art is both more cartoonish than his work in Little Dee and SpaceTrawler and also captures the irony and humor of the story so well. The Save the Universe Big Bad plot is pretty standard, but it mostly functions as a vehicle for humo By far the best alternate universe portal fantasy gothic romance graphic novel that I have ever read. Sure it hasn't had much competition in that category, but Willowweep manor has deep deadpan humor, Garrity is at her enthusiastically nerdy best here, and Baldwin's art is both more cartoonish than his work in Little Dee and SpaceTrawler and also captures the irony and humor of the story so well. The Save the Universe Big Bad plot is pretty standard, but it mostly functions as a vehicle for humor and loving satire of Gothic romances. Two great creators combining to make something supremely entertaining. **Thanks to the author, artist, publisher, and NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    aarya

    As promised by the marketing, this is a satirical and meta take on the gothic romance novel (plus sci-fi alternate universe shenanigans!). I think the worldbuilding is the best part (really glad they didn’t go with the “and it was all a dream” route) but I wasn’t in love with the humor. Don’t get me wrong, some of it did make me smile. But the jokes got a bit repetitive by the middle and I became less enthused. Definitely a “it’s me, not the graphic novel” issue, and I think your reaction will v As promised by the marketing, this is a satirical and meta take on the gothic romance novel (plus sci-fi alternate universe shenanigans!). I think the worldbuilding is the best part (really glad they didn’t go with the “and it was all a dream” route) but I wasn’t in love with the humor. Don’t get me wrong, some of it did make me smile. But the jokes got a bit repetitive by the middle and I became less enthused. Definitely a “it’s me, not the graphic novel” issue, and I think your reaction will vary on how much you like the meta humor. The art is cute. Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    laurel [the suspected bibliophile]

    This was delightful. Definitely a must read if you have read some gothic romance. Full RTC. I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review

  6. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    It has been a very long time since any book has made me literally laugh out loud as many times as this witty, hilarious sendup of gothic romance novels. I adored the smart gothaholic heroine (who is perfectly suited to land in a pocket universe created during the Earth's Romantic era, since she totally understands the rules of gothic novels) and I adored every single character in the pocket universe. They all manage to be perfectly on-point for Gothic tropes while also being adorably unique and It has been a very long time since any book has made me literally laugh out loud as many times as this witty, hilarious sendup of gothic romance novels. I adored the smart gothaholic heroine (who is perfectly suited to land in a pocket universe created during the Earth's Romantic era, since she totally understands the rules of gothic novels) and I adored every single character in the pocket universe. They all manage to be perfectly on-point for Gothic tropes while also being adorably unique and themselves - and I particularly loved Garrity's twist on the traditional Gothic housekeeper! The artwork (by Christopher Baldwin) adds a whole extra level of hilarity through so many fabulous wordless moments. I raced through this book like a delicious slice of chocolate cake - and I already know I'll be re-reading it many times in the future!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    A farcical tweaking of gothic romance and steampunk that amused me with its nonsense and silliness. Amongst the many characters who become endearing despite their annoying personalities, the housekeeper is one to watch. It sort of reminded me of Don Rosa's Uncle Scrooge books in looks and tone. A farcical tweaking of gothic romance and steampunk that amused me with its nonsense and silliness. Amongst the many characters who become endearing despite their annoying personalities, the housekeeper is one to watch. It sort of reminded me of Don Rosa's Uncle Scrooge books in looks and tone.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Avalon

    HOW DOES THIS NOT COME OUT UNTIL 2021! I need it for my 2020 Halloween reading bonanza!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tonja Drecker

    Gothic romance novel fans or anti-fans will get a kick out of the satire and fun in this quick paced and original graphic novel. Haley loves gothic romance novels and catches negative comments for it at school. When she dives in a river to save a drowning man, she enters a parallel universe...one just like her novels. While she's convinced, at first, it's her gothic romance dreams come true, things take a slightly different twist. Soon, she's not only dealing with rifts through the universe but a Gothic romance novel fans or anti-fans will get a kick out of the satire and fun in this quick paced and original graphic novel. Haley loves gothic romance novels and catches negative comments for it at school. When she dives in a river to save a drowning man, she enters a parallel universe...one just like her novels. While she's convinced, at first, it's her gothic romance dreams come true, things take a slightly different twist. Soon, she's not only dealing with rifts through the universe but an evil, which she has no clue how she can defeat. Although I read the blurb, this read still was anything but expected. Haley is a wonderful character—overly dramatic, a true dreamer, and yet, a carries a bit of bite when needed. Her 'over-the-top' way of seeing life is endearing and funny, especially when the other characters flow in totally different directions of their own. Every one is ridiculous, and still, it's hard not to cheer for them the entire way through. The illustrations are well done and make the tale very easy to follow. They add all the drama and settings needed to make this novel work. They allow the extreme moments and humor to wiggle its way into the drama nicely. I enjoyed flipping through these. This is an odd tale and did make me raise an eyebrow more than a few times. So, don't expect normal because this is not it. The science fiction additions twist the satire in very original directions...and yet, it's addictive. Even when I really wondered about several twists, I didn't want to put this one down because I was curious what would happen next. I received an ARC copy.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    Let's hear it for the heroines. Let's hear it for the books that bring humor and fun. This is as delightful as Lumberjanes with its lighthearted magical realism and entertainment value as our heroine who loves her gothic romances ends up in a river and transported-- but not back in time, not forward in time, in this meta version of gothic romance atmosphere and adventure with some science fiction slime and a healthy dose of rolling with it. Not only do you learn about tropes and story elements b Let's hear it for the heroines. Let's hear it for the books that bring humor and fun. This is as delightful as Lumberjanes with its lighthearted magical realism and entertainment value as our heroine who loves her gothic romances ends up in a river and transported-- but not back in time, not forward in time, in this meta version of gothic romance atmosphere and adventure with some science fiction slime and a healthy dose of rolling with it. Not only do you learn about tropes and story elements but you also have fun doing it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jeska

    Willowweep Manor is a funny little tale that pokes at melodramatic story tropes and doesn’t take itself too seriously, reminding us that we are more than just our labels and that we can be whatever kind of hero we choose.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    ARC provided by Young Adult Books Central Haley is so obsessed with Gothic novels that her language arts teacher has to tell her she can't do a book project on yet another one, bemoaning the fact that Haley can't be like the other girls and like sexy vampires. Disappointed, Haley is traveling home on a dark and stormy night ( in a long skirt, waistcoast, blouse, and Chuck Taylors) and hears someone calling for help from the water. She jumps from a bridge to rescue him, but the next thing she know ARC provided by Young Adult Books Central Haley is so obsessed with Gothic novels that her language arts teacher has to tell her she can't do a book project on yet another one, bemoaning the fact that Haley can't be like the other girls and like sexy vampires. Disappointed, Haley is traveling home on a dark and stormy night ( in a long skirt, waistcoast, blouse, and Chuck Taylors) and hears someone calling for help from the water. She jumps from a bridge to rescue him, but the next thing she knows, she is waking up in a stereotypically creepy, Gothic mansion, complete with sarcastic, frumpy maid, three disparate brothers, Montague, Laurence, and Cuthbert and a mystery to solve. In addition to a hermitage, catacombs, and resident ghost, there is also a Doomsday like contraption in the basement. In a science fiction twist, the manor is the location of a portal to a gasket universe. Montague even gives Haley the instruction manual (a comic version with a perky spokesgirl reminiscent of 1950s commercials), but it is little use against the evil, possessed friar and hordes of Bile ridden bunnies. Will Haley's modern skills combine with her love of the Gothic world be able to combine and save the day? Perhaps there are a lot of high school students well versed in the world of Daphne du Maurier and Jane Austen who will understand the dextrous use of Gothic tropes in this graphic novel, because this is certainly a tour de force of turning those tropes on their ears. I was particularly fond of the embittered servant woman who wanders the moors (where it rains once a day and twice on Sunday) to wail for her lost love, and Cuthbert, who throws himself into everything with a dimwitted fervor that highlights his Snidely Whiplash appearance. The illustrations are attractive, and Baldwin's background with Bruno and Spacetrawler both help to give a realistic feel to both the introspective, Gothic world and the science fiction one. The pallette is largely gray and brown, reflecting the Gothic gloom, but there are also some nice, sunny days outside of the manor. This is a quirky, Young Adult graphic novel that will find fans among the readers of other odd harmonic convergences such as Lumberjanes, although the people who might like it best might be middle aged high school language arts teachers and librarians who were thwarted in their quests to write a PhD thesis on the application of Austen's archetypes to moden psychology, but they will certainly promote this novel to their students! Perhaps for the next book Haley will get sucked into the world of her next assignment for class, "Hemingway whether you like it or not"!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nicole M. Hewitt

    This graphic novel is just plain fun! Haley is a huge fan of gothic romance. She’s read every book and lives and breathes facts from the time periods that they were written in. This all comes in very handy when she is transported to an alternate universe that is basically a gothic romance come to life. I loved everything about Haley, especially her sheer delight at everything she finds in this strange new universe. She comes to learn that the place she’s found herself is really a protective barr This graphic novel is just plain fun! Haley is a huge fan of gothic romance. She’s read every book and lives and breathes facts from the time periods that they were written in. This all comes in very handy when she is transported to an alternate universe that is basically a gothic romance come to life. I loved everything about Haley, especially her sheer delight at everything she finds in this strange new universe. She comes to learn that the place she’s found herself is really a protective barrier between her own (our actual) universe and an evil bile universe that would contaminate her world if it had the chance. Unfortunately, not only is there a leak, but a bile creature disguised as a villainous monk is on the loose. Lots of crazy adventures ensue as she uses everything she knows about the rules of gothic romance to try to save the world—and then she throws those rules out completely to do things her own way. From the crazed zombie bunnies to the overdramatic gothic poetry, this graphic novel is full of zaniness that made me laugh again and again. I loved every minute of the adventure! Oh, and I absolutely loved the art style as well—every page was a surprise! ***Disclosure: I received these books from the publisher for review purposes. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***

  14. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    Ok. Ok. This was just the absolute BEST. Easily the best graphic novel I’ve read in a while. The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor is a delightful, smart, unique spoof of gothic romances in graphic novel form. Gothic enthusiast Haley is obsessed with the genre and accidentally finds her way into a pocket universe of sorts that is constructed from gothic tropes. She’s delighted, but to help the new friends she makes there, she’ll have to...branch out a bit. I can’t say enough about how clever this was Ok. Ok. This was just the absolute BEST. Easily the best graphic novel I’ve read in a while. The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor is a delightful, smart, unique spoof of gothic romances in graphic novel form. Gothic enthusiast Haley is obsessed with the genre and accidentally finds her way into a pocket universe of sorts that is constructed from gothic tropes. She’s delighted, but to help the new friends she makes there, she’ll have to...branch out a bit. I can’t say enough about how clever this was, and that it’s actually laugh-out-loud funny, which is rare for any book, especially a graphic novel. The writing is the star here, but the art is wonderfully rendered as well and fits the narrative perfectly. I loved the settling, the jokes, the characters, everything! Oh and can Haley please be my new best friend? Looking forward to re-reading this many, many times and will be eagerly anticipating the next installment. *I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amy Pickett

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Haley loves Gothic romances so much that her English teacher insists she choose a new genre for her latest book report. While walking home with a fresh stack of library books, Haley sees a young man struggling to swim in the river. She scrambles in to save him, and on exiting the water she finds herself at Willowweep Manor. The estate (complete with three brooding brothers and a ghost) has a lot in common with the settings of Haley’s beloved Gothic novels, but something is a little off. The mans Haley loves Gothic romances so much that her English teacher insists she choose a new genre for her latest book report. While walking home with a fresh stack of library books, Haley sees a young man struggling to swim in the river. She scrambles in to save him, and on exiting the water she finds herself at Willowweep Manor. The estate (complete with three brooding brothers and a ghost) has a lot in common with the settings of Haley’s beloved Gothic novels, but something is a little off. The manse and its surroundings rearrange themselves, seemingly at random, due to a crucial device going “out of alignment.” [**removed spoiler**] The stakes are high and the brothers (especially Montague, the dreamy middle brother) need the help of an outsider with a particular set of skills. Lucky for them, Haley is plucky, confident, and a genuine heroine-in-waiting!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jenn Marshall

    This is the story of Haley who is obsessed with gothic romance. So when she sees a man in the river she thinks it is her time to shine. Now she is in a strange new universe trying to save it from an all consuming evil. Several of the panels had a light source and it looked so good that you expected the pages to be warm to the touch. I also love that the story takes all the silly features of a gothic romance and just runs with them. I love a book that isn't afraid to make fun of itself. I think t This is the story of Haley who is obsessed with gothic romance. So when she sees a man in the river she thinks it is her time to shine. Now she is in a strange new universe trying to save it from an all consuming evil. Several of the panels had a light source and it looked so good that you expected the pages to be warm to the touch. I also love that the story takes all the silly features of a gothic romance and just runs with them. I love a book that isn't afraid to make fun of itself. I think this will be a fun addition to my classroom and my home library. Creative Team: Shaenon K Garrity Christopher Baldwin

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    A ya graphic novel based on gothic novels? Was this made for me? I am curious who it was made for--do young adults know about tropes of gothic horror these days? Gosh I hope so. Dire Days is funny, with a great heroine who, as a former nerdy kid who carried books everywhere and haunted the library, I fully identified with. Of course I've fantasized about being transported into a gothic novel! Dire Days keeps the tropes of the gothic novel, but turns a few on their head--the characters have to de A ya graphic novel based on gothic novels? Was this made for me? I am curious who it was made for--do young adults know about tropes of gothic horror these days? Gosh I hope so. Dire Days is funny, with a great heroine who, as a former nerdy kid who carried books everywhere and haunted the library, I fully identified with. Of course I've fantasized about being transported into a gothic novel! Dire Days keeps the tropes of the gothic novel, but turns a few on their head--the characters have to decide if they can step out of their roles long enough to save the universe. The main character is Black and there's some lesbian smoochin', both of which made me a very happy reader. My one missing star is mostly because I didn't love the art, but my quibles are minor. I'm planning to pass this on to a friend's daughter who loves ya graphic novels. I hope she likes it as much as I did, even if she has no idea who Jane Eyre or Heathcliff are.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    I didn't think I'd like this as much as I did, but I couldn't stop laughing at both the story and the art in this graphic novel. I loved the author's sense of humor and the artist's way of showing that through the characters. This story is super cute even if you're not a fan of/aware of gothic romance novels (a large contextual part of the plot), but if you are it's even funnier. The sci-fi aspects of the setting are well-constructed, but its the humor that makes this one what it is. I didn't think I'd like this as much as I did, but I couldn't stop laughing at both the story and the art in this graphic novel. I loved the author's sense of humor and the artist's way of showing that through the characters. This story is super cute even if you're not a fan of/aware of gothic romance novels (a large contextual part of the plot), but if you are it's even funnier. The sci-fi aspects of the setting are well-constructed, but its the humor that makes this one what it is.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Meliss

    If you need a hilarious escape, this is the pick. It’s a wonderfully illustrated graphic novel about a girl obsessed with gothic novels that gets transported into another dimension that is literally a gothic novel—complete with a castle, brooding brothers, and a creepy housekeeper. I started laughing at page 3 with the mention of Sonic the Hedgehog fanfiction and never stopped.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amber Brown

    Silly and fun and I loved it ok

  21. 5 out of 5

    Caitlyn

    This was an absolute delight. Honestly one of the funniest books I've ever read. This was an absolute delight. Honestly one of the funniest books I've ever read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mariel

    Oh my this was delightful. Doctor Who meets Jane Eyre?? An all around treasure.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sam S

    A very cute, not very subtle poke at the traditional gothic romance tropes. This is a fast, entertaining read, with clear, legible, easy to read art panels. Would recommend.

  24. 5 out of 5

    HaileyAnne

    This book was so hilarious and so much fun. It pokes fun at the tropes of the old, classic Gothic Romances and it was amazing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    Truly superb sound effects. Also love the eyeballs. 10/10, very funny, particularly good sound effects and eyeballs.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brandy

    ARC via Netgalley, but a paper copy in my house now and I'll be buying a copy for my school library in September. This comic is self-referential and demented and absolutely hilarious. You can't go wrong. ARC via Netgalley, but a paper copy in my house now and I'll be buying a copy for my school library in September. This comic is self-referential and demented and absolutely hilarious. You can't go wrong.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    A warm, happy blanket of a read - it feels like you are being hugged by all of your favorite romance, adventure, science fiction/fantasy, hero's quest tropes (but make it very funny). I love this as an adult, particularly as a woman who was very, very much like our heroine Haley, and would have fallen IN LOVE with this as a teenager. This was one I stretched out to savor and I very much hope that our author chooses to return to Willowweep Manor in any way they choose. Perhaps an archaeological s A warm, happy blanket of a read - it feels like you are being hugged by all of your favorite romance, adventure, science fiction/fantasy, hero's quest tropes (but make it very funny). I love this as an adult, particularly as a woman who was very, very much like our heroine Haley, and would have fallen IN LOVE with this as a teenager. This was one I stretched out to savor and I very much hope that our author chooses to return to Willowweep Manor in any way they choose. Perhaps an archaeological site is plagued by a series of murders and all the culprits are aliens? A cruise ship haunted by the ghosts of elves and dwarves? This is a world that can interact with almost any literary genre and I hope Ms. Garrity just goes ham on all of it. I received an ecopy from the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kendra

    I loved this fantastic take on the gothic novel. Haley loves gothic novels so much she wants to be in one--and she gets her chance through a freak accident when she tries to save a drowning man from a river. Finding herself in a gothic world full of desolate moors and creaky old houses, Haley learns that she--and the world she comes from--are in danger, and she's got to make a stand. The whole book was fun and clever, the dialogue spot-on, and the character development perfect. I'd love to read I loved this fantastic take on the gothic novel. Haley loves gothic novels so much she wants to be in one--and she gets her chance through a freak accident when she tries to save a drowning man from a river. Finding herself in a gothic world full of desolate moors and creaky old houses, Haley learns that she--and the world she comes from--are in danger, and she's got to make a stand. The whole book was fun and clever, the dialogue spot-on, and the character development perfect. I'd love to read more of these characters' adventures.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: A dark and story night! Through windswept torrents I come...seeking my inmost heart's desire. My thirst is unslaked by the disconsolate storm; my need burns through the autumnal chill. Pleeeease can you reconsider my grade? Premise/plot: Haley, our heroine, is more than a little obsessed with gothic novels. Her teacher--for better or worse--has told her enough is enough is enough. No more book reports on gothic novels. On Haley's walk home from school--in the rain--she crosses a b First sentence: A dark and story night! Through windswept torrents I come...seeking my inmost heart's desire. My thirst is unslaked by the disconsolate storm; my need burns through the autumnal chill. Pleeeease can you reconsider my grade? Premise/plot: Haley, our heroine, is more than a little obsessed with gothic novels. Her teacher--for better or worse--has told her enough is enough is enough. No more book reports on gothic novels. On Haley's walk home from school--in the rain--she crosses a bridge and sees a man (a stranger, of course) drowning. Despite his protests that he doesn't need help, she jumps in to save him. She soon finds herself in over her head...no she doesn't almost drown...but she does find herself in another universe. Taken to Willowweep Manor, she finds herself LIVING in a world strongly/heavily influenced by gothic romances. She's keeping company with three brothers--Laurence, Cuthbert, and Montague. There's a housekeeper and a ghost in residence. She soon learns that she's in a pocket universe (pocket world???) and that there are leaks from other realities--cracks in the multiverse. An evil is invading Willowweep, and she may be called upon to help... My thoughts: I really LOVED this graphic novel. For the record graphic novels are not in my top three--or even five--genres that I love and adore. I don't read many per year. But this one, this one is special. It was begging to be read. It is both a PARODY of gothic novels (which I have definitely read my fair share of over the years) and a fun venture into science fiction (with alternate universes!). There's a pamphlet guide to running this universe--not very helpful--that features an illustration vibing Miss Minutes in her cheerfulness and quirkiness. The dialogue between the characters I found amusing and fun. Very light. Not taking itself too seriously. Not trying to be historical. It almost reminds me of Nathan Hale's touch of humor in his graphic novels. Quotes: Haley: I've read about this. You wouldn't be one of those foreboding housekeepers who rules the manor with an iron fist and secretly fondles the mistress's lingerie, would you? Wilhelmina: The mistress is no longer with us. Haley: You didn't answer my question. Montague: What do people in your universe do when reality starts springing leaks? Haley: I'm not sure. Look at cat pictures until we feel better? Laurence: We really have a ghost, eh? Haley: Sort of. What I don't understand is why only I can see her. Cuthbert: Oh, that's simple! You're a guest at the old manor. They always see ghosts. Especially if they're maidens. Montague: Are you holding on all right? Haley: Actually, yeah. This must be one of my maiden powers. I'm not sure what else I can do. Pine? Get the vapors? Tutor unsettling children? Montague: I'm a choleric antihero, my chief power is having bad ideas. I enjoyed reading this one. Read it cover to cover in one sitting. When it was over, I was tempted to reread it--or at least parts of it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Right off the bat I'm giving this graphic novel five (5) stars. I adored it. I loved Haley from the very beginning. A Black girl with her hair in braids who adores gothic romance. It was like looking at myself which made me want to squeal. It starts with her English teacher telling her she cannot keep turning in book reports on Wuthering Heights. Or any gothic fiction. She then goes on to say that she had to limit the book reports of another student on Sonic the Hedgehog fanfiction so you know r Right off the bat I'm giving this graphic novel five (5) stars. I adored it. I loved Haley from the very beginning. A Black girl with her hair in braids who adores gothic romance. It was like looking at myself which made me want to squeal. It starts with her English teacher telling her she cannot keep turning in book reports on Wuthering Heights. Or any gothic fiction. She then goes on to say that she had to limit the book reports of another student on Sonic the Hedgehog fanfiction so you know right from the beginning it's going to be funny. And it was. As Haley is heading home in the rain, her arms full of books and reciting poetry as any good gothic heroine would, things jump into high gear. She saves a man from drowning and things go weird. At a certain point it showed her asleep in a bed wearing a bonnet and I lost it. I have never seen it before. In tv shows, movies or books, whenever the Black character is in bed, there's never a bonnet to be seen and it's one of the most infuriating things because it's so easy to get right! It's such a simple thing! I didn't realize how happy it would make me to see it. The world Haley ends up in is one populated by gothic tropes where she refuses to fit into a role someone else forces onto her because no one can tell her who she is and I loved it. There's ghosts, a gothic castle, horses and a frighteningly named forest. Things you love and know well if you're into gothic fiction. Plus some very fun scifi twists that I didn't see coming. Not to mention to evil of the story. It was fun and easy to read. There's also a quick Sapphic romance. Usually fast romances bother me because it feels like there's no set up for them. That's not the case here. The entire story runs fast and there is indeed set up. Not to mention it's diverse with races and one character uses forearm crutches so we got a little disability rep too. I read this quick and was grinning the entire time. Yes, I will be buying it. At the end, Haley has changed and things seem to have found a new equilibrium. For now. A sincere thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC

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