ParaNorthern was a treat from the very first pages. The colors! The style! The apocalyptic bunnies!!! Every page I turned made me go OHMYGOSH ITISSOCUUUUUUTE!!! What a delight.
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★★★★★ 5 stars
How I read this:
free ebook copy from publicist
I loved how diverse this book was. It starts you off straight away with the main characters being a family of people of color, and one of the main character’s friends wearing a headscarf, and there’s more in that regard. But it’s not only that – I also mean it in the fantasy sense – all the paranormal characters were so diverse too!
They all looked different, they were all different types of paranormals, and I thought that was a nice nod to how we are all different too, different races and traditions – even if we humans may be slightly more boring than the characters of this book (what with us not having pumpkin heads or the ability to summon bunny demons.) And while we’re on the topic of diversity, this book also has a girl/girl crush in it.
By the way, they’re all integrated into the story in SUCH COOL WAYS. Like, the girl with the headscarf is a ghost – but not a dead ghost. She’s a person from another dimension, so she kind of can’t lift things without a charm (cause she becomes non-corporeal). And her family immigrated into the world of ParaNorthern! It’s such a cool literary device. Also possibly a nod to how immigrants are sometimes treated as ghosts, as if they don’t fully exist?
The government issues corporeal charms to these people in ParaNorthern, as our governments issue IDs and permits to live inside the country. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it handled in a story like this, it’s such a brilliant twist on the idea. There’s a whole little side-story on how this character wants to know her homeland and sometimes feels like she doesn’t fit in, it’s really well done.
An image of the cover of ParaNorthern, on a PocketBook Color e-reader, and there are other print books, hair ties and bows, hair clips and candy around it; Photo by AvalinahsBooks
I’ve already briefly mentioned this, but my absolute favorite thing in ParaNorthern was THE COLORS. Like, I wish I actually had this in print (my review copy was an ebook). It must look GORGEOUS on glossy paper! It’s such a beautiful, rich autumn color scheme – oranges, browns and deep reds, so warm, like a beautiful sunset. It made me feel cozy reading it. (Autumn IS my favorite season!) It even goes as far as to include a matcha latte recipe at the end of the book, for the complete warm feel.
Okay, now about the bunnies though. I can’t quite explain it to you, but they’re both… Super cute and scary, at the same time? Like, if fluffy rabbits had Pennywise teeth almost? (Don’t think of Bunnicula. Bunnicula was adorable! These are the real thing.)
Anyway, the characters have to battle it out, and for that, they need to help the main character learn to trust in her own self and her powers. It’s a very sweet and “aww” kind of story, the friendship is also very wholesome. There is also some lore and history of the witchy people of ParaNorthern, which is why I hope it will lead to further books in the series!
An image of the cover of ParaNorthern, on a PocketBook Color e-reader, with some witchy moon pendants and hair clips and bows around it; Photo by AvalinahsBooksGorgeous style and exceptional coloring, diverse characters and setting and a wholesome frienship – what else could you want in a middle grade graphic novel? Check out ParaNorthern: Click To Tweet
I really loved ParaNorthern, and I hope this will become a series of multiple graphic novel episodes. I can’t wait to see more of this gorgeous style and also the refreshing attitude. The magical world really is interesting to read about, so I hope we get to read more ParaNorthern stories soon!
I thank the publisher for giving me a free copy of the ebook in exchange to my honest review. This has not affected my opinion.
I’m Evelina and I blog about books that made an impression on me. I love middle grade, women’s, scifi and some literary too.