Taproot by keezy young
This story follows a gardener who can see ghosts, and a ghost who has fallen in love with the gardener. Hamal tries to go about his day at the nursery where he works, but customers constantly complain about his odd behavior and how he talks to himself. But Hamal is actually talking to the ghosts, including his best friend, Blue. Blue and a few other ghosts keep getting swept into a creepy, dead forest. A reaper approaches Blue and reveals there is an unlicensed necromancer in the vicinity, and asks for Blue’s help, but Blue is sure it's Hamal, and he can’t betray him like that. The reaper catches up to them anyway, but gives Hamal a way to make balance between the world of the dead and the world of the living - work for the reaper, but the jobs aren't as gnarly as one might think working for a creature of death.
The story is pretty sweet, and the little budding love between the two main characters is lovely. I would have really liked some more space for Hamal to come to terms with what the Reaper was asking of him - Hamal’s discovery of being a necromancer is pretty sudden, and within a few pages, Hamal is already accustomed to his “new” life working for the reaper. Going through the jobs is also pretty quick, which brings the resolution on too quickly. Readers looking for a happy ending will love this story, so hand this to romance fans looking for a feel-good.
Young's illustrations of scenery and plant life are absolutely stunning. The creepy forest really is the stuff of nightmares, but it's also hauntingly beautiful. Her characters all have kind faces with some wonderful expressions. The art is what I enjoyed the most about this story.
Sara's Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Grades 6-10
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date: July 5, 2022
ISBN: 9781637150733 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Suitability: Elementary School, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Graphic Fiction, Romance, Supernatural, LGBTQ+, Oni Press
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I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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