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July 20, 2021

The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor by Shaenon K. Garrity ~ a Review

by MK French

A fan of Gothic romance novels, Haley tries to rescue a stranger drowning in the river. She soon awakens in Willowweep, which looks like a Gothic setting. It hides the pocket universe that serves as protection against evil force, but its defenses are failing. Haley appears to be the Gothic heroine that she always read about.

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The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor
July 2021; McElderry Books; 978-1534460874
ebook, print (224 pages); YA graphic novel

This graphic novel is adorable. I say that because I can feel for Haley, who doesn't fit in and wants to do a fifth book report on Wuthering Heights than try moving beyond her literary comfort zone. This makes her uniquely ready to see the world of Willoweep Manor, with three brothers, a ghost no one else can see, and odd contraptions as well as fissures in the world. The bile attempting to come into the gasket dimension will change everything it touches into bile as well, and the form it takes also has to follow the rules of a Gothic world. The roles are limiting, so Haley is left cracking jokes and trying to figure out what was going on. Once she starts breaking the rules, it becomes a lot more fun.

I really like the concept of gasket universes keeping universe pairs stable, and the multiverse explanation that we have. Haley is a bright girl, and I had a lot of fun following her story. This is a single volume, but I hope there are more adventures in this world coming up.

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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