“Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town. One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home. Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery”–Provided by publisher.
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL (STARRED) — Gr 7 Up-Nova is a small-town witch, fulfilling her apprenticeship at her grandmothers’ New England bookshop. When rumors surface of a white wolf wandering the forest, Nova knows it’s her long-lost werewolf friend Tam. Nova goes to find them, only to encounter a terrifying demon who’s possessing a neighbor’s horse-and who can’t be defeated by any magic she knows. The two get away, and Nova and her grandmothers take in Tam. With their combined witch and wolf magic, Nova and Tam must work together to defeat this demon, all while their undeniable chemistry rekindles their long-dormant mutual crush. Xu and Walker have created a charming, magical tale. Tam and Nova are multifaceted, with developed backstories and motivations. Their shared identities (they are both Chinese American and queer) are integral to their characters; Tam’s nonbinary identity and Nova’s hearing impairment are similarly authentic. Xu’s illustrations infuse the spells and witchcraft with a dynamic, exhilarating magic. There is some mature language, some violence, and a gentle romance. VERDICT This sweet, spellbinding story will appeal to fans of magic and romance.-Anna Murphy, Berkeley Carroll School, Brooklyn