Mini Reviews | Heartstopper vol. 4 & Descender vol. 1 & The Apothecary Diaries 1

Lately I’ve been reading some great graphic novels and manga so today I wanted to share my thoughts on a couple of them. I love reading graphic novels and manga and always try to have a couple on my TBR. Heartstopper is one of my favorite series so of course I had to get the newest volume. I also came across Descender and The Apothecary Diaries and decided to give them a try. Let’s jump in!

Mini Reviews | Heartstopper vol. 4 & Descender vol. 1 & The Apothecary Diaries 1

Nick's journal:

I think I'm in love with Charlie. This summer with him and our friend has been amazing, and I want to say 'I love you', but... I guess I've had other things to worry about lately...

Heartstopper, Volume Four (Heartstopper, #4) by Alice Oseman
Published by Image Comics, Square Enix Manga on 13/05/2021
Pages: 353

I had really high expectations for this fourth volume of Heartstopper. This is one of my favorite graphic novel series ever and I just love these characters so much. Volume 3 ended on a pretty serious note and that tone continued in this fourth volume. While this is still a very cute story this one is mostly about mental health. Alice Oseman talks about some very serious and important topics in this latest volume. And I think she did so in a great way. In a lot of stories the mental health issues are completely ‘cured’ because of love. And that’s just not how it works. So I loved how that was portrayed in this one.

Heartstopper has my heart and this volume was just as good as the first ones. I like the art, I loved the story and the characters are amazing. There is a lot of diversity and it felt very natural. I once again finished this volume in just one sitting haha. And I can’t wait for the fifth and unfortunately final volume. Hopefully we’ll get a great finale.

Mini Reviews | Heartstopper vol. 4 & Descender vol. 1 & The Apothecary Diaries 1

Young Robot boy TIM-21 and his companions struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet. Written by award-winning creator, Jeff Lemire, Descender is a rip-roaring and heart-felt cosmic odyssey. Lemire pits humanity against machine, and world against world, to create a sprawling epic. Created by Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth, Trillium) and Dustin Nguyen's (Little Gotham) critically acclaimed, bestselling new science fiction series!
Collecting: Descender 1-6

Descender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen, Steve Wands
Published by Image Comics on 24/09/2015
Pages: 160

G from Bookroast had Descender in one of her recommendation videos and I immediately added it to my wishlist. As soon as I got a gift card I bought this one and last week I read it. When I started with this one I was a bit confused. This wasn’t the story I was expecting and the art style was different as well. I’m still not sure why my expectations were so off haha. But I kept on reading and soon I fell in love with this story. We get a very expansive and interesting world and I loved finding out what happened.

The plot was exciting, the characters interesting. Especially Tim! And after getting used to the art style I started to enjoy that as well. This still doesn’t have my favorite art ever but that’s okay. I really liked this story and the ending had me wanting to get the next volume right away. You can bet I will be getting that one quite soon. The series is complete so it’s easy to binge read it all, and to move on to the companion series haha.

Mini Reviews | Heartstopper vol. 4 & Descender vol. 1 & The Apothecary Diaries 1

After breaking a "curse" on the imperial heirs, a palace servant with training in herbal medicine is promoted up the ranks to food taster...and right into the thick of palace intrigue in this lushly illustrated period mystery series!
Maomao, a young woman trained in the art of herbal medicine, is forced to work as a lowly servant in the inner palace. Though she yearns for life outside its perfumed halls, she isn't long for a life of drudgery! Using her wits to break a "curse" afflicting the imperial heirs, Maomao attracts the attentions of the handsome eunuch Jinshi and is promoted to attendant food taster. But Jinshi has other plans for the erstwhile apothecary, and soon Maomao is back to brewing potions and...solving mysteries?!

The Apothecary Diaries Manga, Vol. 1 by Natsu Hyuuga, Nekokurage, Itsuki Nanao, Touco Shino
Published by Square Enix Manga on 08/12/2020
Pages: 176

My expectations were wayyyyyy off on this one. Even more so than with Descender haha. I was under the impression that this was a fantasy series. While it doesn’t say so anywhere, I just assumed it was. Turns out this is a historical fiction story, and doesn’t have any fantasy elements haha. Once I got over that fact I started to enjoy this manga. We mostly just got an introduction to the setting and the story in this first volume. So I will definitely get the next volume at some point so I can make up my mind easier. I hope it will continue in an interesting way.

We mostly see our main character, a likeable character in my opinion, and just a couple more people. It would be nice to see the other characters develop as well. I am excited to see where the story will go and I liked the art style. Definitely recommend this one for people who don’t want a fantasy story haha.

Those were my thoughts on three of the graphic novels and manga I recently read. It was fun talking about them as I quite enjoyed all of them. I hope to get my hands on the sequels for all three soon but I might have to wait a while for that to happen. Have you read any of these? Do you want to? Let me know down below!

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