Content/Trigger Warnings: Death/loss of a loved one, grief, depression
“She was always thinking about creatures smaller than her, taking care of them.”
Before I start this review, I just want to say how amazingly talented Katie O’Neill is! Her illustrations are absolutely stunning, breathtaking, and just simply incredible! Her style is probably one of my most favorite styles out there in the comic-verse! Each page could almost be a mural put in an art gallery (that’s a gallery I want to see happen, let’s make it happen people!). This is my second book by Katie O’Neill that I have fallen in love with, The Tea Dragon Society is the book that has started my love affair with this captivating artwork and I can’t wait for the next book to come out!
Aquicorn Cove follows the story of a young girl named Lana who has recently returned to the island with her father to help her Aunt Mae. But things aren’t so carefree or easy for Lana. Lana is grieving the loss of her beloved Mother who loved the sea just as much as she does. Lana has always felt happier and more in touch with her mother on the island, before her father forced her to move to a new city and try to start a new life. But disaster has struck in her hometown, bringing Lana back to the island and having my feelings and memories resurface. Soon, she finds that she isn’t the only one who needs help as she discovers an injured seahorse and a big secret soon begins to unravel itself.
“I needed help, but I didn’t know how to ask. I didn’t know how to explain I needed help with the small things. The things I never noticed before, until suddenly they took effort. Sometimes I feel like I just want to go to sleep for a while, and wake up when I’m stronger or things are different somehow”
We not only get to see Lana’s journey, but we also see a little insight into Mae’s journey. Mae reveals to Lana about the storm that had nearly taken her life, but she survived thanks to the Aquicorns and their goddess-like leader, Azure. And let me just say, the connection between Mae and Azure is so precious and innocent, the perfect f/f relationship! But it wasn’t just the heart-warming moments between them, but also the serious moments they shared that made me really love them as a couple.
One of those moments actually being the most serious moments that ended up dividing them. Azure expresses how important it is to keep out waters clean and to never take it for granted. That we need to be more respectful and appreciative of our coral reefs and all the aquatic ecosystems. Aquicorn Cove branches deep into conservation of our sources of water and how our actions from land have an impact on all bodies of water. O’Neill really shines a light on how over-fishing, pollution, and climate change are damaging our waters, and if we don’t find a way to change our habits then the results could be catastrophic. This book is really dedicated to finding an equal balance between all living things and how we need to make a change to break the cycle of bad habits. The change starts with us even if only one person ends up making a change. We all have to be responsible for the carbon footprints that we leave behind, how it affects the next generations, or nothing with be safe; land or sea from the destruction.
“She was always thinking about creatures smaller than her, taking care of them. Both of you are gentle, and strong. She was a guardian, and so are you, Lana.”
Overall, I have nothing but good things to say about this graphic novel. It has a beautiful way of addressing loss and grief while also addressing really important topics. I was so moved by Lana and how strongly she feels everything. There were tears shed by some very hard hitting moments and so many precious moments that breathed life back into me. Katie O’Neill is doing incredible work with her graphic novels and I can’t recommend her books enough. She has a lyrical way of writing that touches your soul and heart in ways it isn’t often touched. And if that isn’t enough, her illustrations are something everyone will be captivated by and fall in love with. I truly hope that if you’re reading this review that you consider picking up some of Katie’s work. She is a blessing and I hope you fall in love with her creations as much as I have! ❤️
“Some things are meant to come back to you.”
This book was read during my May 2019 Wrap Up!