Blue is having a hard time moving on. He’s in love with his best friend. He’s also dead. Luckily, Hamal can see ghosts, leaving Blue free to haunt him to his heart’s content. But something eerie is happening in town, leaving the local afterlife unsettled, and when Blue realizes Hamal’s strange ability may be putting him in danger, Blue has to find a way to protect him, even if it means… leaving him.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
What I mostly want to yell about here is a huge spoiler so I can’t do that. It doesn’t even have to be a main selling point for the story tbh but for me, as a gay reader, it’s definitely the most important part. Just believe me when I tell you, you will be overjoy with the rep in this one.
Taproot tells a story of Hamal, a beautiful kind-hearted gardener who sings to his plants at night so they grow better. He can also see ghosts. We first meet him as he’s chatting with Blue at a flower shop where he works. Blue is one of the ghosts. And it would be just a cute little story of two boys flirting all the time if not for the Reaper that appears suddenly with a deal. Because it is a story about ghosts, what you’re probably expecting at this point must happen – the balance must be restored in the world.
The art is amazing. It’s all warm colors and round lines, with no sharp edges & it somehow makes you feel safe. It also makes it seem like you’ve already known the characters for ages, like they’re your childhood friends. Everything seems familiar, like a small cottage in the woods you visit every summer or your grandma’s kitchen filled with all your favourite foods. It’s a really magical experience and it works so well with such a soft, delicate story.
Oh, and another cool thing?? I’m pretty sure there was like… maybe one white person in the background somewhere… It’s so refreshing to read something that’s so unapologetically not catered to the white straight audience.
My mind keeps coming back to that plot twist which is a Spoiler but god!!! I don’t remember the last time a story made me this happy!!! I know I will be coming back to this a lot to make myself feel better. It’s soft and tender in the most beautiful ways and I’m so very grateful it exists.