quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green



Fence: Striking Distance
Authors(s): Sarah Rees Brennan, Johanna the Mad (Illustrations), C.S. Pacat (Creator)
Publication Date: September 29, 2020
Edition: Paperback, eBook, Audiobook; 368 pgs
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon Kindle Audible -
Barnes & Noble - iBooks - Kobo The Book Depository - Bookshop.org
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tour Schedule

Week One
9/28/2020 - BookHounds YA - Review
9/29/2020 - What A Nerd Girl Says - Review
9/30/2020 - The Clever Reader - Review
10/1/2020 - Do You Dog-ear? - Review
10/2/2020 - Rajiv's Reviews - Review
Week Two
10/5/2020 - YA Books CentralInterview
10/6/2020 - Confessions of a YA ReaderReview
10/7/2020 - Eli to the nthReview
10/8/2020 - onemusedReview
10/9/2020 - fictitious.foxReview

The Summary

The boys of Kings Row bout with drama, rivalry, and romance in this original YA novel by The New York Times bestselling author Sarah Rees Brennan--inspired by the award-nominated comic series by C.S. Pacat and Johanna The Mad.

Sixteen-year-old Nicholas Cox is the illegitimate son of a retired fencing champion who dreams of getting the proper training he could never afford. After earning a place on the elite Kings Row fencing team, Nicholas must prove himself to his rival, Seiji Katayma, and navigate the clashes, friendships, and relationships between his teammates on the road to state championships--where Nicholas might finally have the chance to spar with his golden-boy half-brother.

Coach Williams decides to take advantage of the boys' morale after a recent victory and assigns them a course of team building exercises to further deepen their bonds. It takes a shoplifting scandal, a couple of moonlit forest strolls, several hilariously bad dates, and a whole lot of introspection for the team to realize they are stronger together than they could ever be apart.

The first installment of this enticing original YA novel series by Sarah Rees Brennan, rich with casual diversity and queer self-discovery, explores never-before-seen drama inspired by C.S. Pacat's critically acclaimed Fence comic series and boasts original cover and interior art by Johanna The Mad.

Text and Illustration copyright: © 2020 BOOM! StudiosFence(TM) and © 2020 C.S. Pacat
My Review

I am a BIG fan of the Fence comic book series by C.S. Pacat (author) and Johanna the Mad (illustrator).  But, if you're like me, I prefer my comics in trade paperbacks (makes it MUCH easier to buy/read), than in individual comics.  Luckily, there are 4 trade paperbacks out for Fence, so if you read this review, and have no clue what I'm talking about, you can start there.  Highly recommend: it is the queer sports rom-com of your dreams!

Now that I plugged the comic itself, let's talk novel.  Fence: Striking Distance sets you in the world of Fence, following four of the fencing teams point-of-views.  This is different then the comic, which follows Nicholas Cox (the main protagonist), but that's what I really liked about the book.  I feel like we learn a lot about the other members of the team, which allows their characterization to grow beyond what is in Nicholas's perspective.  To be honest, Nicholas wasn't my favorite in the book, but I think it's because we get to see more behind Seiji Katayama, Harvard Lee, and Aiden Kane.  And if you don't smile every time Harvard Lee pops up, you have no happiness in your life.  He is the epitome of happy.

Also, I did mention there is a rom-com happening here, right (maybe more rom than com, but still)?  This is a love story, as well as a slice of life.  While the boys are being pushed together by their coach to bond, you also follow their journey of navigating relationships, both romantic and platonic.  I won't spoil anything, but I will say, that while Fence is set in a world without homophobia, just like all romance, it isn't all butterflies and rainbows.  The romance is my favorite part (to be honest my favorite part of the comics) because I am a sucker for love.  

However, I like that it wasn't the only thing explored.  Questions of acceptance, self-discovery, and the growth of friendship as the boys learn even more about themselves and each other is great.  But while there isn't homophobia, racism and discrimination in this world still exists.  Harvard, and Seiji, being Black and Japanese alike, talk about the discrimination they face.  And Nicholas, while White, is a scholarship kid, often bullied about his wealth, or lack there of, while attending such an elite boarding school.  So there are trials, but sexuality (at least being discriminated against because of it) is not one of them.

The only critique I have, as a fan of the comics, is the minimal amount of fencing in the story.  I don't know if you're an anime/manga fan, but sports-centered entertainment has always been a thing in Japan, and it is slowly gaining traction in the States (think Check, Please! for a recent equivalent - and amazing - comic series).  So when I started the book, I thought there would be more fencing than there is.  I get why this choice was more than likely made; Sarah Rees Brennan was focusing on character development and more internal emotions.  But you have to admit, with a title like Fence: Striking Distance, there needs to be more fencing!

Overall, this was an excellent gateway for Fence universe newbies, and a welcomed edition for Fence fans!  It was fast-paced with quick and snappy dialogue, relationship drama, and friendship strengthening.  A great addition to the contemporary YA scene, Fence: Striking Distance by Sarah Rees Brennan leaves you wanting to get the next installment asap!

Final Rating

About the Author

Sarah Rees Brennan is the author of the Demon’s Lexicon trilogy, and the Lynburn Legacy series which begins with Unspoken, a romantic Gothic mystery about a girl named Kami Glass, who discovers her imaginary friend is a real boy. Sarah’s latest fantasy standalone In Other Lands, the story of the crankiest nerd who ever fell into a magical land, is now available! She’s also the author of the tie-in series of books with Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: all three books out now, and coming later this year is a tie-in with C.S. Pacat’s FENCE graphic novel series…

For info about C.S. Pacat go HERE!
For info about Johanna the Mad go HERE!

3 winners will receive a Finished Copy of FENCE: STRIKING DISTANCE, US Only.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by; I love to hear from you!

Happy reading!!!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...