Of course I was going to read this one. First of all, it was written by C.S. Pacat, the author of one of my all-time favourite series ever: Captive Prince. Second of all, I’ve read an original story based on the series, in novel format, by Sarah Rees Brennan titled Fence: Striking Distance and really enjoyed getting to know the characters. Finally, it’s just been a long time since I’ve read a comic, so it was simply pleasurable to get back to the genre.
I’m reviewing the entire series at once because I basically read the four volumes in one sitting. I couldn’t help myself, I was addicted and my (sub)conscious was waiting for something specific and romance-related to happen. (It never did, unfortunately, but the wish pushed me to keep reading and that’s not a bad thing.) So this is the story of Nicholas, a newbie in the world of fencing, but he’s got potential that the Kings Row coach notices after he fences against one of the country’s best fencers, Seiji.
I thoroughly enjoyed Nicholas and Seiji’s rivalry, especially since both have such different personalities and ways of seeing the world around them. Their rivalry doesn’t end on the fencing court because they must share a room together. I have to say that watching them slowly get to know one another was one of the main reasons why I read this series with such fervour. The other main reason was Aiden, because his character story is very important in Sarah Rees Brennan’s Fence: Striking Distance so I was very interested in seeing him again in the comics. I do recommend getting to the comics first and then the two novels, because you will understand the novels so much better that way.
As interesting as these comics were, the fourth volume was a letdown for me and I actually have no idea what the future comics (should there be more) will look like. The reason why I was so let down is that there seemed to be too many similarities with previous issues. I understand that this is a sports-themed comic and that fencing matches will be a big deal throughout, but I wanted more of the characters’ pasts, emotions and interactions with one another. I will, however, keep an eye out for the rest as I did get attached to Nicholas and Seiji quite strongly. I do recommend this series if you like to see underdogs succeed.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars Received: Raincoast Books Published: July 14th, 2020 Publisher: First Second Recommended Age: 8+ Genres & Themes: Middle School, Graphic Novel, Friendship, Bullying, Boarding School
I don’t understand. I don’t understand why some authors decide to include one fantasy element in an otherwise completely contemporary story. I understand magical realism. I think it can be very beautiful, surprising and, well, magical. But this was no magical realism story. Continue reading →
I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars Received: Bought Published: 2006 Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Recommended Age: 11+ Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Friendship, Adventure, Boarding School, Romance
I can’t believe it had been four years since I last read this book. It’s a shock because four years ago my life was different than it is today and so was I. I couldn’t wait to reread this book, not just because I had missed it but also to see how I would react to it now that I’m four years older and with more experiences behind me. Continue reading →
My rating: 2 of 5 stars Received: Penguin Random House Canada Published: March 2019 Publisher: Knopf BFYR Recommended Age: 12+ Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Boarding School, Secret Society, Romance
I have no patience for this book. It’s all telling, no showing. I was warned but I like to SEE things for myself and I saw… very little. This secret society is way too secret for the reader’s wellbeing. By that I mean, I don’t know about you, but it drives me crazy to keep reading while learning almost nothing. Sure, the History of the secret society is somewhat provided, however I found everything to be so… unbelievable. Continue reading →
My rating: 4 of 5 stars Received: Penguin Random House Canada Published: May 2019 Publisher: Putnam BFYR Recommended Age: 12+ Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, LGBTQIA+, Boarding School, Royalty, Love/Hate Relationships
Another royal romance!
This is the companion novel to Royals (or Prince Charming) but it can safely be read as a standalone. Daisy, her sister and boyfriend make only a short appearance and you will not feel lost at any point. But you can certainly get lost in the interesting and unusual romance between Peasant Millie and Princess Flora, I’ll allow it. Continue reading →
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars Received: Raincoast Books Published: February 5th, 2019 Publisher: Tor Teen Recommended Age: 13+ Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Drama, Romance, Manipulation, Secrets
This is the kind of mysterious book that you dive into not knowing what’s waiting for you and the kind you close in a completely different state of mind than your initial one. Even if you think you know what’s going to happen, I recommend putting everything you think you know aside because the author has plenty of twists and turns planned for you and it’s honestly pointless to try to guess any of it because you will most likely be wrong. Besides, it’s always more fun to be surprised or shocked than proven right. Continue reading →
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars Received: Random House Canada Published: July 9th, 2019 Publisher: Delacorte Press Recommended Age: 13+ Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Horror, LGBTQIA+, Disease, Friendship
Survival stories tend to grip me. There’s something really fascinating, I think, about the idea of ‘‘the survival of the fittest’’ or strongest, smartest, prettiest. It’s a competition. It’s a deadly game. Sometimes, there’s no use even trying because you can’t compare. You don’t have it in you to survive. You’re a follower, not a leader. Continue reading →
My rating: 3 of 5 stars Received: Publisher First Published: February 27th, 2018 Publisher: Putnam Recommended Age: 12+ Pacing: Fast Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, LGBT, Boarding School, Relationships
Kay Donovan may have skeletons in her closet, but the past is past, and she’s reinvented herself entirely. Now she’s a star soccer player whose group of gorgeous friends run their private school with effortless popularity and acerbic wit. But when a girl’s body is found in the lake, Kay’s carefully constructed life begins to topple. The dead girl has left Kay a computer-coded scavenger hunt, which, as it unravels, begins to implicate suspect after suspect, until Kay herself is in the crosshairs of a murder investigation. But if Kay’s finally backed into a corner, she’ll do what it takes to survive. Because at Bates Academy, the truth is something you make…not something that happened. Continue reading →
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars Received: Publisher First Published: March 3rd, 2005 Publisher: Dutton BFYR Recommended Age: 13+ Pacing: Slow Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Boarding School, Carpe Diem, First Love, Mystery
Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . . After. Nothing is ever the same.Continue reading →
My rating: 3 of 5 stars Received: Hachette Book Group Canada Publication Date: October 11th, 2016 Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Point of View: 3rd Person & Masculine Recommended Age: 8+ Pacing: Fast Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Boarding School
Mattie Larimore used to be the good son-compared to his brother, Carter, at least. But that was before Mattie stole a train, got caught, and was sent to Munchem Academy, the world’s greatest reform school. Or is it? Because the kids at Munchem don’t seem very, well . . . reformed. Mostly, they seem terrifying, and the whole place is just a little off.
Mattie has to get out. Fast.
But it may not be fast enough. Headmaster Rooney is tired of dealing with problem students. His solution, however, may prove to be too radical. When Carter is suddenly next in line for Rooney’s master plan, Mattie and the renegade siblings, Eliot and Caroline, must band together to save him and the rest of Munchem’s students before all is lost.
Suddenly, Mattie-the good son-must find his inner hero and fight back. And that’s how the world’s greatest thief got his start.