Thursday, October 1, 2020

Fence: Striking Distance (Fence, #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan,
Johanna the Mad (Illustrations) & C.S. Pacat (Creator)
[Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway]

Halito! Good morning my lovelies! Welcome to the next stop on the FENCE: Striking Distance blog tour, hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Sarah Rees Brennan has written a FANTASTIC story, so be sure to check out the giveaway below! Thank you for stopping by! For the full tour schedule, please visit the Rockstar Book Tours website.

About the Book:

Title: FENCE: Striking Distance
Authors: Sarah Rees Brennan, Johanna the Mad (Illustrations), C.S. Pacat (Creator)
Pub. Date: September 29, 2020
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Formats: Paperback, eBook, Audiobook
Pages: 368
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD,

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

"Aiden already knew he was sexy. There was no need to assault a helpless stuffed animal."
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I have one MAJOR complaint about this book: EUGENE! Why isn't he on the cover? Why didn't we get chapters from his POV? Eugene is my favorite bro! The guy is a huge softie that cares about his friends. He's also a lover of gossip, liked among his peers, and willing to sacrifice his sanity to help out a fellow bro. I think it's terrible that he wasn't more of a focal point in the story, and wish for that to be remedied in future books. He's a part of the fencing team, had a lot of page time despite not having his own POV chapters, and was essential to the progression of the story. This series needs Eugene. 

Why didn't I give this book five stars? Aiden and Harvard. Their relationship gave me ALL THE FEELS, but they kept missing their major moments. They've been best friends for most of their lives, they know everything about each other, they love the other more than themselves, yet they avoided the one topic and conversation I wanted them to have! They didn't talk about their feelings (specifically the feelings they have for each other), so I was left wanting more than I got at the end. I definitely think the author is intentionally dragging out the torture my heart has already endured, but I'm not a fan of delayed gratification. I wanted something more for those two by the end of the book - - they definitely deserved it. All the sweet, tender moments had me smiling into the pages, and I just adored how they were with each other. #RelationshipGoals

I'm not sure why the synopsis focuses on Nicholas, because I actually felt like he was given the least time to talk and grow throughout the book. Honestly, Aiden and Seiji seemed to be the two the story focused on the most. They're all incredible and interesting characters, but the synopsis makes you think one thing when it's really another. Yes, Nicholas is the illegitimate son of a famous fencer, but it's not something anyone else knows. It's also not something that's really addressed (other than in Nicholas' head) throughout the book. It's just a fact about Nicholas that he's not ready to share with the others. His half-brother, Jesse, played a more prominent role than their father did.

FENCE: Striking Distance will definitely pull at your heartstrings! They are just really good and decent characters. They don't lie (not really), they're not manipulative, and they genuinely care about others. They're also hilarious whether they intend to be or not (sooo many laughs)! Eugene and Harvard will do anything for their friends, Aiden will do anything for Harvard, Nicholas will do anything for Seiji, and Seiji is learning how to be around other people. They are such vastly different characters, but they all have heart and are willing to fight for what they believe in (even if that means fighting with themselves to let something go). I thoroughly enjoyed this book and cannot wait to see what happens next! (★★★★☆)

About Sarah: 

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!

Giveaway Details: 
3 winners will receive a finished copy of FENCE, US Only.

*this post has been backdated


  1. How is this different for C.S. Pacat's series? Which I've been meaning to read.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

    1. I haven't read Pacat's series, but I really want to! Someone else said the original serise focused more on Nicholas, while this book was definitely about Harvard and Aiden. <3 I highly recommend this one though! Such a happy-making book (except for the one thing I pointed out in my review, haha). I NEED THEM TO BE HAPPY TOGETHER WHICH REQUIRES BETTER COMMUNICATION. ;)


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