"I just want you to know Seiji already has a rival, and it’s me."
This volume really felt like a new start to this series! Tryouts are officially over, and we get to finally see Kings Row Boys School Fencing Team try to be a team! Up until this point, we have seen all of these players dueling one on one with each other, but in this installment we get to see them finally trying to work together, during their first practice match!
And…. Fence is still the slowest burn romance(s) of all time. So many ships are so close, yet so far away, from sailing. From Nicholas and Seiji, to Harvard and Aiden, to (be still, my heart) Bobby and Dante! They are all precious, and I’m rooting for them all so very hard, but oh my gosh is the wait going to kill us all! But I trust it will so worth it. And meanwhile, we get all the great content whilst we wait.
I always do a breakdown on my thoughts and feeling of each individual issue for Fence. So, the next portion of this review will have SPOILERS! Please use caution if you haven’t read this installment yet, because I will be talking about some of the themes and events that each issue had inside.
➽ CHAPTER THIRTEEN Truly a new start for this story, especially when this first chapter starts out with Jesse Coste coming to the school for Seiji. This whole bind-up is the “I want Seiji to be my rival” bind-up and I respect it. And Nicholas is truly having none of it. We also get to see the coach working a lot with Nicholas, and I’m rooting for him to truly be the best fencer to ever fence! Also, the Nicholas and Seiji heart to heart before bed, please, my heart. Oh! And they finally got uniforms and they have the most precious reactions to them!
➽ CHAPTER FOURTEEN Kings Row is officially going to understand that team fencing is different from individual fencing, because they are having their first practice match against MLC! This issue actually helped me learn a lot about Fencing and scoring and I was really impressed! Bobby is the most precious, and I’m rooting for my short baby always. Aiden ditches the match to go on a date, so Eugene is officially in!
➽ CHAPTER FIFTEEN We quickly learn that MLC is very smart, and Kings Row is very predictable! Harvard is the best boy in the world though, and after some advice from Aiden on his date, he subs Nicholas in for himself and MLC truly didn’t expect it!
➽ CHAPTER SIXTEEN Nicholas does amazing, and we get to see his practicing with the coach really playing off. But we also get to see the amazing results from just unconditionally supporting one another and being there for one another. And the boys start fencing like they are on a team! The end of this installment truly made me want to scream in the best way possible, but also cry because I have no idea when I’m going to get another installment in this story! But Seiji helping Nicholas was a lot, and Aiden and Harvard are always a lot a lot. Again, all the slowest burns to ever burn.
"Go Aiden’s teammate!"
Fence is truly just one of my favorite graphic series of all time. I am so in love, and I will read this slow burn until the end of my days, if CS Pacat allows me the honor. I am also very curious about the novelization that is coming out soon too, Fence: Striking Distance by Sarah Rees Brennan! I just want everything from this world, this school, this team, and these characters! But truly, if you’re looking for something funny, sweet, hopefully, and very angsty, I truly recommend you giving this series a try!
[image] ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss
I think this was very much the perfect story for me right now at this time. Hopefully a longer revie[image] ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss
I think this was very much the perfect story for me right now at this time. Hopefully a longer review to come before release! <3
Content and Trigger Warnings for talk of loss of a loved one, the sharing of personal photos without consent, abandonment, homelessness, talk of abortion briefly, driving under the influence (the bad guy, and in a negative light), talk of trauma, talk and depiction of depression, talk of grooming (college teacher and student relationship) in the past, and mention of a low-level panic attack.
I loved so much about this book: the discussion on immigration, an asian-american main character, healthy talks of power imbalances, breaking stigmas I loved so much about this book: the discussion on immigration, an asian-american main character, healthy talks of power imbalances, breaking stigmas of poverty, the guy love interest having an eating disorder, and more!
But I just felt like… the love interest was hard to root for. I constantly kept asking myself “should I be feeling empathy?” and I don’t think that’s a very good sign, especially when such a baseline of the story is built off power dynamics.
Also, this entire story was just so unrealistic. Like, I truly did enjoy so many aspects, but I could never be fully immersed because I was just unable to suspend my disbelief in such a way every other chapter (but especially by the end)!
I still think this was a good read, just made a tad bit dated as well, but I am excited to carry on with book two for the book club! And again, there was a lot of good within these pages, I just felt unable to connect for many of them!
Content and Trigger Warnings for disordered eating, racism (challenged), talk of being cheating on in the past, loss of a loved one in the past, drug use, and heart attacks.
I have adored everything Alyssa Cole has written, so when I heard about this new mystery thriller I knew it would make my most anticipated releases of the year list! I enjoyed this immensely and I hope people read this and fall in love with this thriller, but I hope they also realize how deeply rooted racism and systems built on racism are still thriving because of racism.
When No One Is Watching switches back and forth between Sydney and Theo's POV. Sydney is Black, recently divorced, and recently moved back to NY to help her mother who is ill. They have a brownstone in Brooklyn and the neighborhood and the neighbors mean a lot to her. Theo is white and recently moved into Sydney's neighborhood and is currently living with his abusive ex-girlfriend while they try to renovate this home Sydney is trying to put together a more extensive compilation of the Black history from her neighborhood so she can do a tour, and Theo volunteers to help her. Meanwhile, more and more Black people in the community are going missing, and more and more white people are moving in acting as if they have always owned the neighborhood.
It is never a Black authors job to educate you, but Alyssa Cole truly and unapologetically talks about the privilege that white and non BIPOCs have. From gentrification and the many systems that are stealing land, and buildings, and lives still in 2020, to police brutality and who they are willing to protect and who they are willing take everything from, to the vast different microaggressions they are forced to endure every single day. This book does not shy away from anything, and I hope it makes a lot of people uncomfortable, and I hope they sit in that uncomfortably and begin to check their privileges.
This book has a lot of scary parts, but the scariest part of all is how this country really is still running on racism and slavery, just a different (more well hidden) kind of racism and slavery. From prison systems, to the police forces, to huge corporations and all their different investments. It's not even well hidden, people just don't want to see, because they don't want to be uncomfortable, and they don't want to change a system that is working in their favor too. But friendly reminder that you can't be compliant with racism and racist systems and not be racist. :]
Overall, I really loved 80% of this book, but the ending was way too rushed for me. I just felt a bit unsatisfied with how a few storylines and character's stories went (and I wanted to know so much more)! But I still think this was such a powerful read, and a shining star in 2020 literature. Alyssa Cole is a gift to this world (and all the genres) and I hope you all pick this one up!
Trigger and Content Warnings: gentrification, racism, so many microaggressions, talk of slavery, loss of a loved one, a lot of talk of financial debt, (medical) debt harassment, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, talk of cheating in the past (not the main characters), talk of domestic abuse in the past, themes of abuse and cycles of abuse, talk of institutionalization, murder, attempted abduction, brief mention of animal abuse, brief mention of suicide, forced medical experimentation, talk of drug addiction, threats of calling ICE and the police, and police brutality.
[image] (Thank you, William Morrow, for a finished copy!)
This was one of the hardest books I've ever read. I hope to be able to write a full review so[image] (Thank you, William Morrow, for a finished copy!)
This was one of the hardest books I've ever read. I hope to be able to write a full review soon, but I will say that the ending might feel really heartbreaking and disappointing, but that is because we live in a heartbreaking and disappointing reality. There is no wrong way to heal and live through horrible things that were done to you, and there is no time limit either.
Content and Trigger Warnings: rape, pedophilia, gaslighting, sexual assault, physical abuse, grieving, child pornography mention/acts, talk of suicide, suicide, fatphobic comments, disordered eating, brief but very horrible mention at other child abuse things, blood depiction, and overall this is just a very dark book that will most likely make you very uncomfortable to read so please use caution. ...more