Monday, November 2, 2020

Book Review: "Fence: Striking Distance" by Sarah Rees Brennan

Fencing is far more fun than team bonding, that’s for sure!!

Over the last year, I’ve read four volumes of a great YA graphic novel series called Fence, by CS Pacat and Johanna the Mad. The series follows the adventures of the Kings Row fencing team, the rivalries, relationships, and challenges they face.

Sarah Rees Brennan has now written Fence: Striking Distance, an original novel featuring these characters. It was fun to spend an extended amount of time with them. This book delved more deeply into the dynamics between teammates and the emotions involved.

While Coach Williams knows that her team has some solid fencing skills, they can’t seem to work together. She knows if she can foster a sense of teamwork it may improve their success in competition as well.

She makes Harvard, Aiden, Seiji, Nicholas, and Eugene try to bond with each other. What she doesn’t count on is how much work that will require, particularly in some cases. It’ll take a few disastrous dates, a major prank carried out by an unlikely prankster, and lots of self-realization for this to work—if it will at all.

I love this series because the dynamics between the characters feel natural. I enjoyed getting to spend more in-depth time exploring their relationships than you usually get in the graphic novels. The book also treats sexuality as a non-issue, and I love the relationships between Nicholas and Seiji and Harvard and Aiden.

Looking forward to another graphic novel—or another novel—soon!

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