Rating: 2.5 STARS
Genre: YA/LGBT/Graphic Novel
How I got this book: Bought
Sixteen-year-old Nicholas Cox is an outsider to the competitive fencing world. Filled with raw talent but lacking proper training, he signs up for a competition that puts him head-to-head with fencing prodigy Seiji Katayama...and on the road to the elite all-boys school Kings Row. A chance at a real team and a place to belong awaits him—if he can make the cut
I wasn't sure what to expect from this, but after loving Heartstopper by Alice Oseman so damn much I just wanted to sink my teeth into another LGBT comic and considering this series has amazing reviews and the synopsis sounded great, I decided to buy all three volumes and dig in.
Before I start, I should say that the only other book I've read by this author I did not like at all. I tried to read The Captive Prince but truthfully, and I don't say this a lot, I couldn't stand it. However, I did try my best to approach this with fresh eyes and an open mind, which I think I did, helped along by the fact that Fence is a graphic novel and so completely different than The Captive Prince.
To begin with, I love the graphics. The illustrator (Johanna the Mad) did a truly fantastic job and honestly, the stars I've given above aren't a reflection on the visuals but on the story itself.
The thing is, I started by buying issue one and read it in around 15 minutes. I was intrigued, I wanted more. So, I bought the next issue. Again, I read it in around 15 minutes and not a lot happened but I wanted more, I wanted more from the characters, more relationships, more dialogue, more interaction.
This went on for 12 issues until I reached the end and sighed in frustration as I realised that I'd bought 12 issues of a story that I personally felt went absolutely nowhere.
The thing is, all the ingredients are there - interesting characters, conflict, fantastic visuals and the desire to keep reading. The huge problem for me was that the plot was solely focused on the fencing competition, to the detriment of everything else. There was no relationship exploration, no further character development, a couple of very, very minimal subplots that had the potential to go much further and that was it.
I honestly got to the end and asked myself, "Where's the rest? What have I missed?" because I just felt that there should have been more.
The potential was there, I just couldn't connect with the minimal material.
But hey, I'm in the minority here, the reviews for all 12 issues of Fence are 4+ stars across the board on Goodreads and, as I mentioned in my last post, I'm new to graphic novels, they aren't something I've really explored before, so maybe this is just something that I don't get.
All I can say is that, for me, and I can't help comparing this to Heartstopper which I loved so much, it just didn't float my boat.
What about you? Have you read Fence?
If you have recommendations for other graphic novels you think I might like, please do let me know in the comments!
Rating: 2.5 STARS
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series/Standalone: Irish Kiss #2
How I got this book: Bought
Indie rock god.
The devil with midnight hair and blue-flame eyes.
After six years I thought the pain of what he’d done to me had faded.
Because I’m standing in this crowded lecture hall of the most prestigious music school in Ireland, staring at the person who healed me when I was broken. Right before he shattered me beyond repair.
And I still feel everything.
My ex-best friend.
My first love.
…is now my professor.
I read the premise of Professor's Kiss and was intrigued. Enemies to lovers, bad boy...what's not to love?
Turns out, quite a lot.
I don't usually write 'negative' reviews but I just had to vent about this book!
You know how in most enemies-to-lovers stories there's a character (usually male) who's a lovable jerk? He's arrogant, an ass but he has redeemable qualities?
Yeah, well that guy does NOT exist in this book. Danny is an asshole sure enough, but he's not redeemable. His masculinity is toxic, he's disgusting, some of the things he does are utterly repulsive and made me want to throw the book against the wall (the only thing stopping me was that I did not want to break my Kindle).
His whole 'redeeming' arc was utter bull. He literally had no valid reason for the way he acted at all. I'm sorry but experiencing personal loss does not justify victimising and bullying another person.
Then there's the heroine, who's completely spineless and pretty pathetic in her devotion (read: unhealthy obsession) with Danny.
Can we also PLEASE STOP using calling someone a lesbian as a goddamn insult? 🙄
I think what annoyed me the most about this book was that I actually liked the plot. I liked that Danny was a singer struggling to go it alone without the record label and that Ailis was a very talented singer working hard to get what she wants. Throw in the slightly taboo (but age appropriate) professor/student romance and it seemed like things should work out well, but the characters just suck.
The only 'chemistry' they have is some weird pervy lust and I was so annoyed that I found myself just skipping through parts I didn't want to read.
I just hated that there was so much material to work with in terms of the story, but the characters just ruined it. Even at the end, Ailis doesn't become her own woman, doesn't go her own route, she's still following Danny around like a wet lettuce.
Anyway, I gave the story 2.5 stars because the writing drew me in and kept me reading until the end and the plot held promise but overall, I could not stand the characters.
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Book addict, film mad, music lover, business owner, aspiring writer and mum (not necessarily in that order), living in the UK.
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