hello, lovely readers!
This past Sunday, April 19, was the final day of the #stayhomereadingrush, and I decided to go for gold, even if I’d already finished the requisite challenges (and more). So with the last four hours of my time (and I even finished with time to spare!) I decided to tackle the one thing I’ve never done as a reader: graphic novels. I chose the two books on my OWLs TBR for the month, both MM sports romance :)
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
I’ve seen this book e v e r y w h e r e since it was released so I was very nervous going into this one. I put it off all weekend and all month, since it was on my OWLs TBR and my Reading Rush TBR. Finally, on that Sunday, I decided I was just going to buckle down and read it. Luckily, I’d watched a video by Ashleigh from A Frolic Through Fiction (one of her wrap-ups?) where she talked about how it was adorable and cute but didn’t have much of a plot to it. This lowered my expectations a bit, which ended up being a good thing.
I certainly agree with the hype: it was incredibly adorable, made me smile many times and left me with a happy giddy feeling (until I found it the first installment ended in a cliffhanger!! What!!) I loved reading about Nick and Charlie and their friends-to-crush relationship that was so soft and lovely and adorable. However… it resulted in maybe 15 minutes of reading and was a bit underwhelming on the plot side. It’s a great palette cleanser of a read and I adored it… but I definitely prefer my fiction romance that has a little bit more substance to them.
The art style was incredible!! I really enjoyed how you were able to read between the lines, per se, and how little details told a whole story and overall enjoyed the graphic novel aspect! Was it adorable and would I recommend it? Yes. Is it… maybe more realistic than a typical dramatic fiction? Probably. But I struggle with the idea that I have to spend $30 more for maybe half an hour of total reading. I’ll see if my library has the next two installments, once that’s an option. (Goodreads | Book Depository)
Fence by CS Pacat and Johanna the Mad
After reading Heartstopper, I wasn’t quite appeased with my reading for the night. So I picked up the second graphic novel on my OWLs TBR, Fence! I’d heard less about this one than Hearstopper, which is a crying shame to be honest because I enjoyed it so much more.
Fence is divided up in 12 installments for a total of 339 pages, so it had substance and I was h o o k e d into the story! It follows a boy who wants to go to a boarding school with a great fencing team because his father (who abandoned him) was a famous fencer. However, he can’t near afford the school on his own and gets in on a scholarship that requires him to make the fencing team – where only three can make it. His rival who annihilated him in his first and only regional competition is his roommate… and I think that’s going to be heading somewhere fun soon 🥰 The comic doesn’t end with 12 installments, as there are more (and a possible novel?) projected to happen. Part of the reason I loved it so much as the relationships between all of the contestants reminded me a bit of the Foxhole Court 🦊 There were so much anticipation and fun!
I adored, adored, adored the art style in this one, too!! It was illustrated by Johanna the Mad, colored by Joana LaFuente, lettered by Jim Campbell and written by CS Pacat and these styles came together to create stunning pages of art. I enjoyed the style so much, how it would get exponentially simpler when the character was feeling heightened emotion and … gah I just loved it, okay?! 😊 (Goodreads | Available on Scribd | 60 Free of Scribd)
Other MM Romance stories you may enjoy…
What are your favorite graphic novels? Have you read either of these? What’d you think? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!