Genre: YA, Fantasy, Mythology Publication Date: August 27, 2013 Pages: 240 Published By: Henry Holt and Co. Website Love in the Time of Global Warming on Goodreads Francesca Lia Block's Website My review copy: From publisher for honest review in event.
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Her life by the sea in ruins, Pen has lost everything in the Earth Shaker that all but destroyed the city of Los Angeles. She sets out into the wasteland to search for her family, her journey guided by a tattered copy of Homer’s Odyssey. Soon she begins to realize her own abilities and strength as she faces false promises of safety, the cloned giants who feast on humans, and a madman who wishes her dead. On her voyage, Pen learns to tell stories that reflect her strange visions, while she and her fellow survivors navigate the dangers that lie in wait. In her signature style, Francesca Lia Block has created a world that is beautiful in its destruction and as frightening as it is lovely. At the helm is Pen, a strong heroine who holds hope and love in her hands and refuses to be defeated.
Nothing seems to bother me. I smile again and run my hands over the peeling, flocked wallpaper. Little velvet leaves and flowers, a pattern that I try to analyze to see where it repeats, though it's hard to tell. You could go crazy trying! I think, and laugh out loud.
My brother, Venice, is gone and I'm not dead. But I'm pretty much walking dead, without a heart.
Venice is still my heart, and my heart is missing, but Hex becomes my lungs.
Some kind of wickedy magic that has preserved us in this hell, without our loved ones. But we have one another and Hex, our intrepid leader, has told me not to look back.
"That's one thing you're not," I say.
"I'm not what I once was."
"I don't give a fuck what you were. I just don't want you to go away. Ever." Tears squeeze out of my desert-dry eyes, streaking the dust on my face.
When I was offered this book for review for this event I wasn't sure if it fit. Once I read the synopsis and did a little digging, I thought it would. However, once reading I felt it only loosely fit. But the thing with this book even loosely fitting is that I loved it. I was surprised at just how much I loved it. The book was different and wonderfully written in such a way that I fell into the pages, and was finished before I realized what was going on. I can’t say that I have read anything quite like it before and was happy that I was given the chance to read and review it.
There was no wasted time in getting this book going. Right from the start you are drawn in by a fanatical and chaotic world. It also helps that the action and adventure starts fairly soon on. An adventure that brings pieces of Homer’s Odyssey to life, bits of the story creating a dangerous path in which the characters must travel. There were so many unexpected things in this book, many twists and turns that I never saw coming. There is a beauty in the chaos of this book, and although it was paced basically perfectly, I still can’t say what it was about the plot that pulled me in so perfectly. This is one of those reads that you just love because it reached you just right.
As far as heroines go Pen is wonderful. I will admit that to start I saw her as the girl that would sit back and only fight when it came to the bitter end. The thing with her though, is that she will fight for the ones she loves and also what she feels is right. She is definitely a lover not a hater but when it comes down to it she is a fighter because that is what is called for. I can’t say I ever really connected with her, but I did really like her and found myself wishing things would let up on her for just one moment. It was like every time she made it through one thing, it was only to land dead smack in the middle of something more dangerous. By the end when everything was said but not done, I could see the potential for a warriors heart and felt the loss that she had suffered.
There is a lot of other unique characters that are tied into the story. What I loved is that nothing was just as it seemed, and that was the same for the people. I also loved that in this, Pen was not judgemental. She cared about each person just as they were and appreciated their differences. Their different genders and how they identified with them were important, but for me what really mattered was that they accepted this. Hex was wonderful and I honestly liked and hoped that he would continue with Pen right from the start. He is our love interest and the connection between him and Pen isn't always simple or clean but it is pure, and they both care deeply for one another. Once Ez and Ash make an appearance it is clear that this author was creating a unique and wonderful concept within the book. The LBGT is more than accepted within these pages, even more than accepted it is normalized.
This book was really something else, and I enjoyed it far more than I had expected to. I loved almost every moment, and excitedly started the second book even before I finished this review. Francesca Lia Block easily worked LBGT advocacy and normalized what so many people feel the need to point out. Although this is not really a mythological read, parts loosely do but mostly it is just a lyrical and spectacular read that you don't want to miss out on!
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