Thursday, January 22, 2015

Review: Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block

Love In the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block
Publication date: August 27th, 2013 - Henry Holt and Co.
Paperback edition pub date: August 26th, 2014 - Square Fish
Goodreads link: (click here)

What's it about?

In her little pink house by the sea, Penelope's life was as sweet as could be. Pen lived there, in Los Angeles, with her mother, father, little brother and her dog, Argos. Ok, so her life wasn't exactly perfect, but it was hers, and she loved her family and her friends. She didn't realize how much she took it all for granted until she lost it all. One fateful day, the Earth began to shake, the ground opened up and the waves came to wash everything and everyone away. Thats is, everything but the little pink house and everyone but Pen. Los Angeles was destroyed and the disasters unleashed terrifying monsters while turning the survivors into even more horrible savages. After waiting alone in vain to be saved, she realizes that the journey to salvation belongs to her. She goes on a quest to find her family after being told that they may still be alive. While traveling through the ruins of what's left of the world, she finds a few friends along the way. In a VW van, four teens embark on an epic journey to hell (well, Vegas actually) while being chased by bloodthirsty giants, using Homer's Odyssey as their guide. Along the way, they discover their own special abilities while they come to truly understand themselves. When things seem to be at their darkest, love gives them light and it all culminates when Pen must fight the madman behind the chaos that ravaged the world. She will have to become a hero if she wants to save what she has left and return to her little pink house by the sea.

 My thoughts

Love In the Time of Global Warming is a mesmerizing, post-apocalyptic reimagining of Homer's Odyssey. Francesca Lia Block's magically poetic writing makes this read like a modern-day fairytale. Love in the Time of Global Warming takes a terrifying possible future of earthquakes, floods and chaos and populates it with horrifying canibalistic giants, a mad scientist, a magical girl and unseen forces of good and evil. All of this must be navigated by a brave group of survivors who must rely on their own inner strengths in order to live another day, find the things they've lost and discover that love and hope did not die on the day that world ended. While this would definitely be considered dystopian fiction, it has a lot of fantasy elements, so you have to suspend disbelief at times. It is very fast-paced and dreamlike, dark yet beautiful. If you're looking for more diverse books, this is a good one to read. There are LGBT characters and Block does a wonderful job delivering the message that love is love and that it doesn't matter who or what you are, as long as you are happy and true to yourself. There is a sequel, The Island of Excess Love, that is a reimagining of Vergil's Aeneid. It just arrived on my doorstep and I'm looking forward to reading it.

<3 Michelle