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


Seventeen-year-old Penelope (Pen) has lost everything—her home, her parents, and her ten-year-old brother. Like a female Odysseus in search of home, she navigates a dark world full of strange creatures, gathers companions and loses them, finds love and loses it, and faces her mortal enemy.

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.
Page Number: 240
Source: ALA


It will take a certain type of reader to enjoy LOVE IN THE TIME OF GLOBAL WARMING. At times, this book is extremely confusing or unbelievable, and at times flowery in prose. While it's definitely an original book and one with a potential deeper meaning, LOVE IN THE TIME OF GLOBAL WARMING was ultimately a book I didn't enjoy.

My main problem with the novel was that I couldn't believe its premise. While I loved that the book was a mash-up of dystopia, sci-fi and Greek mythology, the mix also made the world unbelievable. A dystopia, specifically, is supposed to creep you out in some way because it's a plausible version of the future. But when you add mythical Greek creatures into the mix, it doesn't quite work out. There's Giants, for example, that are roam around the land and attack humans. Apparently, they're extremely mutated and genetically modified forms of humans. While it's possible that this could happen in the far future, the explanation was too short for me to really believe it.

Some of the characters' decisions were also hard to believe or sympathize with. There's a point, for example, that Pen decides she wants to visit an art museum before leaving to find her family. Well, considering that Pen claimed finding her family was so important to her, and, well, she was in the midst of an apocalypse, it was hard to believe that she'd want to go look at some art.

On that note, it was also hard for me to connect with the characters. While Block's prose is lyrical and conveys a mystical and dark feeling, it prevented me from really caring about the characters. For the entirety of the book, I felt that Pen was somewhat detached or distant. Added with the fact that some of her decisions didn't make sense to me, it was hard for me to care about her. The same was true for most of the side characters - I felt like I only got to know their general personalities, rather than their flaws or emotions.

If there's one thing that Block excels at, however, is creativity. Even though I thought the world was unbelievable, it's one that's richly imagined and interesting to explore. The different creatures and places from The Odyssey were recreated in a darker and more contemporary way. While it did at times make the plot predictable, I enjoyed seeing how Block re-imagined different aspects of the original story.

LOVE IN THE TIME OF GLOBAL WARMING was overall a disappointing read. Although the world and concept were rich in creativity, ultimately the characters and unbelievability detracted from my experience. If you're thinking about trying this book, I'd suggest reading a few pages or a sample before purchasing the book, since your enjoyment of the novel is dependent on how you respond to Block's prose.

Ever since Rachael ended up with Nancy Drew book in my hands, Rachael has been obsessed with the written word! Outside of reading and blogging, Rachael also spends time playing three instruments, giggling excessively, eating good food and watching good movies. Currently Rachael lives in Northern California with her family and two rabbits. Visit her own blog @ Moosubi Reviews!

4 comments:

  1. You know, I always find books with Greek mythology to be kind of eh, and rarely ever wind up finishing them. Thing is, I love the concepts but I never think they're executed well enough for me and always find myself disappointed.

    Sorry the characters weren't your cup of tea - I had the same problem in my most recent review. And if I can't connect with characters, then the books pretty much a lost cause for me.

    Thanks for the honest review :)

    - Allie @ Little Birdie Books

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  2. It sucks when you don't enjoy a book. I've heard of this author before but not the book. It sounds like there's too many things going on. Hopefully you'll enjoy your next read :)

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  3. Too bad this one didn't impress you that much. I hate it when characters make decisions that don't make any sense!

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  4. You're not the first one to have mixed feelings about this. It looks like a short read but one where it requires great patience.

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