Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (3/15/22) – Love in the Time of Global Warming

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

As a bi person, I’ve been on the hunt for more bisexual representation in literature for years. Love in the Time of Global Warming popped up on a whole bunch of lists of YA books with bisexual characters, and the premise intrigued me, so I gave it a go. This one has a lot of bad reviews, but to me, it was a beautifully-written and inventive retelling of The Odyssey!

Enjoy this week’s review!

Love in the Time of Global Warming – Francesca Lia Block

Human civilization has been reduced to its barest remnants after a cataclysmic event known only as the Earth Shaker set the apocalypse in motion. After her house is raided by mysterious men, Pen sets out into the wasteland of what was once Los Angeles in search of her missing mother and brother. Along the way, she meets a cast of strange, lost characters who join her on her quest. But their path is plagued by giants and mad scientists, and they must search the ends of the Earth for what they seek.

TW/CW: sexual content, descriptions of death/murder, past descriptions of abuse/homophobia, use of a trans character’s deadname

Bonus points have been preemptively awarded for the TV on the Radio reference. To Francesca Lia Block—if you see this review, I’m just here to tell you that you have great taste.

I initially picked up this book because I’d seen it show up on loads of lists of YA books with bisexual protagonists, and now that I’ve read it, I’m so glad I did! Most of the reviews I’ve read aren’t too positive, but for the most part, I enjoyed this one quite a bit.

A lot of the complaints about Love in the Time of Global Warming were centered around Block’s writing style. I can usually get on board with more flowery, dreamlike prose, and that’s certainly how Block seems to write. I loved her lush descriptions; the hazy, mystic atmosphere of it made it feel all the more like a retelling, especially one of The Odyssey. Even though Love in the Time of Global Warming was strictly dystopia/sci-fi at its core, Block’s writing gave it a magical feel, which, for the story she was trying to tell, meshed perfectly.

As far as retellings go, Love in the Time of Global Warming was loose, but there were still enough callbacks to The Odyssey to make it feel like a retelling. Pen’s quest did have an odyssey-like feel to it, and some of the parallels (Circe, the cyclops, etc.) were clear, although the addition of Hex reading The Odyssey as they went along felt borderline ham-handed, as though to say “guys! GUYS! Guess what!!! This!!! Is a retelling!!!!1!!” However, Love in the Time of Global Warming was inventive in its brand of apocalypse, which made the setting—and the feel of the retelling itself—a lot more enjoyable. Having giants created by a mad scientist gave the book a fantastical feel without being a fantasy book, which I found to be a very creative move. With Block’s descriptive prose added to that, it made for a very creative retelling.

Another highlight for me was the fact that all of the main characters were casually LGBTQ+! It’s always great to see lots of queer representation in a story, and there is no shortage of queer and trans characters in Love in the Time of Global Warming. Plus, I loved having a brave, unique heroine like Pen be bisexual—always warms your heart to see yourself represented, isn’t it? Certainly warmed mine. Plus, I loved the little jab that they have about being told all their life that they’d be going to hell for being queer, and yet it’s them—not the homophobes—who survive the apocalypse. Call it comeuppance.

However, though most of the LGBTQ+ representation was positive and well-written, I do have a few issues with how parts of Hex, a trans man, was written. Take this as you will, since I’m cis, but there were definitely some parts that rubbed me the wrong way. After Hex comes out as trans, his deadname and old pronouns are used…frequently? Most of it’s in flashbacks, but even still, it’s generally accepted that using a trans person’s deadname and old pronouns after they’ve come out as trans is not the most considerate thing to do. I doubt there was any harm meant by it, but it was a little uncomfortable that Block wrote him this way.

All in all, though, a strange, dreamlike, and unapologetically queer retelling of The Odyssey. 4 stars!

Love in the Time of Global Warming is the first book in Francesca Lia Block’s Love in the Time of Global Warming duology, followed by The Island of Excess Love. Block is also the author of Weetzie Bat, The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold, Echo, Witch Baby, and several other books for teens and young adults.

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (6/21/21) – Love in the Time of Global Warming

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

I added this one to my TBR a little over a year ago. The promise of bisexual rep was what initially drew me in, but the blend of fantasy, dystopia, and cli-fi ultimately hooked me! I can’t wait to see what this one has to offer.

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (6/21/21) – LOVE IN THE TIME OF GLOBAL WARMING by Francesca Lia Block

Amazon.com: Love in the Time of Global Warming (9781250044426): Block,  Francesca Lia: Books

Blurb from Goodreads:

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.

SO WHY DO I WANT TO READ THIS?

Aesthetic Ocean Gif Tumblr - Largest Wallpaper Portal

(two books on my TBR with bi rep and blue covers in a row? oops…)

Love in the Time of Global Warming has a relatively low rating on Goodreads (3.38 as of now), but I’m still willing to dive in headfirst.

What stands out most to me is the incorporation of the Odyssey – the world really needs more retellings of it, and I love the idea of Pen’s Odyssey-like journey through a ruined Los Angeles ravaged by climate change. I’m also excited to see the blend of sci-fi and fantasy; a lot of reviewers have shelved it as magical realism, so that’s an interesting aspect to weave into dystopia. And the queer cast! From what I’ve heard, the vast majority of the cast is LGBTQ+, which is always a major plus in my book.

Overall, a queer, genre-bending, and creative take on The Odyssey that I can’t wait to read!

GIF dystopian - animated GIF on GIFER

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Tags, Books

My Life in Books Tag

Hi again, bibliophiles! I have a little bit of extra time, and I haven’t done a book tag in what feels like ages, so I’ve decided to do this one!

I found this tag over at Bookshelf Life, and I haven’t been able to find the creator of the tag, so if you know, please let me know 🙂

Let’s begin, shall we?

FIND A BOOK FOR EACH LETTER OF YOUR NAME

M: Monstrous–MarcyKate Connolly

A: Aurora Rising–Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (you all knew this was coming, didn’t you?)

D: Dune–Frank Herbert

E: Even the Darkest Stars–Heather Fawcett

L: The Life Below (The Final Six, #2)–Alexandra Monir

I: I Wish You All the Best–Mason Deaver

N: Night Music–Jenn Marie Thorne

E: Everything Grows–Aimee Herman

PICK A BOOK SET IN YOUR CITY/COUNTRY

All the Impossible Things: Lackey, Lindsay: 9781250202864: Amazon.com: Books

I’ve lived in Colorado for most of my life, and that’s where All the Impossible Things is set. There’s even a scene at the Denver Aquarium, one of my favorite places to go in Denver.

PICK A BOOK THAT REPRESENTS A DESTINATION THAT YOU WOULD LOVE TO TRAVEL TO

The Case of the Missing Marquess (An Enola Holmes Mystery): Springer,  Nancy: 9780142409336: Amazon.com: Books

I’ve always wanted to travel to England, and Enola Holmes, along with Harry Potter (among other things) may or may not have spurred that on. (Oh, and David Bowie and the Beatles…)

PICK A BOOK WITH YOUR FAVORITE COLOR ON THE COVER

Amazon.com: Under Shifting Stars eBook: Latos, Alexandra: Kindle Store

I love teal and turquoise, and Under Shifting Stars has that in no short supply.

WHICH BOOK DO YOU HAVE THE FONDEST MEMORY OF?

Amazon.com: Heart of Iron (9780062652850): Poston, Ashley: Books

I read Heart of Iron for the first time just over two years ago. I was on a plane ride to Chicago, and I spent most of the ride eagerly reading through this one. It was my favorite book for a while, and I highly recommend it!

WHICH BOOK DID YOU HAVE THE MOST DIFFICULTY READING?

Amazon.com: The Odyssey (9780140268867): Homer, Robert Fagles, Bernard  Knox: Books

We had to read The Odyssey for English in my freshman year. I liked it, but I had to read it in…[ahem] small chunks because I just kept getting tired…

WHICH BOOK ON YOUR TBR WILL GIVE YOU THE BIGGEST SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT WHEN YOU FINISH IT?

Amazon.com: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars eBook: Paolini, Christopher: Kindle  Store

I started reading To Sleep in a Sea of Stars last night. It’s about the same length of my edition of Dune, which took me a solid week to read, so it’ll be a relief to finish all 880 pages. (I’m about 200 pages in now, and…it went from “draws heavily from Aliens” to “wait, is this an Aliens fanfic?” very quickly, but we’ll see how it goes…)

I TAG:

& anyone else who wants to participate!

30 Animated Book Reading Gifs - Best Animations

Since I’ve already posted once today, check out today’s Goodreads Monday for today’s song.

That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!