Monday, July 22, 2013

Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block

Penelope's home and everything she knows has been destroyed in a devastating earthquake and tsunami.  She is alone.  Pen sets out on a journey to find her family and discover her own strengths.

This being Francesca Lia Block, I was expecting the airy, dreamy worlds from Weetzie Bat.  While the world in Love in the Time of Global Warming was certain not realism, it was a lot less dream-like then her others.  I remember her saying that she wrote this book while dealing with her own loss, and perhaps that is part of that.

Love in the Time of Global Warming is The Odyssey.  We have our heroine, Penelope, and her journey exactly mirrors Odysseus', down to the sirens and cyclopses.   When the book first begins, it seems we're going to have a dystopia.  Los Angeles has been destroyed by earthquake and tsunami, and now Pen must figure out how to survive.  But it's not just that.  The fantastical element comes in quickly, which is that there are human-eating giants set lose on the country, escaped from a laboratory experimenting in genetics modification.

A Pen journey's, she finds that some people seem to have gained otherworldly powers in the destruction.  And she might have gained some too.  As she travels, she finds others who she befriends and joins her as they struggle through all the trials of The Odyssey, finally coming face-to-face with the man who created the giants.


There is a romance element.  Early on in her journey Pen finds Hex and they fall in love.  Hex eventually reveals to Pen that he was born a girl.  The other two who accompany Pen on her journey, Ez and Ash also fall in love.  People of different sexual orientations are addressed more explicitly in this book than in Weetzie Bat, when people just were.

You'll have to use your judgment for what kids to recommend this too.  Not everyone is going to like or understand Francesca Lia Block's style, but some kids love it.  Middle grade kids might enjoy it, depending on the kid, and certainly high school.

Love in the Time of Global Warming comes out August 27, 2013.

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