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Love in the Time of Global Warming by…

Love in the Time of Global Warming (2013)

by Francesca Lia Block

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Christy Ottaviano (1)

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3081953,721 (3.47)7



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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
This YA book is a beautiful, small format hardcover. It's a retelling of the Odyssey story in a present/future day Los Angeles. The protagonist is a teenage girl who is dealing with an apocalyptic event and its aftermath. She is strong, determined, and passionate. She forges her own path, convinces others to listen to her, and shows great bravery in adversity.

It's written in a beautiful magical realism style that makes the story part Dream-world, part fantasy. The young characters are interesting and diverse. The drawback is that it is confusing as a reader because the book starts out in a realistic style. A girl with a family. A girl who survives an earthquake and flood. A girl who wonders how far this event stretches and wonders if it has been locally catastrophic or wholly apocalyptic. A girl who flees for her safety from a real-world threat of looters. A girl who then immediately enters a world outside the doors of her home that is suddenly fantastic. Is this Odysseus, magical dreamworld real or imaginary?

I would have preferred the story to stay realistic or for the magical realism to have been present from the beginning. I love authors Isabelle Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marques, but they keep the reality suspended the entire time. Or not suspended, but rather seamlessly intertwined with the magic. ( )
  originalslicey | Jan 28, 2019 |
A modern-day, post-apocalyptic, Odyssey! Sound's awesome, right?

Also, Francesca Lia Block has a pretty good reputation, doesn't she?

The Story felt a little clunky to me, but that's not the reason why I'm giving this a low rating.

I'm giving this a low rating because when I open up a YA book, I'm looking to be entertained, I'm looking to maybe start a discussion on some issue, but I'm not looking to have EVERY SINGE ISSUE OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS SHOVED IN MY FACE.

Which is what this book was.

Now, to clarify, there is nothing wrong with bringing up poitns of political correctness (i.e. sexuality) but if the book is marketed as something else, it should also be about something else, like, you know, what it was marketed as. ( )
  Monica_P | Nov 22, 2018 |
Pen floats around in a dreamlike, post-apocalyptic world. The book has a magical realism quality to it. The character names, such as Argos, Penelope, and Kronen, and the siren are a nod to Homer's Odyssey, but the story doesn't really feel like the Odyssey. The butterflies and the Tibetan goddess, Tara, are enjoyable. ( )
  hoorayforreading | Nov 19, 2015 |
Magic realism is like free verse: it looks deceptively easy when it's done well, and too many writers think it means you can do whatever you want to on the page.

Francesca Lia Block has succeeded in this medium before, at least in my opinion. I know they're cornball and over-the-top, but I do love Weetzie Bat and Witch Baby.

I keep trying to love other novels by Block, and it keeps mostly not happening.

There are some beautiful moments in this book, such as this reflection by Pen, the narrator:

Why are we here -- just us and no one else? Is this salvation or the worst of punishments?


I try to make soothing sounds but I'm thinking of my own family -- what they thought of when they saw the wave coming, terror like being held in a Giant's palm -- and it's hard to be of comfort.

But for the most part, this book is a hot mess.

It starts off with the compelling story of a girl named Penelope (Pen for short) who's the sole survivor in her family after a global catastrophe. She's thinking back to how things were before. The reader is grounded in a very real girl's life. Pen feels guilty for not being nicer to her family before -- for allowing ordinary teenage angst to make her surly and snarly, when she knows now she should have appreciated what she had when she had it. Now she's alone, and supplies are running low.

She's then driven out of the safety of her home by a threat that is, again, convincing: macho shithead men, fellow survivors, who are looking for supplies and female companionship.

So we have a sympathetic character in a situation we'd like to learn more about.

And then everything goes to hell, writing-wise, because the reason the world ended is so it can reenact The Odyssey for a California teenager and a few friends she picks up along the way.

That's right. Billions of people died for that.

Somebody could make that premise work. So far as I'm concerned, Block didn't.

Now I'm off to tackle the rest of my "to-read" list. Wish me luck. ( )
  Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
This book is absolutely gorgeous. I loved every single word of it! ( )
  clear_tranquil | May 24, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Francesca Lia Blockprimary authorall editionscalculated
Swaab, NeilCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, AprilDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Oh my child, ill-fated beyond all other mortals,
this is not Persephone, daughter of Zeus, beguiling you,
but it is only what happens when they die, to all mortals.
The sinews no longer hold the flesh and the bones together,
And once the spirit has left the white bones, all the rest
Of the body is made subject to the fire's strong fury,
But the soul flitters out like a dream and flies away.
From Homer's The Odyssey
For Jasmine, Sam, Jeni, and Ezekiel
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805096272, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:13 -0400)

After a devastating earthquake destroys the West Coast, causing seventeen-year-old Penelope to lose her home, her parents, and her ten-year-old brother, she navigates a dark world, holding hope and love in her hands and refusing to be defeated.

» see all 2 descriptions

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