Thursday, July 11, 2013

Love in the Time of Global Warming

I remember my first encounter with Francesca Lia Block.  I was in 4th grade, and was wandering around the Calais Free Library in Calais, Maine.  I saw a short, pink book, and the title was so fun to say: Weetzie Bat.  Unfortunately (or, I guess maybe fortunately), my parents were still monitoring my reading materials at that point (not as much two years later when I picked up Insomnia), and I wasn't allowed to check it out because of language.

Well, I did indeed end up checking it out at a later time, along with the rest of the Dangerous Angels, and then found one of my favorites of Block's: Girl Goddess #9.  I don't know why that book is so comforting to me, but at least once a year I check it out from the library, and sink into it like a familiar hug.  I should probably just buy it :-)  Actually, I can't seem to read any of her books just once- I've returned to them all at one point or another.

Ms. Block was at ALA this year, and I was fortunate to receive an ARC of this novel. I also got to meet her, and have her sign it.

Love in the Time of Global Warming is a story about Penelope.  After a major earthquake, she is on an Odyssey-like quest to search for her family.  Like Odysseus, she must make a journey. Faced with monsters and madmen, banding together with an unlikely group, she recognizes her own strengths and holds on to hope.

This story is told with Block's distinct, magical, almost-dreamlike style.  I feel like I'm watching a live painting when I read her (does that make any sense?  Each sentence is like a written brushstroke).  Dark and ethereal, Pen's journey is absolutely captivating.  She and her three companions encounter giants and other obstacles, and we are swept away into their experiences.

I particularly loved all the mythological references, and Pen's guide to this new world being a copy of Homer's The Odyssey.  I had fun making the connections to the epic tale- I did the same thing with O Brother, Where Art Thou?

So, I really liked this book.  Beautiful, sensual and haunting, and like her other books- one I will keep returning to.

I would recommend this to those who like or are interested in Block's other books, mythology, LGBTQ protagonists, and post-apocalyptic stories. 

Love in the Time of Global Warming is published by Henry Holt & Co (a divsion of Macmillan).  ARC copy graciously provided by Macmillan.
Release Date: 08.27.13

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