Saturday, February 22, 2014

Review: Fire & Flood (Fire & Flood #1)

A modern day thrill ride, where a teen girl and her animal companion must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother's life—and her own.

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?

Rating & Review
Usually, after I finish a book and it comes time to write up the review, I have a pretty clear idea of what I'll be saying about the book. I'll have looked through my notes and formulated what I see as being the best (and most fair) review for me to share. This time ... I'm having a hard time really grasping what I want points I want to hit on and what views to express. Nothing to say? It's not that ... it's never THAT with me, I always have something to say ... I think that it's just taking a while to fully process this book.

I think what I want to talk about first is how a bunch of people are saying that this book is like The Hunger Games. Come on, people. It's similar only because it has a female heroine (like the majority of YA novels these days), it's also similar because there is a contest but the contests are TOTALLY different, and it's similar because it's also written by a woman and it's similar because it has a hint of dystopia and it's similar because it's groups of words forming sentences that make up pages of book. I'm just a bit annoyed by these comparisons. A bit more than I thought that I was when I first started this paragraph. I think that it's a cop out when a reviewer just states that it's similar to another book and they don't like it because of that. How about you look at this book separately. How about we dissect THIS book on it's own merits and not on how it's vaguely similar to another book. Okay ... I'm gonna hop down off of my soap box and get on with this review.

If there is anything that you take away from this review, it needs to be this ... this book is absolutely amazing. It is THE best YA book that I have ever read. And you may want to sit down for this ... it's better than my favorite book, Divergent (GASP). I know. I. Know. Dude, I thought that the sun and moon set on Divergent. Well, Divergent has been bumped. And it would take a lot for me to say that. This book had me from the first two sentences. Can you imagine being hooked on a book, falling in love with a character, adoring an author and knowing that this book is going to be amazing from the first two sentences?!? It happened. The heroine of the novel, Tella, is just ... captivating. She's sassy and cynical and semi-passive aggressive and funny. She masks her sadness and uncomfortable situations with smart ass remarks. LOVE her smart-ass-ed-ness (yes, it's totally a word). It's nothing short of refreshing. And yes ... part of that could be because Tella seems like me. Reading her dialogue and thoughts was almost like taking a peek inside my head ... it was weird.

Gosh, I don't know where to go next ... the landscape that Tella is thrust into is quite amazing. It's written in a way that it almost becomes tangible. You feel like you are right there next to Tella, trudging through the jungle. It was like this throughout the entire book. And it flowed into the characters as well ... by this I mean that the characters were so realistic that they seemed like someone you know. Each of the characters was so thought out and so ... complete. And the best part is that right when you think that you know these characters like you know yourself, something shifts and you find out that they aren't who you thought that they were. Awe. Some.

Haha ... I write tons and tons of notes when I read a book ... things that I need to remember, quotes I love, that kind of thing. Well, I wrote this one note and I just have to share it. I was almost done with the book, it was a little after midnight and apparently, I was a bit loopy. This is what I wrote:

Just when you think that you know what is going on, the author
twirls you around, smacks your ass and then laughs at you.

And that really sums up the book ... you think you know what's going to happen next and you really don't. This is the first book that I've read by Victoria Scott but it will not be the last. There were tons of plot twists that really took me by surprise. Did I pick out a few of them? Yes. Okay, well ... I actually only figured out one ahead of time. The rest were TOTAL surprises. That kind of thing doesn't happen to me very often these days. It may be because I've read so many books or because after having our two boys, nothing really surprises me anymore. And that's pretty sad, I like being surprised with some twist in a story and this book was the perfect example of twisty-turneys (also, totally a word).
There is only one thing that I regret about this book and it's that it's not out yet. Which means that #2 won't be out for a very long time and THAT is a huge downer. 

I want to say so much more but I don't want to ruin the surprises. But you need to go read this book because it's going to be wildly popular pretty quickly. I just know it.

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