Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fire and Flood {by Victoria Scott}

Title: Fire & Flood
Author: Victoria Scott
Series: Fire & Flood #1
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

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?

I wasn't sure what to expect with this one, as I have heard some mixed things. However, I am pleased to report that I actually did enjoy this book, even with the few problems I found with it.

Tella is a city girl, forced to move to middle-of-nowhere Montana. And she hates it. No internet, no friends, no mall. How is a girl to survive? Except they're there because her brother is dying, so she can't complain too much (she totally can). Until the day that she gets a mysterious box with a blinking device. At first, she thinks it's a prank, except for her parents freaking out about it. She sneaks her device back, and listens to the message--a message telling her about a race. A race that could save her brother's life. And so, she decides to join.

Tella was actually pretty annoying. Not enough to turn me off the book completely, though. She is a spoiled, bratty city girl. She has no idea what this race is, who is telling her this information, or if it's even true. She just leaves, without even telling her parents. She does realize she's not cut out to be traipsing through the jungle, but she does it anyway. She wants to be strong for her brother, which I can understand. However, she was so spoiled and bratty. She should have in no way survived. Seriously. She was not fit, she wasn't educated, she spent all her time wondering about her hair and her makeup and her body. I realize Victoria Scott wrote a post addressing femininity in YA, and I wholeheartedly agree. But someone like Celaena Sardothien can actually pull it off. Tella could not pull it off.

Thankfully, she meets a group of other Contenders who let her join them and the book starts to pick up a bit. I liked the other contenders, especially the twins, and Harper. Tella, upon meeting Harper for the first time, decides she hates her because she's pretty. Ooookay then. THEN, she sees stretch marks and gets a little gleeful because maybe Harper was fat at one time. WTF. I don't even...I'm just not going to go there.

And then there's Guy. Oh, Guy. I just don't understand. I wanted him so much to be the swoony guy, but he wasn't. First, he hates her. And then, he decides to join their group. And somewhere along the way, he...falls in love with Tella? And of course, Tella falls in love with him, and pretty much forgets the reason why she's even here. Oh, sure, her brother. She manages to remember about him every once in a while, but not nearly enough for someone who could be possible sacrificing her life for him.

And the plot. Finally, in the end, we get a few answers as to how this all came about. But it still wasn't enough. I still don't really know what's going on in their world. However, it was still pretty action-packed and kept me immersed until the end.

So, yes, I had many issues with Tella. Things were not explained, and some did not make sense. But I still enjoyed the book. I'm not going to compare it to the Hunger Games, because it's not really fair. Some elements are the same, yes, but some are unique. I will still be picking up the next book in this series.

I won an ARC in a giveaway held by the author. This in no way affects my opinions. 

This review can also be found on   Rachel Marie's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Victoria Scott:

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