My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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?
Let me start by saying this: Fire & Flood is NOT The Hunger Games...
Yes, the MC is a girl (what's the percentage of female MCs in YA right now? It's gotta be in the 80s)
Yes, this is a competition (not uncommon)
And yes, there are monkeys (and they're not terrifying, they're territorial and present for about a page & a half)
That's about as similar to THG as Fire & Flood gets
For one, this isn't a dystopian
Contenders don't have to play
Contenders don't have to die
Contenders get these interesting things called Pandoras
So yeah, if you're worried about reading this because of the similarities people are claiming it has to THG don't listen to that and just read it
I have severely mixed emotions about this book
It was very plot driven, but lacked everything else that would have allowed me to give this book a four or five star rating
For one, I do not like our MC, Tella. She was shallow and vain, and I didn't like being in her head in this book
Some of her thoughts made no sense and contradicted themselves.
I did like all of the other characters though
There was a bit of humor but I did no laughing out loud
Bad things happened but I felt emotionally detached
There was no relationship development between Tella and Guy. It felt like Insta-love to me and even though I really did like Guy, I didn't like how they fell for each other with no development except her seeing him before the race and following him in the jungle
Also, I would have liked to see more development with Tells and her brother because at this point I don't really care what happens to him I just want to see what happens with the race. Some flashbacks with the siblings I think would have been extremely helpful and would have made me care about Tella winning the race and curing her brother (this did not happen in this book so it's not a spoiler!)
The writing in the beginning was off to me. It felt rushed and choppy and I had a hard time staying focused. Also, about two or so pages in, I REALLY didn't like Tella. Towards the end, I felt less annoyed with her, but I still am not a fan. I'm hoping that she was made to be unlikeable, so I can watch her develop and learn to love her in the next book, I'd be okay with that
The last 75 or so pages of this book were amazing, they are the only reason I will be picking the next book up AS SOON AS IT COMES OUT! I don't mind that we had to wait until the end to get the story behind the Brimstone Bleed and I though it was great!
The twist with Dink was COMPLETELY unpredictable
I actually gasped when I read it!
All in all, I liked this book. Maybe enough to give it a 3.5 but because of Tella, I won't round it up to a four star.
If the second book can be more than just a story, I know I will love the crap out of it because I am very intrigued with the last 3rd of the book and I've gotta know what happens!
3 "Fire & Flood"s
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