Book Review: LOVE IN THE TIME OF GLOBAL WARMING by Francesca Lia Block

Photo credit: Goodreads
So about a year ago I'd heard Francesca Lia Block's Love in the Time of Global Warming has a trans boy love interest, which I'd basically never seen in speculative YA (or Contemporary YA, for that matter), so when I saw it on sale at Book Outlet a while ago, I snatched it up. It then sat in my full physical TBR bookshelf for a while I tried to make a dent in my TBR, until I finally picked it up last week.

And I have to say, I'm glad I pulled it off my shelf, because it was a really enjoyable read.

Before I go into why, here is the Goodreads summary:
"Her life by the sea in ruins, Pen has lost everything in the Earth Shaker that all but destroyed the city of Los Angeles. She sets out into the wasteland to search for her family, her journey guided by a tattered copy of Homer’s Odyssey. Soon she begins to realize her own abilities and strength as she faces false promises of safety, the cloned giants who feast on humans, and a madman who wishes her dead. On her voyage, Pen learns to tell stories that reflect her strange visions, while she and her fellow survivors navigate the dangers that lie in wait. 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."
So first of all, I think it helped going in knowing that this book would be weird. That was something I saw repeated over and over from reviewers—that they enjoyed it, but it was strange. I agree this is a strange one; the writing and events and the way it all blends together was very dreamlike. There's some really gorgeous, lyrical imagery, obvious Odyssey parallels (that the characters are aware of and comment on), and even the characters themselves have a dreamy, ephemeral-type quality to them. 

And you know? I liked it. The lyrical, imagery-heavy writing reminded me a bit of Elliot Finley Wake's style (except, you know, YA), and it was great to see a diverse cast in a post-apocalyptic YA, from the protagonist Pen, who is bi, to the love interest Hex, who is (*minor spoiler*) trans, to their two other companions who also turn out to be queer guys, it was really fun to read. 

My only critique is the ending felt a little too...neat, I suppose. Things came together easy after the main confrontation, which is okay, but it felt a teensie bit anti-climatic to me. That said, I still really enjoyed it overall, from the adventure-y plot, to the Odyssey-like mythology, and the lyrical writing, I definitely recommend Love in the Time of Global Warming for a quick, adventurous read with a cast you won't easily forget. 

Diversity note: As mentioned in the review, Pen, the protagonist is bisexual, the love interest, Hex, is a trans boy, one of the two companions is a gay Black boy, and the other is a boy who likes boys (though I'm not sure if he's gay, bi, pan, etc.).

What have you been reading lately?

Twitter-sized bite:

.@Ava_Jae gives ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ to Francesca Lia Block's LOVE IN THE TIME OF GLOBAL WARMING—is this surreal YA on your TBR? (Click to tweet)

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