Love in the Time of Global Warming

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Overview

Seventeen-year-old Penelope (Pen) has lost everything - her home, her parents, and her ten-year-old brother. Like a female Odysseus, in search of home, she navigates a dark world full of strange creatures, gathers companions and loses them, finds love and loses it, and faces her mortal enemy.

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 ...

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Love in the Time of Global Warming

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Overview

Seventeen-year-old Penelope (Pen) has lost everything - her home, her parents, and her ten-year-old brother. Like a female Odysseus, in search of home, she navigates a dark world full of strange creatures, gathers companions and loses them, finds love and loses it, and faces her mortal enemy.

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 refuses to be defeated.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - Audio
★ 11/01/2013
Gr 9 Up—Imagine the world ending as a result of earthquakes followed by tsunamis and flooding, wiping out most living things. Combine it with Homer's Odyssey, and you'll have Block's novel (Holt, 2013). Los Angeles has been destroyed, and 17-year-old Penelope has lost her family in the apocalypse. Like a female Odysseus, she takes off into the wasteland to find them. Along the way, she joins forces with three other teens, all with their own problems. They encounter danger at every turn in the form of sirens, witches, and genetically created flesh-eating giants, along with the lunatic who conceived them. Despite their trials, Pen and her friends find that hope and love can be found in this bleak new world. Throughout the book, the characters quote The Odyssey and many of their adventures mirror the classic story. Block's beautifully written tale is fantastically magical and her characters are sympathetic and quirky. Julia Whelan does an outstanding job narrating, giving each character a unique voice and personality, while not detracting from the dreamlike quality of the writing. A terrific purchase, especially where the classic is taught.—Julie Paladino, East Chapel Hill High School, NC
Publishers Weekly
A post-apocalyptic setting awash with danger brings an exhilarating twist to Block’s signature mashup of rock-and-roll urchins and high literature. After an earthquake and tidal wave destroy much of Los Angeles, Penelope—now going by Pen—sets out to find her family. In the course of a journey that explicitly parallels the one described in Homer’s Odyssey, Pen navigates the blighted landscape with a crew of three other searchers. Sharing shards of their pasts with one another, the travelers form strong new relationships—including a romance between Pen and tough Hex, who has the word “heartless” tattooed above his heart, and whose sexual journey fits neatly with Pen’s. Eventually they arrive in Las Vegas (the contemporary stand-in for the land of the dead) where Pen confronts the evil genius behind her world’s destruction. Literary-minded readers will enjoy teasing out the allusions to Homer—and possibly even The Wizard of Oz—but knowledge of the classics is not a requirement to be swept up in the tatterdemalion beauty of the story’s lavish, looping language. Ages 14–up. Agent: Laurie Liss, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"This Halloween, bypass the usual vampires and werewolves of teen fiction for what lurks between the covers of Francesca Lia Block’s brutal, beautifully written 'Love in the Time of Global Warming.' Those fanged and furry creatures are but a sugar rush compared with Block’s genetically engineered giants as she treats us to a dystopian tale tricked out in her signature lush prose."—The Washington Post

 

"The dreamlike quality of the writing, typical of the author’s works, functions well with the fantastical elements of the story, which is solid and dense in its descriptions. This is an excellent title for students who have read Homer’s Odyssey as well as readers who enjoy a mix of fantasy and reality." — School Library Journal

 

"The result is original and, no surprise, gracefully written. Magic is no stranger to Block’s world, nor is her signature poetic sensibility. And love, in its many varieties and forms, is celebrated, as always." — Booklist

"Literary-minded readers will enjoy teasing out the allusions to Homer—and possibly even The Wizard of Oz—but knowledge of the classics is not a requirement to be swept up in the tatterdemalion beauty of the story’s lavish, looping language."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Block’s trademark magical realism works best in a brief, dreamy journey such as this one, even if the destination is uncertain . . . Mishmash or no, there’s something encouraging about seeing four queer kids on an epic journey across the post-apocalyptic American Southwest." — Kirkus Reviews

“Block writes about the real Los Angeles better than anyone since Raymond Chandler.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Hers is a voice so unique that nobody will ever be able to imitate it.” —Cindy Dobrez, Chairwoman of the committee that awarded Block the Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005

Praise for Pink Smog: Becoming Weetzie:

* “Newcomers and longtime fans alike will find much to savor in this nuanced meditation on what is lost, and what is gained, in the process of becoming an artist.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

* “An intoxicating mix of mystery, fantasy, and romance told in her signature poetic style and peopled by guardian angels, witches, a goddess, and a demon.” —Booklist, starred review

 

Praise for Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books:

“Ms. Block’s far-ranging free association has been controlled and shaped . . . with sensual characters. The language is inventive Californian hip, but the patterns are compactly folkloristic and the theme is transcendent.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Magic is everywhere in Block’s lyrical and resonant fables. At once modern and mythic, her series deserves as much space as it can command of daydream nation’s shrinking bookshelves.” —Village Voice

Praise for The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold:

* “[Block] uses language like a jeweled sword, glittering as it cuts to the heart.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* “Block sets out to revisit nine fairy tales, filling her stories with gritty, even headline-grabbing issues. The darkness of these conflicts and subjects proves the strength of the magic she describes: the transfiguring power of love.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

Praise for Psyche in a Dress:

“It is Block’s genius to cast the gods with all their beauty and horror, manipulativeness and self-destructiveness, cruelty and tenderness into a modern society that feels a lot like California. . . . Riveting and brilliant, this is a must for most YA collections.” —School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
Everything old is new again as acclaimed author, Francesca Lia Block, takes the classic story of Homer’s Odyssey and presents it as a post-apocalyptic tale that is a brilliant, contemporary dystopian novel. The heroic tale receives a new “girlish” twist by making the lead character a teenage girl named Penelope. When the great Earth Shaker hits her Los Angeles area home, Penelope does not know the scope of the destruction. She only knows that her family has vanished leaving her surrounded by roiling seas. A heretofore unknown home invader gives Pen a VW van in which she travels through the new wastelands and picks up a posse of young men who help her search for her family. The group follows butterfly spirit guides and is enticed by reimagined characters from the classic: sirens, a Medusa-like soap opera star, denizens of a lotus den, and a visionary witch. Pen also confronts and vanquishes a giant Cyclops, who is a genetic aberration created by a mad scientist whose experiments may have ended the world. As with Block’s other books, this one is LGBTQ friendly because Pen is questioning her sexuality; her new love, Hex, is transgender; and Ez and Ash, the two other young men in their band, are gay. Block’s writing is pure poetry in its flow and symbolism. So many dystopian novels seem to be written by the pound, but Block is economical in her language without sacrificing storytelling or the mythological references. This should be a companion piece for students who are reading the original myth for the first time. Yet it has potential to be that hard-to-achieve crossover book for adults because the language and imagery is both lyrical and alarming in its descriptions of Armageddon and its sepia recollection of the world before. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross; Ages 13 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—The earth shakes, a wall of water comes, and everyone Penelope loves disappears, leaving her alone. She can see nothing but ruins around her pink house by the sea in Los Angeles. Her family was swept away by the water. Her father had warned of impending danger, and though her mother thought he was paranoid, his emergency provisions keep Pen alive. Weeks later, men break into her house, but Pen escapes with their van. She sets off on an Odyssey-like journey in search of her family. On the way, she encounters giants, sirens, a witch, a girl who may be magical, and companions to aid her in her quest. Through flashbacks, she reveals that she had been struggling with feelings for one of her closest girlfriends. Now, as she, Hex, Ez, and Ash speed toward Las Vegas, Pen finds strength she's never known and love she didn't expect. Pen is a thoughtful character who develops at a reasonable pace. Her flashbacks reveal a close family, good friends, and love for her younger brother. The dreamlike quality of the writing, typical of the author's works, functions well with the fantastical elements of the story, which is solid and dense in its descriptions. This is an excellent title for students who have read Homer's Odyssey as well as readers who enjoy a mix of fantasy and reality.—Kelly Jo Lasher, Middle Township High School, Cape May Court House, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Block's latest can't decide if it's allegory, tribute or classical fairy tale. Is Penelope the last person left alive in the world? The floodwaters that slammed through her Los Angeles neighborhood took her mother, father, brother and even her dog. While she journeys across the ravaged land, myth-loving readers--such as Penelope herself, who reads Ovid for fun and tells her friends stories about "Odysseus, Aeneas, and Achilles"--might notice familiar themes. (Despite the title's nod to García Marquez, the direct Homeric references dominate.) Penelope blinds a one-eyed giant in a chapter called "The Cyclops," escaping by calling herself "Nobody." In the Lotus Hotel, she meets addicts high on euphoric juice squeezed from flower petals. The parallels to The Odyssey become even more obvious when Penelope meets a sexy young man in black motorcycle boots whose favorite book is The Odyssey itself and who entertains Penelope by reading from the section of Homer's epic about the Lotus Eaters. The continuing allusions, sometimes explicitly remarked upon by Penelope and the fellow adventurers she gathers along the way, are unsubtle but not entirely clear. But that may not matter so much: Block's trademark magical realism works best in a brief, dreamy journey such as this one, even if the destination is uncertain. Mishmash or no, there's something encouraging about seeing four queer kids on an epic journey across the post-apocalyptic American Southwest. (Fantasy. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781469270715
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 8/28/2013
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Francesca Lia Block, winner of the prestigious Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award, is the author of many acclaimed and bestselling books, including Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books, Roses and Bones: Myths, Tales and Secrets, and the adult novel The Elementals. Her work has been translated and published around the world. She lives in Los Angeles with her two children.

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Read an Excerpt

1

 

THE EARTH SHAKER

 

THE ROOM WAS SHAKING and I thought I knew what it was because I had been born and raised in a city built on fault lines. Everyone was always dreading something like this. But we never imagined it would be of such force and magnitude.

I called to Venice, the most beautiful, smartest, sweetest (and he would want me to add most athletic) boy in the world, “I’m coming! Are you okay?”

I imagined his body lying under boards and glass, pinned down, but when I got to him he was just huddled in the bed in the room papered with maps of the world, wearing the baseball cap he insisted on sleeping in (in spite of the stiff bill), trembling so hard I could barely gather him up in my arms. My dad came in and took him from me—my brother’s legs in too short pajama pants dangling down, his face buried in my dad’s neck as Venice cried for his fallen cap—and I got our dog, Argos, and we all ran downstairs. My mom was there, crying, and she grabbed me and I could feel her heart like a frantic butterfly through her white cotton nightgown. We ran out into the yard. The sky looked black and dead without the streetlight or the blue Christmas lights that decked our house. I could hear the ocean crashing, too close, too close. The world sliding away from us.

The tall acacia tree in the yard creaked and moaned, and then my ears rang with the silence before danger. My dad pulled us back as we watched the tree crash to the ground in a shudder of leaves and branches. My tree, the one I had strung with gold fairy lights, the one that shaded parties made for teddy bears and dolls, the tree in whose pink-blossomed branches Dad had built a wooden platform house with a rope ladder. That was where I went to read art history books and mythology, and to escape the world that now I only wanted to save.

I was holding Argos and he wriggled free and jumped down and ran away from me, toward our big pink house overgrown with morning glory vines and electric wires strung with glass bulbs. I screamed for him and my mom tried to hold me back but I was already running. I was inside.

The floor was paved with broken glass from the Christmas ornaments and family photos that had fallen. (A tall man with wild, sandy-colored hair and tanned, capable hands, a curvy, olive-skinned woman with gray eyes, an unremarkable teenage girl, an astonishingly handsome boy and a dog that was a mix of so many odd breeds it made you laugh to look at him.) My feet were bare. I reached for a pair of my mother’s suede and shearling boots by the door, yanked them on, and stepped over the glass, calling for my dog. He was yelping and growling at an invisible phantom; his paws were bleeding. I picked him up and blood streaked down my legs.

I turned to open the door but a wall of water surged toward me behind the glass pane and I put up my hands as if to hold it back, as if to part the wave.

And then I fell.

That’s all I remember of the last day of the life I once knew.

 

Copyright © 2013 by Francesca Lia Block

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2014

    Veary nice

    Super good!

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  • Posted March 16, 2014

    Love in the time of global warming, was my introduction to the w

    Love in the time of global warming, was my introduction to the woman the legend Francesca Lia Block. My co worker is OBSESSED with Block, so much so that she named her daughter after one of Blocks characters. I was lucky enough to meet and talk with Francesca Lia Block this past October at Wordstock. I can honestly say she is one of the sweetest persons I have had the pleasure of meeting. After I gave her my card she promised to connect. AND SHE DID!! Little ol me was delighted. So here are my thoughts.
    Love in the time of global warming is a retelling of Homer’s The Odyssey. A tale I still have yet to read, I know shame on me right. Well I didnt need to know anything about it. The story starts off when an earthquake basically destroys the world but with some CRAZY luck Pen our MC survives only to loose her whole family and not to mention all of her friends. After weeks of being alone she is forced out of her home and is guided by a stranger. He gives her a van and a map he tells her she can find her family. So she embarks on an adventure. Along the way Pen meets Hex. Pen is very attracted to Hex, he gets her to try a little punch which makes you higher than a kite and they end up loosing a good chunk of time. They manage to leave and meet a few other characters. Ez, and Ash. Ez and Ash accompany Pen and Hex in search of Pen’s family. Along the way it seems Ez and Ash fall in love with each other.
    Ive heard from others how lyrical Block’s writing is. How recognizable her style is. Im not sure about all that being this was my first book what I can say is the writing was magnificent. The world after the earth shaker was so vivid in my mind. The story was not what I expected more than once I was caught off guard. I do have a few questions that perhaps for Block should we ever cross paths again. I do have to say I was greatly inspired by Hex’s tattoo. So much so that its on the list of tattoos to get this year. What is it you ask well. “Non sum qualis eram” Im not what I once was. If that doesnt describe me I dont know what does.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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