Title: Fire & Flood (Fire & Flood #1)
Author: Victoria Scott
Pub Deets: February 25th, 2014, Scholastic
Series/Stand Alone: Series
Source: ARC via Netgalley
In a sentence or so: They told Tella they moved to the middle of nowhere so her brother could get better. What they didn't tell her there was that there was something she could do about it...even if that meant risking her life.
Tella and her family move to middle of nowhere Montana so her brother can get better. Only he's not getting better. Nothing is making him better. In the midst of her moping without friends and mourning the loss of shopping sprees, Tella receives a small package with a big message. One that will drive her to do everything she can to save her brother at the risk of abandoning her own family and risking it all.
Let's just get this out of the way right off the bat. Is FIRE & FLOOD kinda like THE HUNGER GAMES? Yeah, it is. But it doesn't try to hide that fact or completely copy and paste THG either - which I respect a ton.
Tella enters a race that will take place over 4 different types of terrain called the Brimstone Bleed. She also gets a companion that comes IN AN EGG that has some sort of special ability that will help her along the way.
Fire & Flood takes places in the jungle and dessert portions of the Brimstone Bleed. Tella fights for a cure for her brother, which they promise the winner, but she also starts to fight for herself. Tella becomes stronger. She becomes independent. Most importantly, Tella becomes confident.
I adore Tella's voice in the midst of what could be a super heavy read. Unlike THG (in which I HATED Katniss), Tella is snarky, quirky, misses being clean and frequently analyzes situations in a way that totally resonates with me. In short, she felt LEGIT. And I like her a lot. Like, we could be besties maybe.
The cover of FIRE & FLOOD looks a bit more Middle Grade to me, but it really isn't. The characters are all teenagers, the subject matter is heavy, and people die. Victoria Scott finds a refreshing balance of the heaviness of the plot with the lightness and likeability of Tella that make FIRE & FLOOD a fun and enjoyable read.
Fix er up: While this book wasn't MG, it didn't SCREAM Young Adult either. It's one of those inbetweeny books and I have a hard time knowing how to recommend this out to people because of that. Regardless, I enjoyed it!
Fave Quote: "There are moments in the jungle where I can't help but laugh at how my life has changed in these last four days. Drinking form a stream, in the belly of a cave, is one of those moments. Yesterday, if this had happened, I would have daydreamed about my leopardprint house slippers and my grandmother's crocheted blanket that I've kept at the end of my bed since forever."