Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December 10, 2014: 'Fire & Flood'

Welcome to Book City
Date: December 10, 2014

Spoilers Ahead

Fire & Flood
Victoria Scott 

Time is slipping away....

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?

City Calendar:
This is what happened during the week.
Tella gets an earpiece. Her dad tries to destroy it. Tella saves it and follows the instruction to get a Pandora. She gets a broken egg and goes to a bus/train station. She gets a ticket and meets other Contenders on the train. She gets a sleeping pill and lands in a jungle. She gets caught in the rain and finds a guy to follow to the base camp. Her Pandora hatches, and she names it Madox. The two are attacked by ante. They run and are attacked by chimps. They jump into a ravine. They find other Contenders Caroline, Ransom, Levi, Harper, and Dink. They are attacked by a bear Pandora. They are saved by Guy the guy Tella was following. The bear Pandora's Contender Titus and Guy follow. Tella learns about the Brimstone Bleed. They get on a raft when they find they have to head north. Caroline falls off, and Dink jumps in to help her. They get out of the river and arrive at the base camp. Sadly, Levi is killed before he gets there. Guy kisses Tella at a celebration for the survivors. She gets a letter from Cody her brother she's fighting for. Caroline and Dink almost leave. 
They start the next stage the desert.
They meet Jaxon and Olivia. They trek a Ross the desert during the day. Olivia's Pandora an elephant discovers water using its special powers. Tella finds the truth about the Brimstone Bleed from Guy. Olivia is bitten by a snake. Guy chops her pinkie off. They find a flag. Tella realizes Dink is Caroline's Pandora. Guy kills Dink. They are attacked by the Triggers and Titus. Tella is taken by the Triggers. She sees a guy die by quicksand but is protected by Braun. She hears about the message about killing a Pandora to get into the base camp. Guy comes and saves Tella. Tella is forced to flee. She finds Harper and helps her friend by going to save Harper's Pandora. She is confronted by Titus. Titus's Pandora saves her from being killed by Titus. Titus is killed. Harper runs to the base camp. Tella gets down with Titus's bear and Madox's help. She meets Ransom again. She kills Levi's Pandora. She goes to the base camp. Harper, Ransom, and Caroline leave the game as the others prepare for the next leg.
And that's what happened this week.

Personal Ads:
Typical American girl. Has sick brother Cody. Fighting for her brother. Likes Guy. Has Madox as Pandora. Kind. Caring. Wants to help. Trusts easily. Changes into a caring person. Wants to help. 

I was surprised about this book. Really surprised. I had a bad first impression, but I gave it a chance. And I got pretty into this book.
I get why people say this is 'Hunger Games'-esque. But don't just...think of it in that way. Try the book. You might end up liking it. I know I didn't like it until Tella changed. (I really didn't like Beginning Tella. I mean...snotty. Stuck-up. Caring for your clothes more than your life. That's Beginnig Tella.) Just...try it. 
I can you not love the action? The action is fast-paced. You're on your feet. Will Tella survive? Will she die? You can't but wonder. I love the action. It's not the dull action you get. It's not quick, sword-fighting. It's the action I've been waiting for! I can you not love the action? (Wow. I sound...childish. I apologize.)
And the Pandoras! Amazing. Who would have thought? They're genetically altered animals. (But, -spoiler- Dink is more humanoid.) They are special. Powerful. Fire-makers. Water-finders. Earth-shakers. They're the animal versions of elemental wizard/witches/mages/magicians. Wow. That's amazing. Kudos to the author for thinking of that. I really enjoy the Pandora. They protect. They defend. And Madox? He's cute. In the overly-protective-crazy-big-brother way. He is not only Tella's Pandora. He's her friend. Her companion. The Pandoras aren't just fighting machines. They are, in an odd way, people too. 
I also like that Tella changes. She seems very...narcissistic at first. She changes, though. She starts off the typical American teen. I can't ever forget that she wondered what type of underwear she (and she had the nice Victoria Secret ones) when she woke up with new clothes on. (Plus...wasn't she wondering what perverted male or female changed her? Hm?) She drops the American teen act and gets herself together. (I assume it's because she's thrust into the Brimstone Bleed. She finally wakes up and starts acknowledging that she needs to survive. Not just for her. For Cody.) She ends up caring and the sweet mother-hen type. Which I don't mind. I think that her change is the best thing. (Not necessarily Tella herself.)
But...I had problems.
The Tella in the beginning? I was ranting. To everyone. My poor friends... She was stuck up. Self-absorbed. I know I mention her change as something I liked. But her original self was downright annoying. I couldn't stand it. I was ranting. Complaining about her personality. I know that people are certain ways. But she is the stereotypical American teen. And I hate it. I truly hate the way the world stereotypes Americans. Sure, we eat fast food. Sure, we watch too much television. Sure, we are glued to our phones. (Not all. But most. Some. Enough.) But that doesn't mean that our main girl needs to be us. No. She should be brave. (Which she doesn't really end up as.) Caring. (Which she ends up as.) And not American-y. Get my drift? I prefer not to see our faults as Americans plainly laid out for all to see in a character. Especially the main character. If it was Harper...or Caroline...I would be fine. Totally fine. Completely fine. But Tella? I expected more from you. (I know that sounds like I'm speaking to a dog. I apologize.)  
And...Guy and Tella. Why? Why? The romance in young adult fiction is just too...unrealistic. Physical attraction is one thing. And don't blame teenagers, authors! Not all of them want to just have sex in a dark, damp corner. Not all want a boyfriend/girlfriend. Why is this portraying our youth in such an unseemly light? I don't get it. But. Back to the couple of the story. Tella seems only physically attracted to Guy. And I can't tell with Guy. He's so mysterious...that we get nothing. No thoughts. No emotions. Only...Guy. Ripped, tall, tanned Guy. (What's with the tans? Not all teens are tanned. I've seen enough fair-skinned teens in my lifetime.) Tella may be going for Guy to get information. To better her in the Brimstone Bleed. I mean...that's what Beginning Tella would do. But After Tella? The kind one? The caring one? The one who didn't want to kill Titus's Pandora Tella? I'm not sure. I think...Tella does care for Guy. But not in the romantic sense you might think. Maybe the we're-fighting-to-the-death-and-I-need-allies-and-you're-hot-so-let's-protect-each-other-but-you-almost-care-for-me. If that makes any sense. 

Sunny with a 20% chance of rain

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