Series: Fire & Flood #1
Published by: Scholastic Press on February 25, 2014
Genre: Action, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the Book • Goodreads
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?
I loooooved Fire & Flood! Honestly, the main thing that pulled me into this book was the “animal companion” aspect. I’ve always been a crazy fan of things like The Wild Thornberries, Pokémon, and The Golden Compass—TV shows, movies, and books that have some kind of animal companion or “talking to animals” aspect. I just love it! It always makes me want to disappear into that universe and get an animal companion of my own. And Fire & Flood totally had a Pokémon vibe. I ADORED IT!! I want a freaking Pokémon.
So that was by far my favourite part of the story. All of the animals have different abilities and I loved slowly having them revealed!
The book is all about competing in this race across different ecosystems. And damn some of that shit was scary. There were parts of Fire & Flood that had me shaking with disgust. Honestly those parts mostly involved creepy crawlies. And leeches. OH GOD, THE LEECHES!!!!! I think I may have PTSD.
But another part that became scary was how some people were more competitive than others. Some had the “let’s band together and help each other out” idea. But others had the “let’s kill off the competition” idea. Eeks!
There is a romance in the story. It progresses very slowly over the course of the book. No insta-love! *fist pump* It could be sort of frustrating in that times, but just in that “Oh my god KISS ALREADY” way. But the love interest, Guy, was pretty hot. He was a total wilderness boy scout type, which made him extremely resourceful.. and that’s sexy. He was also super mysterious, which could be a little annoying, but it wasn’t that bad.
I was kind of hit and miss with Tella though. At first she seemed a bit annoying and stuck up, but I ignored it because I figured it would fade.. and it mostly did, but there were still flashes of her being annoying and materialistic. I just didn’t think those parts were necessary and I wish they had been left out because I really wanted to like her all the time (instead of just half the time).
There’s no place like Nordstrom, there’s no place like Nordstrom.
(Okay, that quote actually did make me chuckle.)
I pray that the orange pack I’m wearing holds Chanel makeup. And a brush. And a mirror.
Really? How about supplies to help you survive?
I have not a spot of makeup on my face.
Everyone looks like shit. No one cares how you look; you’re in a race that could cost you your life.
For a moment, I imagine winning the Cure for Cody. On the one hand, after he’s better, I could be all quiet-hero and never mention how difficult the race was. People will talk behind my back and say, She’s so brave. She never even brings it up, but we know it must have been terrible. That Tella, she’s amazing.
On the other hand, I could go for martyr-who-will-never-let-it-go. I could shove it in Cody’s face every chance I got. I’d be like, Hey, Cody, enjoying that doughnut? You wouldn’t be if I hadn’t saved your ass. And, Hey, Cody, nice wedding you’re having here. You know what you’d be doing today if I hadn’t saved you? Not getting married.
Maybe those are kind of small things, but every time they came up I was just like, Really? Is that necessary? Because other than those little, “OMG I’M NOT WEARING MAKEUP THIS IS HORRIBLE!” snippets, Tella could actually be quite cool. I love how she was so into the animal companions (like I would be!) and really cared for hers. And she kind of just wanted to be friends with all the other competitors, which is probably how I’d be too! Haha.
Overall I really enjoyed this book! THE ANIMALS! SO FREAKING CUTE! OH MYGOD!! But also it was exciting and creepy (THE FUCKING LEECHES!!) and even a bit romantic. I definitely can’t wait to read the second book!