“And then I’d have to decide if I really wanted something exciting to happen or if I just liked to dream”
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?
Victoria Scott's breathtaking novel grabs readers by the throat and doesn't let go.
I got my hands on an uncorrected copy of Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott at RT 2014 (after the book was released) so, Disclaimer: some of my notes may not be relevant to the published work. That said: let’s dive right in.
Cliff notes version: Tella receives an invitation to participate in the Brimstone Bleed: a long and treacherous race with the ultimate prize at the end; a cure that can that save her dying brother. In the first two legs of the race she battles bears, fire ants, the unyielding elements, and her hormones. She’s competing against 122 other contenders but there can only be one winner.
Tella is not a warrior. She’s passionate and fierce but she also longs for mani/pedis with her best friend and munching junk food while watching reality TV. She’s driven by love to do incredible things that are dangerous and horrible. You’re drawn into her world but this incredibly personable narrative and you feel everything that she feels. Victoria Scott makes it real; brings to life this world that seems impossible for its morbid gallows humor of a premise. But Tella brings it to life because she’s affected by the world around her. She flinches, and hesitates, and makes bad decisions but her good heart and her relentless determination make her an incredibly loveable character.
Plus Maddox and Guy are the two sweetest boys you could ever want in your life. I want two. Please?
And it doesn’t hurt that Victoria Scott has written an amazing cast of characters into a dystopian world of emotion (or that’s just me). A world of darkness and beauty. Its twists keep your heart racing and your head spinning. This is a page turner, no question.
You’ll see my rollercoaster of emotion all over my Random Notes While Reading:
· Opening is spectacular, character introduction, personality, believable narration
· Death by tree. Sounds honorable
· I love her sass and her personality – because they are separate beings
· Dude! That’s so cool
· Nothing good is ever at the end of a winding staircase. Yup
· What? This is so weird. I’m actually getting excited
· So we’re ignoring the blue flags now, Miss Tella?
· Stand in the rain to avoid bugs. My kind of girl
· She doesn’t care what her egg is as long as it’s healthy
· “Today, I will die at the hands of a misconception.”
· Called it!
· “Homeboy’s got a flag!”
· Tella is my spirit animal
· I want a KD-8. I really do
· Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew
· THAT WAS SO COOL!
· You’re so cute!
· Alright, Guy coming to the rescue
· Well shit
· That’s so weird but it’s so cool
· I’m intrigued by this Guy. Not “in love at first sight” more like “what are you?”
· Okay, now I’ve got the giggles
· Just…hit him back
· No. No, no, no. Don’t let me get attached to these people and then do THAT
· Don’t make me love you, my heart can’t take it
· One sip and you’re gone. That’s so cute
· Worst. Timing. Ever.
· Holy crap
· I actually had to stop reading when she got the letter
· Nasty little men like you always get their comeuppance
· I mean it’s cool that you have a team but “Go Team Guy”?
· Honey, you have it bad
· There’s always that subtle difference between a maniac and a hot maniac
· Yup. Spirit animal. Dead. In the desert.
· I’m a puddle. I’m a freaking puddle
· It’s not that I’m in love with you, Tella, it’s just that I connect so much with your personality
· You keep telling me Hannah’s title like we’ve forgotten
· I mean, yeah, if you’re going to lose a finger, this is the way to lose it
· “Titus’s girl”? I’m gagging
· I have never been so happy to see you in my whole life *runs into side character’s arms*
· THAT WAS SO COOL in a horrible, morbid way
· That’s a horrible requirement. Stop making me feel
· I actually had a moment where I didn’t think she’d survive
· Oh no
· Oh. My. God.
Those last two notes encompass that last few chapters where so I was sitting up, just turning page after page going “Oh my god.” “No.” “Oh my god.” “No.” several times.
Fans of The Hunger Games Series need to read this book. I’m anxiously awaiting Salt and Stone (Book Two).