Title: Fire & Flood (Fire & Flood #1)
Author: Victoria Scott
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Summary: 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.
Wow. Like, wow. I considered not even doing a review for this book because I felt vaguely embarrassed that I actually finished it. But here I am typing this out because I feel it’s my duty to warn everyone about this book. About this abomination of a book.
Okay, I apologize, that last sentence might have been a little extreme. But seriously, don’t read this book.
I’m sure you guys are getting tired of my constant ranting about the pathetic female protagonists, but holy shit… This one was the worst ever. EVER. I don’t even want to write about her because it’s going to make me feel physically ill.
So her name is Tella. Which I immediately found weird and annoying. She was just the worst ever. Let me give you a few examples of what sort of person she is. So she gets this ear piece thing, listens to some random voice telling her to go to some place to do something (she doesn’t know where this place is or what she is supposed to be doing) then just goes. That’s right, just gets up in the middle of the night, grabs her sparkly nail polish (no, I’m not kidding) then just goes. So she gets to this place and is supposed to grab an egg, stands there staring at them all like an idiot, while everyone else runs in and takes them all. Then she lays down and cries because she failed. But a mysterious serial killer guy (yes, she actually describes him continuously as looking like a serial killer) takes pity on her and shows her where someone dropped an egg. So she has an hour to get to some train and she is injured and bleeding. And what does she do? She goes to her car and fixes her make up then chops off all of her hair that she hates because she is just such a badass now. At this point, I put the book down and seriously considered just not even finishing it.
I just don’t understand what was going through the author’s mind when she made this character. I feel like she just tried to hard to make her cute and likable and bubbly, but it was just straight up ridiculous. And Tella was a straight up idiot. Through the whole book. For some reason, two guys become completely obsessed with her and talk about how special and unique and alive she is… The only thing unique about this girl is that she is literally the dumbest person to ever live. Not to mention, she is so vain and concentrated on her appearance, hating the more attractive girl for being hotter than her and constantly wishing for makeup to magically appear. She literally did nothing at all, except find people to mooch off of and take her through this competition without getting killed. Oh, did I mention that this “competition” is literally just a sad copy of The Hunger Games? Because it totally is. I feel like I’ve just really insulted Suzanna Collins by saying that. Sorry.
On top of everything else, there was just so much that was ridiculous in this book. First of all, the eggs hatch into all these different random animals. Foxes, lions, elephants, eagles, you name it. So the author wasn’t creative enough to come up with her own creatures, so she just took every animal and gave them some random super power. Yep, the lion, he breathes fire. The eagle, he can randomly turn invisible. And wait for this. Tella got the bestest one ever and she is super special because hers can turn into any of the other ones it wants. How super special.
Oh, and remember serial killer guy? Yeah well apparently sweet little Tella has a thing for guys that want to kill her. She falls head over heels for this guy, for no reason. I mean, he is just suddenly paying attention to her and protecting her all the time, so they are totally in love. But he is so secretive and mysterious and what happens if they make it to the end if there can only be one winner? Poor Tella, life is just so hard for her right now. But the power of their love will get them through this competition and blah, blah, blah. Did I mention that she is supposed to be here to save her brother’s life? The brother she thinks about like twice. She is so focused on herself and her love story, I don’t even understand how her brother fits into anything, because she seems to genuinely not even care about him. All she thinks about is smooching serial killer guy and what his bedroom looks like.
So there is love interest serial killer guy (it’s funny ’cause his name is actually Guy in the book) then there is actual serial killer guy. I think his name was Titus or something, and he kills a bunch of people’s animal things and people and is basically bat shit crazy. But the thing that seriously pisses me off about this guy and Tella? He basically molests Tella like three times in this book, and she just does nothing… EVERY. SINGLE. GODDAMN. TIME. I can’t stand it. I mean, I’m all for love interest guys getting all overprotective and jumping in to get all threatening when another guy is all over their lady, whatever. But I’m sick and tired of girls just doing nothing to defend themselves against this and just taking it or letting the other man deal with it. It disgusts me.
This book was also just disorienting. It just between sickly silly and light hearted to dark and disturbing. Like one second, Tella is hoping she has some makeup in her bag and swooning over serial killer guy, the next minute, other serial killer guy has a bunch of animal things captured and he is torturing them and making them walk with their kneecaps sticking out and gutting them and it was just disturbing. Or some girl has to have her finger cut off, and some dude’s cheetah fights another animal for it and eats it, but everyone has a good laugh over it, because what an epic way for her finger to go. Are you kidding me? Please, just tell me that this whole book was one big joke? Please?
Characters? Stupid and bland and unbelievable. Storyline? Ridiculous and there was no story building. Every single thing about this book? Stupid and lame and unimaginative and nothing made any sense! Gah, I’m so angry right now!