Friday, April 6, 2018

Book Review: The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenborough

Title: The Game of Love and Death
Written by: Martha Brockenbrough
Published: April 28, 201 by Scholastic

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Antony and Cleopatra. Helen of Troy and Paris. Romeo and Juliet. And now... Henry and Flora.

For centuries Love and Death have chosen their players. They have set the rules, rolled the dice, and kept close, ready to influence, angling for supremacy. And Death has always won. Always.

Could there ever be one time, one place, one pair whose love would truly tip the balance?

Meet Flora Saudade, an African-American girl who dreams of becoming the next Amelia Earhart by day and sings in the smoky jazz clubs of Seattle by night. Meet Henry Bishop, born a few blocks and a million worlds away, a white boy with his future assured—a wealthy adoptive family in the midst of the Great Depression, a college scholarship, and all the opportunities in the world seemingly available to him.

The players have been chosen. The dice have been rolled. But when human beings make moves of their own, what happens next is anyone’s guess.

Achingly romantic and brilliantly imagined, The Game of Love and Death is a love story you will never forget.

I have wanted to read this book for awhile now. It sounds like a book totally up my alley and I have heard really good things from people. And even after I was given a copy of the book as a gift almost a year ago I still didn't take the time to read it until now. I honestly regret that because this book was completely fantastic!

One of the things I liked most about this book was the characters. This book had seriously fantastic characters. When we are talking about a book that involves Love and Death you have to know that there was going to be some complex characters and they definitely were. Love and Death were intimately involved in the book and I seriously loved them both. It would have been so easy for them to make Death a completely evil character and Love to be a completely good but the author didn't do that. She made Death incredibly sympathetic at the same time she was devious and terrible. And she made Love make some incredibly bad decisions making him much more odious than you would expect. I loved that about this book and it made for some great characters.

Speaking of great characters, there were the main characters who I totally loved. As their champions. they were just as complex as Love and Death. Flora was tough and determined despite her circumstances, but she was also kind and loving. Henry was smart, compassionate, and a great friend but he was also sometimes selfish and with tunnel vision. But they were both very likable. In the course of the book you got incredibly invested in them and their struggles. There are some books where you have characters who seriously can't catch a break and this was one of them. It made the characters all the more sympathetic. And it made the romance all the more enjoyable. Yes, that's right, I liked the romance. It wasn't perfect but by the end I was so invested that I just had such unexpected feels.

Speaking of that ending, it was a really fantastic one. The plot on the whole here was really fantastic. It was kind of a subtle plot. It's not really the kind of book with thrilling adventure scenes or major suprises but it did have a few moments of the two. And it's also not the book that is a quiet character driven read. It kind of walks the line between the two and it does it brilliantly. It was the kind of book that draws you in with it's plot. I do think that it airs more on the side of character-driven though. it's the kind of read where the decisions characters make impact the story and the lives of others. None more so then Love and Death. it was kind of reminiscent of Classics where the gods would mess with lives of humans for their own enjoyment or because they had other reasons. I loved that about those stories and this one. It made for a completely engaging read.

But I read this book as part of my historical fiction month so I have to talk about the historical setting. For one thing this is the second book I read recently that involved planes and while that one was much more detailed and historical, this was had just as good a setting. I loved being able to see the jazz clubs and some of the other more specific things that were happening during 1937. I loved how the author took well known events like the crashing of the Hindenburg and Amelia Earhart going missing in the context of Love and Death's meddling. I love when books take real events and add fiction aspects and this book did that really well. It also did a really good job of incorporating some themes of the time. It didn't beat you over the head with them, it just really let you know what the world was like at the time.

All in all this was a completely brilliant and engaging read. I loved the complex characters, the engaging plot development, and an interesting historical setting. I totally loved it and I wish that I had read it years ago, it was great.

I give The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough 9.5 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. If you haven't read this book yet and you like historical fiction then definitely pick this book up. But even if you don't like the genre and want to read a character-driven read with complex characters. I seriously loved this book and would recommend it to everyone.

Have you read The Game of Love and Death? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping and HAPPY READING!

1 comment:

  1. I loved this book so much I read it twice. I loved the human characters, but I really loved the supernatural ones. This is one of my favorite YA historical fiction books. Great review!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!