This sequel is loosely based on Virgil s Aeneid The adventure that Pen finds herself on in this story is not as enjoyable as the first In Love in the Time of Global Warming , Pen meets new people after the great Earth Shaker She is on a mission to find her family She fights Giants and becomes a Hero.In The Island Of Excess Love , Pen and her friends find themselves on a hopeless adventure to the Island of Excess Love and The Island of Shades These two islands are filled with vices and tests that have to be conquered and won in order to make it out alive I felt Pen wasn t strong at all in this story.I think Venice grew to be a better person in this book He should be the leader now that Pen has proven she can t defeat her sins She made me angry with her weakness Hex of course had his faults too He was too prideful and didn t communicate with Pen or his friends In the end everyone got what was coming to them. I was really impressed with Francesca Lia Block s Love in the Time of Global Warming Naturally, since I am incapable of doing thirty seconds worth of research on a book before I read it, I didn t realize it had a sequel until I finished it I try to never quit a series unless I m really not feeling it, so here we are at The Island of Excess Love There may be spoilers ahead for the first book Trigger warnings rape, misgendering.Pen, her brother Venice, and their friends Hex, Ez, and Ash have been scraping by at the pink house after the apocalypse, but their adventures are far from over When a ghost ship appears in the sea outside their home, it starts them on a quest that loosely parallels The Aeneid to an island ruled by a magical king who thrives on beauty and temptation.It s entirely clear to me why no one has ever heard of this sequel, since it falls well short of its predecessor in a number of ways I didn t fully think through the ramifications of a sequel before I decided to read this, but I realized in the first few chapters that no matter what happened, I probably wasn t going to like it My children were safe and happy at the end of the last book, and I wanted them to stay that way but then, there wouldn t be a book, of course.I found the Odyssey parallels in Global Warming interesting and occassionally over my head , but the Aeneid connections feel a lotforced I mfamiliar and sympathetic with Dido s story than Aeneas s, but I m not sure the parallel brought a whole lot to the story Block is telling It has elements in it that are interesting, but overall, it didn t keep my attention the way the first novel did, and the writing seemed to lack some of the beauty mysticism as well.While I praised Global Warming for its diverse cast and LGBTQ representation, Excess Love has been criticized for some of itsproblematic themes The first is that Hex is in no way done justice as a trans character here When the king is courting Pen, she mentions that she s never been with a man before, as if Hex is suddenly not a man, and he s misgendered several times before that That s not okay More on the other after the spoilers mark.Not surprisingly, the king s advances drive a wedge between Pen and Hex There were a lot of directions the character development could have gone, but that fallout isn t adequately dealt with Ez and Ash are littlethan background characters, and no one except Venice gets the development they deserve I found myself unsatisfied with the way Block leaves things All in all, I think it s well worth it to read Global Warming, but also perfectly acceptable to pretend that Excess Love never happened I enjoyed parts of it because I enjoy the characters and the world building, but it also has to be taken with a heap of salt.SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS TURN BACK BEFORE IT S TOO LATE.It s not really clear whether Pen is in control when she sleeps with the king, but it looks an awful lot like she s magically date raped Worse, she recieves a lot of criticism and slut shaming for it I understand Hex s feelings of betrayal, but rather than focus on the relationship dynamic between the two of them, the narrative maintains a critical tone toward Pen She s awash in feelings of guilt and shame, and we re offered little insight into Hex s feelings other than his anger at her There are better ways to handle issues like this but, again, it doesn t get the proper attention, and things are left rather open ended. Pen Has Lost Her Parents She S Lost Her Eye But She Has Fought Kronen She Has Won Back Her Fragile Friends And Her Beloved Brother Now Pen, Hex, Ash, Ez, And Venice Are Living In The Pink House By The Sea, Getting By On Hard Work, Companionship, And Dreams Until The Day A Foreboding Ship Appears In The Harbor Across From Their Home As Soon As The Ship Arrives, They All Start Having Strange Visions Of Destruction And Violence Trance Like, They Head For The Ship And Their New Battles BeginThis Companion To Love In The Time Of Global Warming Follows Pen As She Searches For Love Among The Ruins, This Time Using Virgil S Epic Aeneid As Her Guide A Powerful And Stunning Book Filled With Francesca Lia Block S Beautiful Language And Inspiring Characters Imagine you re back in time when those fanfics about a boy and a girl, complite strangers, meet each other, immediately fall inlove with each other, fuck, than the boy dies in some odd circumstances and the girl is surprisingly pregnant and if there is a happy end, than she finds a man in the face of her BFF and live happily ever after, are still popular and consider it for a moment would you like it even though you know that it is not what it s supposed to be Especially when it s a book about apocalypse You know, I am an easy reader I rate books with five or four starsoften than with 3 or even 2, but with 1 I rate as rare as possible Just think about how bad this book was that I rated it with one star.It wasn t full with problems around food or water or survival, no, it was full with teen drama like some soup operish teen fiction but at the time of global warming.I regret reading this book and I m gonna try to forget it and stay with the possitive feelings about the first one. Does the guy on the cover have.antlers I was meh about LOVE IN THE TIME OF GLOBAL WARMING but THE ISLAND OF EXCESS LOVE didn t even live up to the first The retelling aspect was even looser this time around and the characters acted poorly to one another specifically because there needed to be conflict rather than it feeling natural to the story.I felt like this one tried too hard to be better than the first rather than its own story and it really hurt it because it ended up feeling like a cheap copy of the first with different inspiration I m also not a fan of cheating so be warned that this happens in this book It could be called a parallel or whatever but it was stupid and not necessary.I thought the length of the chapters was awkward as well The pacing was alright until the chapter that lasts like 60 pages The others you flew through but this one took so long because you kept wondering when it was going to end I think the best part of this book was it s short chapters but that wasn t the case with this particular chapter and that disappointed me.I m not sure I would recommend this one unless you REALLY loved the first but I do wantretellings of mythology that include LGBTQ characters I just wish this had been better. What I like most about this book, and about Love in the Time of Global Warming, are the way she evokes classical epic, not just by name dropping, but by writing prose that evokes he ancient epics When she writes about characters sitting down to a meal after their private safe world has been invaded, you can hear the echoes of Homer and Virgil, albeit updated with modern appliances Ez takes a ration of almonds from our stand and roasts apples on the hibachi stove for breakfast After we ve eaten and fed Argos the dog we all gather in the living room We try to stay busy with our morning mediation, and yoga class, our reading and drawing and repairs Im mending some shirts and Venice is attempting to fix a broken chair, but its like we can t really concentrate Hex has taken his sword down from the wall above our bed and every so often he reaches for it as if to reassure himself You can almost hear and see overlaid the image of the battered trojans in book one of the Aeneid They sit on the shore after the storm at sea, eating, and talking and trying to allay their anxiety about What the fuck are we gonna do now The book is shot through with not just references to The Aeneid, but as a reference for the characters to work out the rest of their lives in the wake of an apocalypse Brilliant use of the source material But not as engaging as Love in the Time of Global Warming Too much of the book taken up with the illusion vs reality theme, with too many falshbacks, flash forwards, and dream sequences, and as a result parts of the book dont always feel authentic, or genuine I get that the main point of the book is that survivor trauma is often about figuring out the real concerns from the general everpresent anxiety that surrounds the sufferer, but i had a hard time staying invested Still, Im hoping for another instalment. Oh man I love Francesca Lia Block, and this was totally going to get five stars from me Spoilers spoilers spoilers BUT.Pen has sex with the Enchanted King on the Island, after Hex throws a fit about illusions and storms off without saying a where he s going, b if he s even coming back It doesn t appear like he s coming back For all intents and purposes, it looks like homeboy flew the coop and abandoned them all Not to mention the Island is a wild place of enchantments and everyone is vaguely high on love drugs the whole time they re there The King loves Pen and has seen her in prophecies Built this whole island for her, so she would be in comfort, and rest in order to go further on her journey and put the world back to order.Hex LEAVES Pen, thoroughly distraught, turns to the person who appears to love her to most in the world and makes a conscious choice to sleep with them.Which she then beats herself up about, slut shames, and generally is way too hard on herself without placing any blame on the situation Hex left her in And then later is like, But I was drunk and high and you know what that s like And I m like, girl, you made a conscious choice and that s okay Hex fucked up too You re both allowed to fuck up and still love each other Abandoning your partner is not okay Neither is cheating but she didn t even know it was cheating, because he left And then she s pregnant.Now, this is a retelling of Greek epics, which means this baby might be Achilles, but Pen has also been both Odysseus AND Aeneas so far, and the Iliad happens BEFORE The Odyssey or The Aeneid in episodic structure, so I don t know where Block is going with this.Also I am SICK of women becoming pregnant to advance the plot It s boring, cliche, and I expected better. i couldn t give this 1 star because i really, really love how FLB writes it s good regardless of how much i hate the actual story, lmao.edit i slept on it and this homophobic, transphobic, rape apologist mess is a 1 star.i can t get over what the message of this sequel is i m furious honestly view spoiler basically, Pen is raped she is literally magic enchanted and drunk, and a man has sex with her and i can t remember if she specifically identifies as anything in the first book but RIGHT BEFORE this happens she says she s never desired a cis man before, and her mind protests that she s betraying Hex but this man verbally gets inside her head and tells her they re meant to be together, she s REALLY CLEARLY being magically manipulated but it s not treated like that first of all the sex is implicitly described as being better than what she had with Hex and it s treated as a dumb mistake she made that hurts her boyfriend and she apologizes so much for it and it essentially breaks them up and i m just so mad OH AND did i mention she gets pregnant from that and there s no question about whether or not she keeps the baby not even a split second hm this guy manipulated me and now i m pregnant and this child is going to come into a world where giants eat people, maybe i should consider not having it hide spoiler I was not as impressed with this book as the first It still had lovely imagery due to Block s writing I just didn t like how the story was told or the choices the characters made.
Francesca Lia Block is the author of than twenty five books of fiction, non fiction, short stories and poetry She received the Spectrum Award, the Phoenix Award, the ALA Rainbow Award and the 2005 Margaret A Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as other citations from the American Library Association and from the New York Times Book Review, School Library Journal and Publisher s Week
- 224 pages
- The Island of Excess Love (Love in the Time of Global Warming, #2)
- Francesca Lia Block
- 14 October 2018 Francesca Lia Block