The Game of Love and Death

Featured
 
3.0
 
2.3 (1)
1672 0
The Game of Love and Death
Age Range
12+
Release Date
April 28, 2015
ISBN
978-0545668347
Buy This Book
      

Not since THE BOOK THIEF has the character of Death played such an original and affecting part in a book for young people. Flora and Henry were born a few blocks from each other, innocent of the forces that might keep a white boy and an African American girl apart; years later they meet again and their mutual love of music sparks an even more powerful connection. But what Flora and Henry don't know is that they are pawns in a game played by the eternal adversaries Love and Death, here brilliantly reimagined as two extremely sympathetic and fascinating characters. Can their hearts and their wills overcome not only their earthly circumstances, but forces that have battled throughout history? In the rainy Seattle of the 1920's, romance blooms among the jazz clubs, the mansions of the wealthy, and the shanty towns of the poor. But what is more powerful: love? Or death?

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Possible Printz material
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
2.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
What I Loved:

I don't put much thought into the Printz award or other major awards for YA novels because the award-winners typically don't appeal to me, but The Game of Love and Death is the first novel to make me think, "Wow, this is some serious Printz-worthy material." Brockenbrough weaves philosophical themes of what love and death are as well as what they mean to humanity throughout the novel and emphasizes those themes with writing that is openly gorgeous at some points and subtly beautiful at others, such as when she writes, "No one likes to be laughed at, Death least of all (ARC, 81)."

As the rise of #WeNeedDiverseBooks has shown, readers want more books that show the wide range of people in the world around us, not just the same identities time after time. The Game of Love and Death is bursting to the brim with diversity thanks to plenty of black characters and some QUILTBAG (queer/questioning, undecided, intersex, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, asexual, gay) characters making their way through life in the 20s before everything came crashing down. The setting is lush and female lead Flora is particularly well-written as Death's choice of player and a young woman who seems surprisingly untouched by the difficulties life brings her.

What Left Me Wanting More:

Though the presence of those QUILTBAG and POC characters is appreciated, the way they move and act in the story is problematic at times in ways that would take a while to list and give proper context to. The novel has many subplots for readers who want to get as much as possible from the book, but there are so many that few of them get the kind of development they need to be what they'd like to be. Unfortunately, that includes the relationship between Henry and Flora that Love and Death ordained when they chose the two as the players in their eternal game. Their love doesn't feel natural most of the time, but some of their moments together are admittedly sweet.

Final Verdict:

Readers who hunger for diverse historical novels, magical realism, and gorgeous writing will devour The Game of Love and Death in a day or two. Its missteps in the details may shake some readers, but the overarching ideas and the questions it asks will attract many more.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
2.3
Plot 
 
2.0  (1)
Characters 
 
2.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
3.0  (1)
Already have an account? or Create an account
FANTASTIC premise POOR execution
Overall rating 
 
2.3
Plot 
 
2.0
Characters 
 
2.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
This book didn't work for me at all.

The romance was too dry, I didn't care for the main characters, I didn't root for them. As I always say when writing a romance the task of the author is not to show me the love but to make me feel it. If you introduce two characters who were meant to be and that love each others no matter what having only just met I just won't bother to symphatize with them because you didn't give me the means to do it.

Plus I was expecting a quirky read, I thought this was going to be a Neil Gaiman-esque story but I was fooled. Love and Death reminded me of Crowley and Aziraphale from Good Omens at first but then I realized they were plain and two-dimensional. They're too human and are not moved by any motivation at all. The author could have explained the Game better, could have narrated previous ones and not just throwing names of famous lovers every now and then just to spare herself some more work.

I found the story way too long but basically, plot-wise, nothing interesting and believable happened.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Fifteen-year-old JL Markham's life used to be filled with carnival...
The Lost Legends
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
All her life, Princess Adalina heard tales of the legendary,...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
In a series of interwoven fictionalized stories, Deborah Noyes gives...
In the Hall with the Knife
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A murderer could be around every corner in this thrilling...
Birthday
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Boyhood meets The Sun Is Also a Star in this...
A Betrayal Exposed (Not Every Girl Book 3)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Olivia Davenport’s life is finally going smoothly, until if falls...
Finding Mr. Better-Than-You
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A heartbroken teen, with the help of her best friends,...
Freaky in Fresno
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Influencers. Movie nerds. Beauty queens. And one pink convertible. Have...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Death marked her from her very first breath. ...
Only Mostly Devastated
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Will Tavares is the dream summer fling―he's fun, affectionate, kind―but...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Defending everything they know could cost them everything they...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
They wanted a chance; they were given a choice: ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Under pressure. Under fire. Some will rise...and some will...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The action of Hunger Games, the scope of Maze Runner,...
Lucky Caller
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
With the warmth, wit, intimate friendships, and heart-melting romance...
Echoes Between Us
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Veronica sees ghosts―more specifically, her mother’s ghost. The afterimages...

Latest Member Reviews

Starfell: Willow Moss & the Lost Day (Starfell, #1)
 
4.0
"STARFELL is a charming and magic-filled middle grade fantasy that sweeps young readers away into another world. Willow Moss seemed..."
Journey of the Pale Bear
 
5.0
"What an adventure I just had! From the moment, I opened the book, I was transported to the 13th century..."
Hey Grandude!
 
4.5
"'Hey Grandude!' by Paul McCartney, illustrated by Kathryn Durst, is a fun, colorful, and exciting adventure. The illustrations enhance the..."
The Peacock Detectives
 
4.0
"THE PEACOCK DETECTIVES is a story told by a young narrator, who is in Grade 6 but reads at a..."
Big Nate: Back to Back Hits: On a Roll and Goes for Broke
 
5.0
"This is a combination of two Big Nate novels; Big Nate on a Roll and Big Nate Goes For Broke...."
The Fowl Twins (The Fowl Twins, #1)
 
5.0
"I have never read the original Artemis Fowl books but now I absolutely intend to. The Fowl Twins is highly..."
Amelia Bedelia & Friends: Beat the Clock
 
5.0
"Brilliant. This was the perfect book to read with my five year old niece. It's every bit as..."
Amelia Bedelia & Friends: The Cat's Meow
 
5.0
"Cute and Fun There's no end to the adorableness of Amelia Bedelia and this book is no different. Amelia..."
The Monster Hypothesis
 
5.0
"THE MONSTER HYPOTHESIS is a really fun middle grade investigative mystery. Kick is living with her grandmother, a fake psychic..."
Carnevil (Monsterstreet #3)
 
5.0
"Ren and Kip aren't sure what to expect when they visit their Aunt for Halloween. She works at an Old..."
Stuffed
 
4.0
"STUFFED follows Clark and Foon. Clark is a boy who loves stuffed animals and feels that they keep him safe...."
The Edge of the Word (Mightier than the Sword, #2)
 
5.0
"THE EDGE OF THE WORD is another absolutely delightful interactive story, where you are the main character in the book...."
Rat Rule 79: An Adventure (Yonder, #1)
 
5.0
"RAT RULE 79 is charming, ridiculous, and completely engaging. Fred is about to turn thirteen in a new place, as..."
Magic Tree House Deluxe Holiday Edition: Christmas in Camelot
 
4.0
"Jack and Annie get an invitation from "M" to spend Christmas in Camelot, which excites them since they haven't heard..."
Awesome Dog 5000 (#1)
 
4.0
"Marty Fontana and his mother move to a new town for her job, and have a house that belonged to..."
The Big Game
 
4.0
"Danny lives in Texas with his mother and former Pittsburgh Steelers player father, who now sells farm machinery. The father..."
Pippa Park Raises Her Game
 
4.0
"Pippa loves to play basketball and struggles a tiny bit in school. She lives with her much older sister, Mina,..."
Superman of Smallville
 
4.0
"Clark Kent is trying to be an ordinary thirteen-year-old boy but he has a very extraordinary pastime. He loves saving..."
Magic Tree House Deluxe Holiday Edition: Christmas in Camelot
 
5.0
"Jack and Annie are so excited when they receive a Royal Invitation to attend Christmas in Camelot! However, they only..."
DC Super Hero Girls: At Metropolis High
 
3.0
"SUPER HERO GIRLS brings us Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Green Lantern, Bumblebee, and Zatanna as teenagers. When they aren't trying..."