Block, F. L. (2013). Love in the time of global warming. New York: Henry Holt and Company.
Age Range: 15+
A retelling of Homer’s Odyssey, Penelope (Pen) is separated from her friends and family in the earthquake and tsunami that destroyed the city of Los Angeles. She sets out into the desert to find her family, her journey surprisingly parallel to a copy of The Odyssey that she carries. This includes attacks from cloned giants, poisonous flowers, witches, and sirens as she and her companions struggle to find safety in a world gone mad. Pen is a strong heroine who is startlingly aware of her situation (playing out the events of the Odyssey) and surrounded by companions who are both diverse in race and sexuality. Pen herself is an interesting character who might not be accessible to all readers: she has an in-depth love of Renaissance and Classical art and literature that is likely lost on typical young adults. The writing is artfully done but difficult to follow, and while the excerpts from The Odyssey help to explain the storyline, they hinder an otherwise strong narrative. A retelling of folklore should not need the original piece inserted in order to be understood.