Title: The Island of Excess Love
Author: Francesca Lia Block
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Pub Date: 08/26/14
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: I was not particularly pleased when I saw that there was a sequel to one of my favorite 2013 books, Love in the Time of Global Warming, since I enjoyed it so much as a stand-alone. Fortunately, I was not disappointed by the sequel. Excess Love doesn’t offer as much plot or world-building as the first book, but it does plunge into broader themes and explores the emotional narrative of the characters in an original and entertaining way. The story focuses on themes of illusion, blossoming sexuality, and betrayal, all playing out within a compact 200 pages.
Memorable or Forgettable: The dreamlike quality of the prose and the cast of sort-of-superpowered misfit survivors work well for diving into some real strangeness while telling an emotional storyline that feels true. However, the plot of this sequel was not as varied and imaginative as the first book, and at a couple points didn’t quite make sense. I don’t usually like romance novels, and since the emotions and romantic interest/love triangle was the focus of this story, I was a bit disappointed. At the same time, the Greek-ish post apocalypse landscape, original portrayals of sexuality, and fully developed characters make it an enjoyable book despite the romantic focus.
Cover: The cover annoyed me. It was enough like the first book to be interesting with its silhouettes and little clues, but did it have to be so very PINK? Also, this galley was chock full of typos, with misspellings, missing quotation marks and commas that sometimes made it hard to read.
Age Range: 14 through 17
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal
tags: romance / post-apocalyptic / ya lit