Title: The Game of Love and Death
Author: Martha Brockenbrough
Part of a series? No, a standalone.
Synopsis (from the back of my copy) : Love is more than a game. Love and Death choose their players in an eternal game. Death has never lost and Love will do anything to win.
Henry and Flora find each other, not knowing they are the players. Can their love be enough to keep them both alive?
Rating: 4.75 stars.
I picked this book up because I thought it sounded a little bit like The Night Circus (both of them having a game the players don't know about). And, just like The Night Circus, I loved it! I found the writing style wonderful, and it only took me a few pages to adjust to it. I also like how chapters were short; for some reason, I feel like this makes me read faster, so the seventy-two chapters flew by! If you like The Night Circus, historical books, or a great book in general, I would recommend this book. However, if you aren't a fan of romance in books, or if you prefer books with lots of action and tension at the moment, maybe wait a bit to read The Game of Love and Death, as you may not appreciate it as much.
*SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ON*
First of all, this story does kind of contain 'instalove' in the sense that as soon as Flora and Henry see each other, they feel a connection to one another, but I didn't have a problem with this; their relationship was basically bound to happen when they were babies by Love and Death. Also, they were so sweet, and I loved how their relationship was filled with music and planes and 'Somedays'.
Like Ethan's feelings for Henry, I did guess Love and Death's feelings for each other, but these were the only parts of the book that I predicted, so I wouldn't say this is a predictable book. There are lots of events caused by Love or Death that make the plot change directions.
Henry was definitely my favourite character. He was hopeful, kind, talented...a perfect fictional boyfriend! Having said that, Ethan was also a possible favourite character, as he was loyal to Henry. It made me so sad to read about how he was scared to admit he was gay, as in the 1930s there will have been real people who felt this way. It took me a while to warm to Death (there's a sentence I never thought I'd type!), but ultimately I ended up feeling sorry for her, as she had to feel the 'unrelenting loneliness of being the only one of her kind; the one everyone feared.' Flora was so strong and I loved how determined she was to fly planes.
The only negative I have is that Ethan's story felt incomplete. He just sort of disappeared! I think it was hinted with Annabel's dream that he died in World War 2, but his ending did not feel as solid as Henry and Flora's. I would have preferred it if, when Death came for Henry and Flora, one of the memories she saw was Ethan knocking on their door, or Henry and him bumping into each other on a street - just something that would have led to his story feeling finished.
Some of my favourite quotes:
'No self-respecting camel eats casserole. It could contain a relative.'
'If it's us versus the world, my money's on us.'
'A life with all its business unfinished is a life too cautiously lived.'
'All of this was how Love showed his affection for humans and their strangely beautiful, optimistic hearts. To be written into story. That was how even the lost lived on.'
Have you read this book? What did you think?
Thanks for reading(: