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The Game of Love and Death

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3.77  ·  Rating details ·  4,468 Ratings  ·  989 Reviews
Antony and Cleopatra. Helen of Troy and Paris. Romeo and Juliet. And now... Henry and Flora.

For centuries Love and Death have chosen their players. They have set the rules, rolled the dice, and kept close, ready to influence, angling for supremacy. And Death has always won. Always.

Could there ever be one time, one place, one pair whose love would truly tip the balance?

Meet
...more
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published April 28th 2015 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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Martha This book is marketed as YA, but should have adult appeal (I've been told it does). I would say it's excellent--but that's because I wrote it. :-)…moreThis book is marketed as YA, but should have adult appeal (I've been told it does). I would say it's excellent--but that's because I wrote it. :-) That said, it has received three starred reviews: from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist. (less)
Martha It's told from the points of view of Henry, Flora, Love, and Death (and a couple of smaller others, on occasion). I wouldn't say it's narrated by any,…moreIt's told from the points of view of Henry, Flora, Love, and Death (and a couple of smaller others, on occasion). I wouldn't say it's narrated by any, though, because it's third person and not first. (less)

Community Reviews

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Emily May
“There was something about him. Something worth knowing. That much was certain.”

In life, there are times when you meet someone and realize "there's just something about them". Maybe you know what I mean. Those people who may not be the best-looking, not even your usual type, not the smartest, the funniest or the "best" at anything really... but, for some reason, you're drawn towards them. And it's wonderful. You don't have to be a romantic to think there's something incredible about being pull
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Lola
3 1/2 stars.

She whispered this into the baby’s ear: Someday, everyone you love will die. Everything you love will crumble to ruin. This is the price of life. This is the price of love. It is the only ending for every true story.

I hardly ever read historical fiction. We all have our favourite genres, mine being fantasy, LGBT and romance and, believe it or not, this book combined all three of them and dispersed them on its 1937 setting. What a fantastic result!

There’s a game being played, the ga
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C.G. Drews
This was just PERFECTION and SO MANY FEELS. I accidentally shipped Love and Death as an OTP (what?!? These things happen) and it's one of the most gorgeously wonderfully written stories of ever. It was like The Book Thief meets Code Name Verity and I could SCREECH BECAUSE THAT'S SO BEAUTIFUL. It's set in 1930s and it's basically about Henry (who is white) and Flora (who is black) and how Love and Death have this game to see if they could fall in love. Basically Love is an immensely passionate sh ...more
jv poore
The Game of Love and Death is positively packed with particulars to ponder. Love is a man, Death a woman. Each chooses a competitor, a term I use loosely; the chosen do not actually compete. Most people are unaware of the Game, even while participating. Virtually no rules, a victor is declared; but the win seems superfluous.

Flora, an amazing aviation mechanic, is also a phenomenal pilot, possibly rivaling Amelia Earhart. It is 1937 and she “has the brown skin, and here in America, (you) pay so
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Tatiana
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Night Circus
Lovely fairy-tale fitting language, but so many missed opportunities - the rules of the "game" are very vague and unclear, romance that is not-so-epic, lacking in historic accuracy. Quite interesting perspectives of Love and Death though.
Mackenzi
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So I’m sort of off goodreads, but I made an exception just so I could talk about this book.

BECAUSE GUYS, THIS BOOK. I want to live and love and die in its pages.

There is so much to love in this book. AND I LOVE IT ALL. Planes and jazz and Seattle and 1930s and tax evasion and undercover journalism and true love and true death and Amelia Earhart and cornbread and historically accurate race relations and sexuality and Venice and baseball and every kind of love and I’m sort of incoherently infatua
...more
Billie
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that I don't want to say too much about because I'd rather you picked it up and read it for yourself. I will only say that it is a smart, beautiful book that will stay with me for a long time. It's lovely and heartbreaking and you should just go read it now. Just make sure you have tissues readily available.
Rae Meadows
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm not a reader of YA, but I'm reading with Martha in Seattle soon so this was the perfect time to read her award-winning novel. What a beautiful book. It is sincere and chaste, while grappling with big themes like race, death, love, and what it means to be human. Using an allegorical framing device of a personified Love and Death who are using human beings as their pawns in a game, Brockenbrough tells the story of Flora, an African-American girl who sings jazz and flies planes, and Henry, a wh ...more
Charnell (Reviews from a Bookworm)


The first I heard of this book was at the Scholastic Blogger Brunch, I was instantly intrigued and eager to read it. I was fascinated by the idea of Love and Death battling for centuries, in a game where death always wins. I wanted to meet these two characters, see what motivated them to play their game, especially Love who was playing a game he had always lost. Love and Death choose their players, and this is where Henry and Flora enter. The game is simple, for Love to win, the two must choose
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Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
Alternates point of views between the two lovers while Love and Death are playing their game.. This is how it all starts. They choose their players and by cheating or influencing the people in their players lives do they get to win. Which one will win and which one will lose? 

Here we have Love and Death as people who shapeshift into others and by doing so they influence this game they play to win. While Love is good and ultimately wants everyone to be happy, he is a worthy opponent. Death on the
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Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
An ARC of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts are my own.

This review (and a giveaway thru 5/4!) can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

The Game of Love and Death was absolutely exquisite. It was eloquent and beautiful, and you can't help but be pulled into the love story of Henry and Flora. But this story wasn't just about the romance; there's also a lesson or two in there about overcoming fear, among other things.

"Death is the finest teach
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Snotchocheez
Aug 23, 2016 rated it liked it
3 stars

Had I read my friends' reviews a little more carefully, I probably would've steered clear of this YA romance, not necessarily because of the romantic elements, but because of the fantastical nature of the romance. For Henry and Flora, an ill-fated mixed race couple in the 1930's, are under the thrall of Love and Death, two shape-shifting immortals who choose Henry and Flora as babies to be unknowing participants in a game (as immortals are wont to to play). If Henry and Flora fall in love
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Liz
Feb 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: enjoyed-it
Love and Death are playing the Game, their players being Henry Bishop and Flora Saudade and supporting players being Ethan, Annabel, Helen and James. So far Death has always won. Always.
This time, 1937, Love again hopes to win having learned from the past and determined to make his own rules, just like Death.
Henry is a white, wealthy and is looking forward to a life full of opportunities meanwhile Flora is African-American who dreams of flying and sings in jazz clubs.



It was a nice read, I supp
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Christina
Jun 14, 2016 marked it as dnf-didn-t-care-for-skimmed-through
DNF
I'm putting this aside for the time being and since I didn't properly finish it, I didn't feel I should give it a rating.

Based on the bit I did read, I do think that the author has a great premise with this book.

"Someday, everyone you love will die. Everything you love will crumble to ruin. This is the price of life. This is the price of love. It is the only ending for every true story."

It begins in March of 1937.
It's about a game, played by Love and Death over the course of centuries. They c
...more
Kim
4.5

The Game of Love and Death is perilous indeed. This is one where I shouldn’t reveal too much of how the book unfolds as it is best left to the reader to discover all of the mysteries and intricacies on their own. At its core this novel is a reflection on love, and loving, and life. On what it means to love, and what it means to love in the face of overwhelming obstacles.

“Someday, everyone you love will die. Everything you love will crumble to ruin. This is the price of life. This is the pric
...more
Brooke ♥booklife4life♥
At A Glance
Genre:
Young Adult; Historical Fiction
Love Triangle/Insta Love?: nope.
Cliff Hanger: nope.
Rating: 4 stars.

Score Sheet
All out of ten

Cover: 8
Plot: 8
Characters: 8
World Building: 8
Flow: 8
Series Congruity: n/a
Ending: 8

Total: 8

In Dept
Best Part:
True Love!
Worst Part: Racial Hate!
Thoughts Had: weird game; I hope love wins; *crying*

Conclusion
Continuing the Series:
n/a
Recommending: yah

Short Review: I am in love with historical fiction, especially books set between the 1920's and 1950's. I l
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Natalie (Never trust a duck)
It was just really beautifully executed. The writing was flawless, the characters were all brilliant and had depth, and I didn't know how it was going to end.
Asia
Apr 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
B-O-R-I-N-G

I skipped most of the book, because nothing was happening. I really liked the idea of the book but it just wasn't my cup of tea.
Larry H
Jan 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Love and Death are old friends and nemeses, locked in an eternal battle. One night in 1920, the two decide to play another round of their game. Each picks a young baby as their player. Love chooses Henry; Death chooses Flora. If when the two grow to adulthood they choose each other at the cost of everything else, Love wins; if they do not before a certain amount of time elapses, Death wins, and she can claim Flora's life.

Henry and Flora couldn't be more different. Henry, a young white boy, is ra
...more
Eilonwy

Thanks to Lola, whose glowing review made me want to read this book!

Review to come later today.
Angie
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015, 2-star
I did not feel the feels sadly. It was well written & engaging but I never came to care about the characters or how the game played out.
Ksenia Anske
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
What a gift this book is. What a gift. A gift of love. It reads almost like poetry. Every sentence sings. Every scene has light in it, and so much love. So much love. It is a story about a boy and a girl who can't be together according to those who don't want this to happen. They don't belong in their eyes. White and black. Although it could be anything, not just the color of the skin. It could be a family feud like in Romeo in Juliet. History is full of those stories. And yet this one is new, s ...more
Rebecca
I knew that I wanted to read this book but honestly, it wasn't too high up on my priority list until I did some research...

'Not since THE BOOK THIEF has the character of Death played such an original and affecting part in a book for young people.'

'Shelve this one next to THE BOOK THIEF.'

Well now that you mention my favourite book, I have to pay attention. Not to mention that Elizabeth Wein loved it.

Now I'm excited!!
Katherine
”Someday, everyone you love will die. Everything you love will crumble to ruin. This is the price of life. This is the price of love. It is the only ending for every true story.”

3.5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis: Two teenagers are forced to play a game they never wanted to be a part of, where they must either fall in love or succumb to their deaths.

And you thought The Hunger Games was vicious.

Biblio-Babble
Is This Just a Game?: The game that the title alludes to is alternately a rather simple pre
...more
Kelly Hager
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
If you have ever listened to me about a book, listen to me about this one. It's easily one of the best books I've ever read.

Justina Chen compared it to The Book Thief, and that's a worthy comparison. It's one of the only other books I can think of that shattered my heart as completely as this one did.

Like The Book Thief and like most of the absolute best books, it's best when you go in with as little pre-knowledge as possible. It's not that there's a twist here (it's not We Were Liars) but this
...more
Tikaa
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
3 1/2 stars , review coming shortly!
Annamaria
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
"We do not choose whom we love...We can only choose how well."

The book is about a Game played for centuries by Love and Death in which they choose two babies who are destined to fall in love. Or not. That is, they're destined to live happily ever after or die. Isn't it so cool?! Isn't it what wet dreams are made of?! (I know, my wet dreams are not everybody's wet dreams, but to each their own, ok?)

Despite the premise being great and the characters of Love and Death being sentient and talking bei
...more
Lotte
3.5/5 stars!
I LIKED: the idea of the Game itself; the complexity of the characters of Love and Death; the setting in 1930s Seattle; the way issues like race and sexuality were incorporated and handled in the story; some twists and turns I totally didn't expect and that threw me off.
I DISLIKED: Henry's cheesy and over the top declarations of love and the way he threw all of his former life away way too quickly when he met Flora; the ending and particularly the way a certain's character's fate (vi
...more
Katrina
May 22, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Thank God that's over. This was such a boring book, and it literllay took me forever to read. I didn't like Henry or Flora. The only time I was actually interestd in something going on in this book was when I was reading from the perspective of Love and Death, but even that got boring after a while. The summary sounded so good, and it's sad that it turned out to be the only good thing about this book.
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Martha Brockenbrough is author of The Game of Love and Death, Finding Bigfoot, The Dinosaur Tooth Fairy, and Devine Intervention, books for young readers. For adults, she has written Things That Make Us [Sic], a hilarious guide to things that can go wrong with English, and It Could Happen to You, a diary of her first pregnancy. She's the founder of National Grammar Day and SPOGG, the Society for t ...more
More about Martha Brockenbrough
“We do not choose whom we love...We can only choose how well.” 32 likes
“To be written into story. That was how even the lost lived on.” 23 likes
More quotes…