The Game of Love and Death

The Game of Love and Death

Book - 2015
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In Seattle in 1937 two seventeen-year-olds, Henry, who is white, and Flora, who is African-American, become the unwitting pawns in a game played by two immortal figures, Love and Death, where they must choose each other at the end, or one of them will die.
Publisher: New York, NY : Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., 2015
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780545668347
Branch Call Number: YA BROCKEN
Characteristics: 329 pages ; 22 cm


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Book Bingo: Local authors

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
Set in 1920s and 1930s Seattle. Flora, a jazz singer and aspiring aviator (inspired by Bessie Coleman and Amelia Earhart) grew up just a few blocks away from Henry, yet they might as well have been worlds apart. Race keeps them apart but music brings them together; Death is a character here, but then so is Love. (more)

From Library Staff

YOUNG ADULT BOOK WINNER (for ages 13 and up).

Book Bingo Squares: Young Adult, Local Author, Recommended by a librarian, recommended by a friend.

Love and Death have chosen the players for their game - two teenagers in 1930s Seattle. Romance, jazz, airplanes, and issues of race and class.

Flora is black, Henry is white, and they are pawns in a game of Love and Death. If they choose correctly Love wins and they both survive.

From the critics

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Aug 28, 2017

DNF at page 67; skimmed last few pages
I was really interested in the premise when I first picked up The Game of Love and Death. I've never encountered a storyline like this and was hooked by the summary.
But then, there were just SO many tiny things that built up my annoyance towards the book. I just couldn't stand it, and everything was getting overwhelmingly BORING. However, I did appreciate the historical info on music and planes.
I was hoping I'd hold on until the romance, but I just couldn't. Nothing happened for me, and The Game of Love and Death probably won't stick with me.

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Feb 21, 2017

I reeeeeally enjoyed this one -- I found the premise itself fascinating and both main characters to be totally sympathetic, and this was one that I both wanted to finish immediately and also found myself dreading the end of, because I didn't want it to be over. This was beautifully-written, extremely moving, and a book I'll be thinking about for a while.

Oct 21, 2016

Overall, I enjoyed The Game of Love and Death. Flora and Henry are well-developed, and watching the way the characters intertwined was very interesting.

The novel is enjoyable, and the reason I didn't give it a higher rating is because to receive a higher rating from me, I need an intense plot with higher stakes, and I need more than just a romance plot. I give books high ratings when they leave me freaking out and screaming inside, and I just didn't feel that kind of engagement with The Game of Love and Death. Its only plot is the relationship between Henry and Flora-- it is a very good relationship, realistic and relatable, and I would have absolutely adored it if that hadn't been the only focus of the book.

This book was very ambitious in trying to personify Love and Death. I love books that do that, where abstract ideas or emotions are made into characters, but the thing is that since everyone has a different opinion of what something abstract means, oftentimes these characters don't match up with what a reader wants. I don't mind when these characters don't match up with what I would imagine, and I'm always eager to see how the author interprets them. The problem I had with Love and Death is that I was very excited to have a book focused on these two characters, and they weren't developed or explored as fully as I would have liked. I think I had imagined a novel set in a fantasy world, with more of a focus on powers or magic, but that huge potential for the supernatural was pushed aside to make room for Flora and Henry. Not necessarily in a bad way, it just wasn't what I was expecting or what I wanted from this novel.

I liked reading about the human characters though. Flora is strong (which I love), Henry's struggles are engaging, and Ethan's plot is especially heartbreaking (in the best way). Even little Annabel is entertaining. I do recommend giving The Game of Love and Death a try. If you love romance, this is a very good romantic book and will most likely be a new favorite. But if you're looking for something more intense and fast-paced, then maybe pass this one up.

Jun 06, 2016

A great book although somehow I wanted to skip few pages often.

LibraryK8 Feb 26, 2016

A beautiful loves story steeped in smoke, gin and jazz this book will transport you back to the 1930’s Seattle.

Chapel_Hill_KarinM May 09, 2015

Really entertaining, engrossing and though-provoking novel, set in 1930's Seattle, and featuring jazz music, a compelling interracial love story, and a mystical/supernatural element in the framework of an ongoing game between the personifications of Love and Death, betting on the outcome of the relationship between their chosen players. Loved it.

May 01, 2015

No matter what hook gets you to pick up this beautiful story -- Seattle post-Depression, newspapermen, women who want to fly, jazz, the difficulties faced by black residents of Seattle, or the star-crossed lovers in Flora and Henry -- the characters of Love and Death, and the game they play across time will keep you reading. Touching and heartbreaking, this book is the perfect crossover that will appeal to teens and adults.

JamesLucha Mar 27, 2015

The Game of Love and Death is an amazing book.....if you are reading this comment and you have not read the book yet, READ IT!!!!...LIKE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!


Add a Summary
Aug 28, 2017

Two immortals play a game where their mortal players must fall in love or one of them must die.

LibraryK8 Feb 26, 2016

For centuries, humans have been the pawns in the game between Love and Death. You may be familiar with a few of the challenges, Antony and Cleopatra, Helen of Troy and Paris, Romeo and Juliet. And Death always wins…always.
A new game is afoot and Love and Death have chosen the players.
Flora is an African-American girl who is truly at home in the sky. A plane mechanic by day and a jazz singer by night, Flora lives with her grandmother and is trying to save up enough money to finance a flight around the world!
Henry, works at the newspaper owned by his adoptive father while finishing school. Having lost his parents at a young age, Henry knows he should go into the newspaper as a career, after all he is good at it, and it would provide a good salary. But his true passion lies in playing his bass.
When Henry and Flora meet at the jazz club, sparks fly, trumpets blare and the bootleg liquor flows. But the odds are against them, and it seems all too likely they will succumb to death like the players before them.


Add Age Suitability
Aug 28, 2017

jmli thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


Add a Quote
Aug 28, 2017

Though he couldn't imagine where he'd seen her before, he felt as if he knew her the way he knew the sound of a low D.


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