The sequel to Flora Segunda, a YA fantasy notable for its unusual worldbuilding (fantasy alt-California) and voice (charming or twee, depending on the reader's perspective). Both books are pretty funny, and the voice is very well-done even though it's not always to my taste.

Flora has grown up a bit in the sequel, but still has a vocabulary that makes her sound six, which made the scenes with sexual tension read a bit unintentionally (I assume) creepy. The specific words are yucky, yummy, tummy, and potty, among others I've thankfully forgotten. Oh, and sanwie and giftie, though I'll excuse those as alt-slang. Potty in particular, since Flora spends quite a lot of time vainly searching for one so it's mentioned a lot.

I still enjoy the worldbuilding, though I was disappointed that the alt-Aztecs, whom I had expected the sequel to reveal as not the uncomplicated villains the naive Flora sees them as, are revealed as... uncomplicated villains. Especially since the treatment of gender roles and sexuality is complicated and unconventional, I was hoping for more on a cultural difference level than "they're evil and eat people's hearts." I was also irritated that after the entire action of the last book summed up as Flora learning that she shouldn't believe everything everyone tells her, so does much of the action of this book.

You will all be unsurprised to hear that by far my favorite characters were Poppy, Flora's traumatized father who is here clinging to his newfound sanity for dear life, and the mysterious Tiny Doom. Unusually for a YA novel, I was way more interested in the older generation than the kids. I'd rather read an adult novel about the adventures of Hotspur and Butcher Brakespeare than more of "Flora is incredibly naive against a fascinating backdrop, narrated in baby-talk."

That being said, if you enjoyed the first book, you will certainly enjoy this one. All my problems with it were basically the same problems I had with the first one.

Flora's Dare: How a Girl of Spirit Gambles All to Expand Her Vocabulary, Confront a Bouncing Boy Terror, and Try to Save Califa from a Shaky Doom (Despite Being Confined to Her Room)


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