My Review:  
and Smoke is a book I would have loved to read in junior high or high
school, but that didn’t stop me from devouring it even as an adult. The
story of Tag and Lucia’s romance really heats up (sorry, couldn’t
resist!) even as the signs of Vesuvius’ imminent eruption make
themselves plain. The action never stops and by the end I was tearing
through pages, desperate to find out what would happen to the
characters. Vicky Alvear Shecter paints with vivid detail life in the
weeks before Vesuvius’ eruption, from the countryside surrounding
Pompeii to the sometimes painful details of living in ancient Rome.

This is an excellent YA read for anyone intrigued by Pompeii’s tragic story. (And honestly, who isn’t fascinated by Pompeii?)

When your world blows apart, what will you hold onto?

is a medical slave, doomed to spend his life healing his master’s
injured gladiators. But his warrior’s heart yearns to fight in the
gladiator ring himself and earn enough money to win his freedom.

is the daughter of Tag’s owner, doomed by her father’s greed to marry a
much older Roman man. But she loves studying the natural world around
her home in Pompeii, and lately she’s been noticing some odd occurrences
in the landscape: small lakes disappearing; a sulfurous smell in the

When the two childhood friends reconnect, each with
their own longings, they fall passionately in love. But as they plot
their escape from the city, a patrician fighter reveals his own plans
for them — to Lucia’s father, who imprisons Tag as punishment. Then an
earthquake shakes Pompeii, in the first sign of the chaos to come. Will
they be able to find each other again before the volcano destroys their
whole world?

About the Author:  
Vicky Alvear Shecter wishes she
had a time machine to go back to the glory days of ancient Egypt,
Greece and Rome. Until she can find one, she writes about the famous and
fabulous lives of the ancients and their gods instead. She is also a
docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory