Saturday, July 28, 2007

My first review: Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block

My first review! It's July 28th so it's almost August, I think I can start:)
originally posted in my blog: here

Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block

We've had the Dangerous Angels series in the shop, unsold, for more than 3 years! How could that happen? I never even considered reading them, but I'm happy I gave it a go, thanks to Soleil, who picked Weetzie Bat for her "Something about me challenge". This book was a short but charming read, a urban fairy tale about love, strange names and magic wishes. Honestly I was a bit put off at the beginning with all those names of places and shops in L.A. that I don't have a clue what they look like, but after a while I just gave up and enjoyed the story. It's about Weetzie Bat, the (real) name of a quirky young woman, who wears "old fifties' taffeta dresses covered with poetry written in glitter or dresses made of kids' sheets printed with pink piglets or Disney characters", has a dog called Slinkster Dog, and has a father who reminds her of a cigarette . Weetzie's best friend is Dirk, who is handsome, cool, and gay. Together they're determined to find the "Duck" of their dreams. I assume Weetzie and her friends are over 18 because they drink, smoke and have casual one night stands while still going to high school. But despite the daring themes that the story touches (including a threesome, Aids and pregnancies) all is told with such delicacy and tact, almost with ingenuity, that I wouldn't be afraid to give it to any teenager, and of course adults, if anything for the ease it shows in dealing with homosexuality and love.
Franscesca Lia Block writing is quick but poetic and musical. She managed to create a world and a way of being in barely 100 pages. Here's one of my favourite quotes:

"In Jamaica there is a night life like nowhere else - your body feels radiant, like orange lights, like Bob Marley's voice, when you dance in the clubs there. In Jamaica we climb the falls holding hands and the water rushes down bluer than your eyes. In Jamaica. In Jamaica it is hot and wet, and the people are hot and wet, and the shells look like flowers and the flowers look like shells, and when you drive down some roads men come out of the bushes wearing parrots on their shoulders and flowering bird cages on top of their heads"
Weetzie said, "Maybe in Jamaica I could find My Secret Agent Lover Man. I can't seem to find it here".

Now I'm in trouble though: I promised I won't be buying/reading anymore books beside those from my "Books I have to read before buying anymore!" list. But I'm afraid I won't be able to resist the next three books in the series for too long!

ps: I've seen another book by F.L. Block on Amazon. It's called "Ruby". I've ordered it for the shop. Has Anyone read it?

pps: I'm proud to say that the book has been finally translated in Italian. look at the cover,isn't it beautiful?


tinylittlelibrarian said...

I've fallen off in my duties as a FL Block fan, but she was one of the first YA authors I read when I started out as a YA librarian. I think my favourite of hers is I Was a Teenage Fairy, but I haven't read any of her newer ones yet - they're on my to-read list that never gets any shorter! :)

valentina said...

great, I'll get that one as well. It's great to work in a bookshop, it's almost like a library for me and I can read virtually any book I want :P (without necessarily paying for them!)
so, I was a teenage fairy sounds nice, must remember that.

soleil said...

that cover looks great! i really enjoyed I Was A Teenage Fairy as well. She recently came out with a follow up book about Weetzie Bat called A Necklace of Kisses. I can't wait to read it. I'm glad you enjoyed the book. :)