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Editor’s Note

“Dazzling Poetic Prose...”

This beautifully offbeat novel deftly entwines a magical Los Angeles (aptly called Shangri-L.A.) with all-too-real issues of adulthood in the ‘80s. Its poetic prose is sure to dazzle teen and adult readers alike.
Scribd Editor

Fifteen years ago Francesca Lia Block made a dazzling entrance into the literary scene with what would become one of the most talked-about books of the decade: Weetzie Bat. This poetic roller coaster swoop has a sleek new design to match its new sister and brother books, Goat Girls and Beautiful Boys. Rediscover the magic of Weetzie Bat, Ms. Blocks sophisticated, slinkster-cool love song to L.A.the book that shattered the standard, captivated readers of all generations, and made Francesca Lia Block one of the most heralded authors of the last decade.

Topics: California, Friendship, LGBTQ, Family, Magic, Sexuality, Los Angeles, Love, Magical Realism, Minimalism, Series, Lyrical, Whimsical, Babies, HIV/AIDS, Urban, Poetic, 1980s, 1990s, and Novella

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061971792
List price: $8.99
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3Q, 3PWeetzie Bat reads like a modern-day fairy tale with a punk princess as the protagonist and a candy-coated, quirky L.A. as the background. For me, it was fast-paced and easy to wade through. However, I personally didn't care for Weetzie's carefree personality and the thoughtless way she seemed to make decisions, whether it was making wishes to a genie, wearing an Indian headdress because she's "into them" without any regard for the meaning of the item (cultural appropriation issues for the sake of style and being different), or sleeping with housemates when her boyfriend declined to make a baby with her. In a real-life society where teens are frequently drinking, trying to forge their identities, and getting pregnant, however, this 23-year-old book maintains contemporary topics that some teens may relate to. Additionally, it might provide an escape to an alternate, sweeter version of LA (or other unhappy living arrangement) than the reader might be accustomed to with characters who all feel a deep sense of love for each other.more
Weetzie bat, where were you when i was 15 years old? I would have swooned over this book and imitated it in my own writing for years. Alas, I am 32 years old and only just discovering your wacky, beautiful world. Better late than never! It was a fun, quick read.more
weetzie bat is a fast paced, engaging book that deals with issues of human interaction, love, longing, fear, and the future. The story is written as a present day fairytale, complete with love, witches, and the search for "happily ever after" The characters in the book form a family, and live in Los Angeles, where they face the challenges of life as young adults amidst drugs, abuse, HIV, infidelity, and the birth of a baby. There love for each other, and their acceptance of each other create the "happily", even if the "ever after" is not guaranteed.more
4Q, 4P, J, S - Weetzie Bat is wild and fanciful romp through adolescent Los Angeles in the mid-1980s. Weetzie, is a delightful punk-rock Alice in Wonderland and she asks great questions, makes good if somewhat impetuous choices. Her willingness to live and love fully despite her parents' failures and society's disappointments makes her an important Generation X icon, one that lives on in popular culture today.more
VOYA Quality: 3Q- "Readable, without serious defects."VOYA Popularity: 4P- "Broad general or genre YA appeal."“Weetzie kept falling for the wrong Ducks…Dirk didn’t do much better at the parties or bars. ‘I just want My Secret Agent Lover Man,’ Weetzie said to Dirk. ‘Love is a dangerous angel,’ Dirk said. (14-15)”I had never heard of the author, Francesca Lia Block nor had I ever heard of Weetzie Bat. Weetzie Bat is the name of the protagonist of this book. Weetzie is a young adult who does not fit the contemporary norm of a teenage girl. She paints the world in whatever color she deems fit and the characters that fill her live and heart are just as colorful. Upon reading this book you may find yourself taken to a world of fantasy where controversial issues (such as homosexuality, teen pregnancy, and HIV) that teenagers can face are tackled. Block manages to discuss many controversial topics/issues that are typically avoided in books targeted to teens, and her words are splashed with glitter and flowers. I found this book a bit over-the-top at times, but still enjoyed the development of the characters. Although this book is set in a world of fantasy, the reader will find Weetzie and her friends deal with many real issues. Above all, the message that resonated with me was that of genuine acceptance and the need to be loved.more
This was required reading for me, and I often enjoy whimsical writing and fairy tales, but this one didn't do much for me. There's very little detail about what the characters are thinking or who they are outside the context of their role in the story. Weetzie hangs out with Dirk avoiding the lame high school kids who don't understand them, and when she finds a genie in a bottle she wishes for a boyfriend for herself, one for Dirk, and a place to live. She gets all three, but when her boyfriend doesn't want to have a baby with her, she resorts to some unusual means to get one. I also thought that Weetzie didn't reflect on or learn from any of the things that happened to her or the choices she made. The characters go through very little, if any, character development, and when they make questionable decisions or life throws hurdles at them, a magic solution appears out of this air or the problem goes away. No one has to do or learn anything. Would Weetzie make the same manipulative choices if she and her boyfriend disagreed on something other than child rearing? Nothing tells me she wouldn't. I usually like stories that have a fairy-tale quality, magical realism and themes of love and a makeshift family, but this one was not for me. The message of this book, love your friends and everything will turn out exactly how you want, seems guaranteed to disappoint.more
Q5, P4" He kissed her. A kiss about apple pie a la mode with the vanilla creaminess melting in the pie heat. A kiss about chocolate, when you haven't eaten chocolate in a year. A kiss about palm trees speeding by, trailing pink clouds when you drive down the strip sizzling with champagne. A kiss about spotlights fanning the sky and the swollen sea spilling like tears all over your legs. (29)"Weetzie Bat is a book which has stuck with me since I was a YA, into adulthood. It's a real-life fantasy story, which appealed to me as a teen because it wasn't really a magic-based story, or a mythical realm, but it had bits of magic housed in a real place which sounded absolutely wonderful. I wasn't really thrilled with Weetzie herself, as the character development is secondary to the setting in this book, which is captivating and absorbing.more
My VOYA rating: 4Q ("Better than most, marred by occasional lapses") and 3P ("Will appeal with pushing"). The writing quality was a cut above, its heightened pace and style maintained with admirable consistency and lagging in only a few spots. I would not expect its extraordinary style to have universal appeal. With some encouragement, however, and fair warning about the magical and realistic veins of its magical realism, young adults from many walks of life could connect with this novella.more
4Q, 3P. I loved Weetzie's character and the world that Francesca Block created for her. The dreaminess of her life and choices felt very much like a whimsical fairy tale - charming, full of simple but powerful twists, and clearly written as a moral compass (albeit an extremely different moral compass than most fairy tales - valuing diversity and love rather than goodness). That said, I did not get sucked up into the story - which is something that usually gauges how I feel about a book (especially a YA book). Besides Weetzie, the majority of the characters felt a little flat to me. The author brought up what felt like a thousand controversial and important topics for YA readers, but didn't follow up with them or expound in any way: drinking/drug use, death, sex, love, homosexuality (as a gay person, I have to admit that I hate this word), AIDS, teen pregnancy, honesty/integrity in relationships....I think I could keep going on for some time. The lack of attention paid to some of these topics is refreshing and normalizing - I loved that Dirk's gayness was not a big deal at all to Weetzie, and that the two friends still found love and friendship in each other. However, the lack of attention paid to some of the other topics felt rushed and sometimes hard to relate to. I found myself wanting to know more about the characters - what they were really thinking and feeling about the complexities of their situation, lives, and realities.more
I gave the book a 4Q for quality as I felt it was a smooth read without many strange or jarring passages to interrupt a reader's flow and I gave it a 2P for popularity as I don't feel that all teenagers would enjoy reading this novel if they are not used to the fantasy writing style that Francesca Lia Block uses. I enjoyed this book immensely and felt it was a quick read with a lot of details and metaphors that might have been missed my first read of the book. As an English Literature major, I was able to appreciate the novel for its imagery, whimsy, and magical aspects in addition to the heavy issues the book dealt with, though I don't know if all teen readers will appreciate the book in the same way if they don't have any background in reading novels of this type. Although the book was written more than 25 years ago, there are still issues in the book (homosexuality, AIDS, blending of families, premarital sex, love and romance, etc.) that resonate with teenagers even in the 21st century and I think that a reader who is intrigued by whimsical writing and can comprehend fantasy themes would benefit from reading this book as they may find things in the book to relate to. I love the fact that Weetzie is so accepting of everyone in her life - regardless of their gender, orientation, odd behaviors, or strange name. She is happy to take in other people's children and care for them because she knows that her random family made of an odd group of friends can take care of anyone who steps inside the doors of their "silly-sand-topped house" because of their ability to look past stereotypes and to show that love can conquer all barriers.more
This book was OK for me. Some of the imagery, word choice, and magical elements were a little over the top for me (a little bit like some of the teenage girls that I have known). The strengths of the book were the tough issues that it dealt with. Although I like books that force you to connect with the characters a little bit more emotionally. In a few pages she has a threesome with a gay couple, has a baby, and then they find out that they may or may not be HIV positive. Those are some pretty intense issues to deal with and the quirky language and imagery of the writing distracted me instead of helping me connect.more
I have to say that I agree totally and completely with what She-ra77 said in the review of this book. I didn't like it at all and had to force myself to keep reading. I didn't identify with Weetzie as a person nor did her circumstances in life form any kind of connection. I was totally thrown by the lack of time and plot and character development in the book. It was written in a way that I didn't understand or like. While I have since read more about the book and it's reception, while reading the book myself, I was surprised that it was published. One a positive note, despite the lack of description and detail and time progression through the book, I felt as though it really captured the 80s feel. It did quite well of capturing the attitude and mindset of teens at the time and the issues covered such as the relationship Weetzie had with her parents, her relationship with Duck, Duck's relationships to her and others, her behaviors and understanding of things, and of course, the underlying fear and social rejection in regards to HIV and AIDs, well I really think it captured the time in which it was written quite well. My sister was in her teens when this came out and I can easily see her reading it and liking it. It's obviously dated and compared to a lot of popular books out today, it is somewhat lacking, though people like it and thus, it still remains relevant.more
I gave this book a 3Q rating because the writing was interesting but not incredible. I gave it a popularity rating of 3P because I feel that some teens will really enjoy it, but that it is a very distinctive style that may not have broad appeal. Personally I thought that the book was unique. I liked the fantasy and punk feel of it. I also liked the character of Weetzie. The serious issues woven into the fantasy kept this book interesting. I missed having character development. Everyone but Weetzie, and even her at times, felt like cardboard cuttouts. I didn't feel a connection with any of them, which took away from my enjoyment of the story.more
4Q, 4PReading Weetzie Bat was so bittersweet to me. I loved every minute of it, but at the same time I was so sad that this couldn't be my life, that everything couldn't be so bright and colorful and full of hope. Because of this, I am pretty glad I didn't read it as a teenager, because in my naivete I am sure I would have thought that my life could be like that (well, without the genie, of course).The story works best as a parable about love and tolerance. It is not heavy on plot or language, but that serves to make it feel more universal in a way. It lacks a concrete feeling of time, which makes it appropriate for young adults during any time period (I got a 60's or 70's vibe from it personally, but that has to do with the free-love feeling). I think young adults of today might particularly connect with Duck's crisis of faith towards the end of the book, as current times are troubling and sometimes it can be hard to see the silver lining. Weetzie's family is obviously the silver lining, and this book could help its readers connect that feeling of love and acceptance back to their own lives.more
The flighty, one-dimensionality of Weetzie as a fairy tale character makes for a charming and unique narrative that touches on serious issues while keeping the tone light and magical. Fantastic elements of the story along with the characters' unquestioning acceptance of the unlikely and impossible makes even non-magical events seem surreal against the dreamlike backdrop of Weetzie's Los Angeles, which seems to be suspended somewhere between the golden age of Hollywood and the 1980s. This dreaminess, while engaging, may also be seen as a weakness when the depth and seriousness of an issue is overlooked by the characteristic glitter and fluff that seem to make up Weetzie's world. Overall, I think the lighthearted fairy tale tone may make more palatable otherwise controversial and difficult issues like homosexuality or AIDS for younger audiences. Weetzie's acceptance and appreciation of just about everything and everyone she encounters is an excellent model for teaching the importance of understanding difference. Because the writing style takes a bit of getting used to, I would give a quality rating of 4Q, and the popularity a 4P as I see this book reaching a fairly particular audience and not necessarily any YA who reads.more
4Q, 4PI appreciated Weetzie Bat for the simplicity of the writing, yet complexity of the subjects. In such a short amount of time, Francesca Lia Block wove a story of friendship, loss, love, longing and trust. Entire books are written on complexities of same sex relationships, broken marriages, alcohol and drugs, broken trust, unfaithful behavior, death, desire, parenthood and fear of the unknown. By writing such short, but powerful anecdotes of these weighty topics, the reader gains enough context and insight to understand the overall message. While the first few pages of the story led me to believe this was going to be about bored kids looking for trouble, I learned at the end of chapter one, the story was truly about respectful, loving relationships. Weetsie is an honest, accepting, caring, person who sets the bar high for all of us.more
This story has a very particular style that I find hard to describe and the characters seem to float along in an almost dream-like manner. It's also difficult to classify by genre because it is mostly a historical fiction following a teen as she grows up in L.A. in the 60's, but there are elements of the fantastic and magical as well.I rated it as a 5Q because within it's odd style, this story is perfectly written. Every phrase is distinctly chosen and crafted for a specific sense or feeling. The metaphors are luscious and stick in my mind like peanut butter and white bread sandwich to the roof of my mouth.I believe it is a 4P because not everyone wants to read this style of writing or follow the free and love-filled choices of Weetzie. Everyone would connect with the caring, sadness and grief she and her patchwork family experience. Some would find the story particularly offensive because of the family Weetzie has, makes, and keeps.I did not like this book and was relieved it was quite brief--though I can't actually find fault with it either. I don't think reading it as an ebook on Kindle changed anything in my perception of it, though I was disappointed to see that the publisher doesn't give this ebook the cover image. I did enjoy the highlighting and note-taking functions which I had never been inclined to use before.more
4Q 3P In Weetzie Bat Francesca Lia Block takes all the best things about Los Angeles, mixes them with a completely unique cast of characters, and peppers in some magic. The outcome is a story which is as memorable for its imagery and humor as it is for tackling real life issues such as AIDS and complex family dynamics. A neon, chain smoking, sugar coated tale about finding love and happiness in the world. Some readers might find Blocks several employments of a deus ex machina off putting, but overall I found this a fast and fun page turner.more
4Q 3P (VOYA codes) An exciting, charming, and candy-sweet story about the life, loves, and mysteries of LA cool-cat Weetzie. I loved the descriptive, poetic language that flowed throughout and made me feel like I was transported straight to LA on a sticky, hot, dazzling day. I also enjoyed looking in on Weetzie's relationships and I find her decisions to choose love and adventure over fear heartwarming. Some will really be attracted to this story while others may find the writing style exasperating or overdone.more
How could I have missed this? Published in 1989, this is what I always thought Salinger was going to be, and wasn't. Cool, hip, effervescent, breezy, twisted and delightful. Weetzie is a young woman who embraces life with a rare and crystalline enthusiasm.more
4Q 3P. It's hard not to get swept away by the fantastical feel that Block brings to her novel through the brightness of its setting in LA to the animated characters she created there. Her matter-of-fact tone when tackling issues such a homosexuality and unconventional family dynamics sheds light on controversial subjects that bears thought and consideration in the young adult realm. However, I gave this novel a 3P because I fear that the majestic quality of Block's writing style may hinder young adults from pursuing the entirety of the work, and therefore may need a little push of encouragement.more
Read all 115 reviews

Reviews

3Q, 3PWeetzie Bat reads like a modern-day fairy tale with a punk princess as the protagonist and a candy-coated, quirky L.A. as the background. For me, it was fast-paced and easy to wade through. However, I personally didn't care for Weetzie's carefree personality and the thoughtless way she seemed to make decisions, whether it was making wishes to a genie, wearing an Indian headdress because she's "into them" without any regard for the meaning of the item (cultural appropriation issues for the sake of style and being different), or sleeping with housemates when her boyfriend declined to make a baby with her. In a real-life society where teens are frequently drinking, trying to forge their identities, and getting pregnant, however, this 23-year-old book maintains contemporary topics that some teens may relate to. Additionally, it might provide an escape to an alternate, sweeter version of LA (or other unhappy living arrangement) than the reader might be accustomed to with characters who all feel a deep sense of love for each other.more
Weetzie bat, where were you when i was 15 years old? I would have swooned over this book and imitated it in my own writing for years. Alas, I am 32 years old and only just discovering your wacky, beautiful world. Better late than never! It was a fun, quick read.more
weetzie bat is a fast paced, engaging book that deals with issues of human interaction, love, longing, fear, and the future. The story is written as a present day fairytale, complete with love, witches, and the search for "happily ever after" The characters in the book form a family, and live in Los Angeles, where they face the challenges of life as young adults amidst drugs, abuse, HIV, infidelity, and the birth of a baby. There love for each other, and their acceptance of each other create the "happily", even if the "ever after" is not guaranteed.more
4Q, 4P, J, S - Weetzie Bat is wild and fanciful romp through adolescent Los Angeles in the mid-1980s. Weetzie, is a delightful punk-rock Alice in Wonderland and she asks great questions, makes good if somewhat impetuous choices. Her willingness to live and love fully despite her parents' failures and society's disappointments makes her an important Generation X icon, one that lives on in popular culture today.more
VOYA Quality: 3Q- "Readable, without serious defects."VOYA Popularity: 4P- "Broad general or genre YA appeal."“Weetzie kept falling for the wrong Ducks…Dirk didn’t do much better at the parties or bars. ‘I just want My Secret Agent Lover Man,’ Weetzie said to Dirk. ‘Love is a dangerous angel,’ Dirk said. (14-15)”I had never heard of the author, Francesca Lia Block nor had I ever heard of Weetzie Bat. Weetzie Bat is the name of the protagonist of this book. Weetzie is a young adult who does not fit the contemporary norm of a teenage girl. She paints the world in whatever color she deems fit and the characters that fill her live and heart are just as colorful. Upon reading this book you may find yourself taken to a world of fantasy where controversial issues (such as homosexuality, teen pregnancy, and HIV) that teenagers can face are tackled. Block manages to discuss many controversial topics/issues that are typically avoided in books targeted to teens, and her words are splashed with glitter and flowers. I found this book a bit over-the-top at times, but still enjoyed the development of the characters. Although this book is set in a world of fantasy, the reader will find Weetzie and her friends deal with many real issues. Above all, the message that resonated with me was that of genuine acceptance and the need to be loved.more
This was required reading for me, and I often enjoy whimsical writing and fairy tales, but this one didn't do much for me. There's very little detail about what the characters are thinking or who they are outside the context of their role in the story. Weetzie hangs out with Dirk avoiding the lame high school kids who don't understand them, and when she finds a genie in a bottle she wishes for a boyfriend for herself, one for Dirk, and a place to live. She gets all three, but when her boyfriend doesn't want to have a baby with her, she resorts to some unusual means to get one. I also thought that Weetzie didn't reflect on or learn from any of the things that happened to her or the choices she made. The characters go through very little, if any, character development, and when they make questionable decisions or life throws hurdles at them, a magic solution appears out of this air or the problem goes away. No one has to do or learn anything. Would Weetzie make the same manipulative choices if she and her boyfriend disagreed on something other than child rearing? Nothing tells me she wouldn't. I usually like stories that have a fairy-tale quality, magical realism and themes of love and a makeshift family, but this one was not for me. The message of this book, love your friends and everything will turn out exactly how you want, seems guaranteed to disappoint.more
Q5, P4" He kissed her. A kiss about apple pie a la mode with the vanilla creaminess melting in the pie heat. A kiss about chocolate, when you haven't eaten chocolate in a year. A kiss about palm trees speeding by, trailing pink clouds when you drive down the strip sizzling with champagne. A kiss about spotlights fanning the sky and the swollen sea spilling like tears all over your legs. (29)"Weetzie Bat is a book which has stuck with me since I was a YA, into adulthood. It's a real-life fantasy story, which appealed to me as a teen because it wasn't really a magic-based story, or a mythical realm, but it had bits of magic housed in a real place which sounded absolutely wonderful. I wasn't really thrilled with Weetzie herself, as the character development is secondary to the setting in this book, which is captivating and absorbing.more
My VOYA rating: 4Q ("Better than most, marred by occasional lapses") and 3P ("Will appeal with pushing"). The writing quality was a cut above, its heightened pace and style maintained with admirable consistency and lagging in only a few spots. I would not expect its extraordinary style to have universal appeal. With some encouragement, however, and fair warning about the magical and realistic veins of its magical realism, young adults from many walks of life could connect with this novella.more
4Q, 3P. I loved Weetzie's character and the world that Francesca Block created for her. The dreaminess of her life and choices felt very much like a whimsical fairy tale - charming, full of simple but powerful twists, and clearly written as a moral compass (albeit an extremely different moral compass than most fairy tales - valuing diversity and love rather than goodness). That said, I did not get sucked up into the story - which is something that usually gauges how I feel about a book (especially a YA book). Besides Weetzie, the majority of the characters felt a little flat to me. The author brought up what felt like a thousand controversial and important topics for YA readers, but didn't follow up with them or expound in any way: drinking/drug use, death, sex, love, homosexuality (as a gay person, I have to admit that I hate this word), AIDS, teen pregnancy, honesty/integrity in relationships....I think I could keep going on for some time. The lack of attention paid to some of these topics is refreshing and normalizing - I loved that Dirk's gayness was not a big deal at all to Weetzie, and that the two friends still found love and friendship in each other. However, the lack of attention paid to some of the other topics felt rushed and sometimes hard to relate to. I found myself wanting to know more about the characters - what they were really thinking and feeling about the complexities of their situation, lives, and realities.more
I gave the book a 4Q for quality as I felt it was a smooth read without many strange or jarring passages to interrupt a reader's flow and I gave it a 2P for popularity as I don't feel that all teenagers would enjoy reading this novel if they are not used to the fantasy writing style that Francesca Lia Block uses. I enjoyed this book immensely and felt it was a quick read with a lot of details and metaphors that might have been missed my first read of the book. As an English Literature major, I was able to appreciate the novel for its imagery, whimsy, and magical aspects in addition to the heavy issues the book dealt with, though I don't know if all teen readers will appreciate the book in the same way if they don't have any background in reading novels of this type. Although the book was written more than 25 years ago, there are still issues in the book (homosexuality, AIDS, blending of families, premarital sex, love and romance, etc.) that resonate with teenagers even in the 21st century and I think that a reader who is intrigued by whimsical writing and can comprehend fantasy themes would benefit from reading this book as they may find things in the book to relate to. I love the fact that Weetzie is so accepting of everyone in her life - regardless of their gender, orientation, odd behaviors, or strange name. She is happy to take in other people's children and care for them because she knows that her random family made of an odd group of friends can take care of anyone who steps inside the doors of their "silly-sand-topped house" because of their ability to look past stereotypes and to show that love can conquer all barriers.more
This book was OK for me. Some of the imagery, word choice, and magical elements were a little over the top for me (a little bit like some of the teenage girls that I have known). The strengths of the book were the tough issues that it dealt with. Although I like books that force you to connect with the characters a little bit more emotionally. In a few pages she has a threesome with a gay couple, has a baby, and then they find out that they may or may not be HIV positive. Those are some pretty intense issues to deal with and the quirky language and imagery of the writing distracted me instead of helping me connect.more
I have to say that I agree totally and completely with what She-ra77 said in the review of this book. I didn't like it at all and had to force myself to keep reading. I didn't identify with Weetzie as a person nor did her circumstances in life form any kind of connection. I was totally thrown by the lack of time and plot and character development in the book. It was written in a way that I didn't understand or like. While I have since read more about the book and it's reception, while reading the book myself, I was surprised that it was published. One a positive note, despite the lack of description and detail and time progression through the book, I felt as though it really captured the 80s feel. It did quite well of capturing the attitude and mindset of teens at the time and the issues covered such as the relationship Weetzie had with her parents, her relationship with Duck, Duck's relationships to her and others, her behaviors and understanding of things, and of course, the underlying fear and social rejection in regards to HIV and AIDs, well I really think it captured the time in which it was written quite well. My sister was in her teens when this came out and I can easily see her reading it and liking it. It's obviously dated and compared to a lot of popular books out today, it is somewhat lacking, though people like it and thus, it still remains relevant.more
I gave this book a 3Q rating because the writing was interesting but not incredible. I gave it a popularity rating of 3P because I feel that some teens will really enjoy it, but that it is a very distinctive style that may not have broad appeal. Personally I thought that the book was unique. I liked the fantasy and punk feel of it. I also liked the character of Weetzie. The serious issues woven into the fantasy kept this book interesting. I missed having character development. Everyone but Weetzie, and even her at times, felt like cardboard cuttouts. I didn't feel a connection with any of them, which took away from my enjoyment of the story.more
4Q, 4PReading Weetzie Bat was so bittersweet to me. I loved every minute of it, but at the same time I was so sad that this couldn't be my life, that everything couldn't be so bright and colorful and full of hope. Because of this, I am pretty glad I didn't read it as a teenager, because in my naivete I am sure I would have thought that my life could be like that (well, without the genie, of course).The story works best as a parable about love and tolerance. It is not heavy on plot or language, but that serves to make it feel more universal in a way. It lacks a concrete feeling of time, which makes it appropriate for young adults during any time period (I got a 60's or 70's vibe from it personally, but that has to do with the free-love feeling). I think young adults of today might particularly connect with Duck's crisis of faith towards the end of the book, as current times are troubling and sometimes it can be hard to see the silver lining. Weetzie's family is obviously the silver lining, and this book could help its readers connect that feeling of love and acceptance back to their own lives.more
The flighty, one-dimensionality of Weetzie as a fairy tale character makes for a charming and unique narrative that touches on serious issues while keeping the tone light and magical. Fantastic elements of the story along with the characters' unquestioning acceptance of the unlikely and impossible makes even non-magical events seem surreal against the dreamlike backdrop of Weetzie's Los Angeles, which seems to be suspended somewhere between the golden age of Hollywood and the 1980s. This dreaminess, while engaging, may also be seen as a weakness when the depth and seriousness of an issue is overlooked by the characteristic glitter and fluff that seem to make up Weetzie's world. Overall, I think the lighthearted fairy tale tone may make more palatable otherwise controversial and difficult issues like homosexuality or AIDS for younger audiences. Weetzie's acceptance and appreciation of just about everything and everyone she encounters is an excellent model for teaching the importance of understanding difference. Because the writing style takes a bit of getting used to, I would give a quality rating of 4Q, and the popularity a 4P as I see this book reaching a fairly particular audience and not necessarily any YA who reads.more
4Q, 4PI appreciated Weetzie Bat for the simplicity of the writing, yet complexity of the subjects. In such a short amount of time, Francesca Lia Block wove a story of friendship, loss, love, longing and trust. Entire books are written on complexities of same sex relationships, broken marriages, alcohol and drugs, broken trust, unfaithful behavior, death, desire, parenthood and fear of the unknown. By writing such short, but powerful anecdotes of these weighty topics, the reader gains enough context and insight to understand the overall message. While the first few pages of the story led me to believe this was going to be about bored kids looking for trouble, I learned at the end of chapter one, the story was truly about respectful, loving relationships. Weetsie is an honest, accepting, caring, person who sets the bar high for all of us.more
This story has a very particular style that I find hard to describe and the characters seem to float along in an almost dream-like manner. It's also difficult to classify by genre because it is mostly a historical fiction following a teen as she grows up in L.A. in the 60's, but there are elements of the fantastic and magical as well.I rated it as a 5Q because within it's odd style, this story is perfectly written. Every phrase is distinctly chosen and crafted for a specific sense or feeling. The metaphors are luscious and stick in my mind like peanut butter and white bread sandwich to the roof of my mouth.I believe it is a 4P because not everyone wants to read this style of writing or follow the free and love-filled choices of Weetzie. Everyone would connect with the caring, sadness and grief she and her patchwork family experience. Some would find the story particularly offensive because of the family Weetzie has, makes, and keeps.I did not like this book and was relieved it was quite brief--though I can't actually find fault with it either. I don't think reading it as an ebook on Kindle changed anything in my perception of it, though I was disappointed to see that the publisher doesn't give this ebook the cover image. I did enjoy the highlighting and note-taking functions which I had never been inclined to use before.more
4Q 3P In Weetzie Bat Francesca Lia Block takes all the best things about Los Angeles, mixes them with a completely unique cast of characters, and peppers in some magic. The outcome is a story which is as memorable for its imagery and humor as it is for tackling real life issues such as AIDS and complex family dynamics. A neon, chain smoking, sugar coated tale about finding love and happiness in the world. Some readers might find Blocks several employments of a deus ex machina off putting, but overall I found this a fast and fun page turner.more
4Q 3P (VOYA codes) An exciting, charming, and candy-sweet story about the life, loves, and mysteries of LA cool-cat Weetzie. I loved the descriptive, poetic language that flowed throughout and made me feel like I was transported straight to LA on a sticky, hot, dazzling day. I also enjoyed looking in on Weetzie's relationships and I find her decisions to choose love and adventure over fear heartwarming. Some will really be attracted to this story while others may find the writing style exasperating or overdone.more
How could I have missed this? Published in 1989, this is what I always thought Salinger was going to be, and wasn't. Cool, hip, effervescent, breezy, twisted and delightful. Weetzie is a young woman who embraces life with a rare and crystalline enthusiasm.more
4Q 3P. It's hard not to get swept away by the fantastical feel that Block brings to her novel through the brightness of its setting in LA to the animated characters she created there. Her matter-of-fact tone when tackling issues such a homosexuality and unconventional family dynamics sheds light on controversial subjects that bears thought and consideration in the young adult realm. However, I gave this novel a 3P because I fear that the majestic quality of Block's writing style may hinder young adults from pursuing the entirety of the work, and therefore may need a little push of encouragement.more
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