The Weetzie Bat series, by acclaimed author Francesca Lia Block, was listed among NPR's 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels. This collection brings together the five luminous novels of the series: Weetzie Bat, Witch Baby, Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys, Missing Angel Juan, and Baby Be-Bop. Spinning a saga of interwoven lives and beating hearts, these postmodern fairy tales take us to a Los Angeles brimming with magical realism: a place where life is a mystery, pain can lead to poetry, strangers become intertwined souls, and everyone is searching for the most beautiful and dangerous angel of all: love.
The Weetzie Bat books broke new ground with their stylized, lyrical prose and unflinching look at the inner life of teens. The New York Times declared Dangerous Angels was "transcendent." And the Village Voice proclaimed "Ms. Block writes for the young adult in all of us."
Topics: Fairies, Love, California, and Witches
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It’s hard reading this as an omnibus because the first three books—Weetzie Bat, Witch Baby and Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys —are incredibly weak. I do think Francesca Lia Block’s a fantastic writer, and there’s some beautiful descriptions throughout the whole series. But the first three volumes don’t do anything for me. There’s really not much to the plot and characters and a lot of the narration reads as “And then this happened. And then this happened.” It can be pulled off, but it doesn’t really work here. I also don’t like the strong emphasis on the magical aspect. There are moments of darkness sprinkled throughout the whole series, but it feels like Block has to shoehorn this fairyland of Hollywood glamour where nobody hurts. It’s part of the reason why I liked Missing Angel Juan the most, as it’s the only story to actually have its characters confront the darker aspect of the real world. With Weetzie Bat and most of the other characters, I feel like none of them ever progressed beyond the emotional age of nine years. Witch Baby feels like the only character who grows throughout the series, and the only who’s willing to leave said fairyland of Hollywood glamour. The thing I’ve liked about Block’s other books is that she’s able to blur the line between fantasy and reality a little more, and not this very overt “MAGIC MAGIC MAGIC.” And also, her dialogue feels so unnatural to me. Maybe it’s because I don’t live in SoCal in the late eighties, but I don’t get the feeling people actually talk like Weetzie and her friends. And sometimes, the slang feels like it’s saying, “Pfft, you can’t keep up with our slinkster-cool talk, you lanka.”
I really wanted to love these books, but I just couldn’t get into the story right away, which really lessened my enjoyment of the volumes I did like. And then I feel disappointed in myself because I don’t know if I’m missing something and I feel like an idiot. I don’t know.
I read all the Weetzie Bat books during one summer in college ... I think it's about the only fond memory I have from that summer!more