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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027

Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books

Dangerous Angels - Francesca Lia Block About halfway through reading this, I finally figured out what was bothering me about the Weetzie Bat books in general. It reminded me a lot of my feelings towards Rent. When I was sixteen, I freaking loved that musical. I thought it was so awesome, and raw, and real, and this is how real life totally is you guys. Nowadays, I still think Rent is a good show, but at least I realize how much of it is about trust fund hipsters whining about how no one recognizes their arty-ness. And having read Dangerous Angels, I think I have a very similar reaction. I’m sure if I had read this in my teens, I would have loved it, but as I’m reading it now, I feel like it’s a treatise on real art. 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.