Sunday, April 21, 2013


Baby Be-Bop by Francesca Lia Block

Francesca Lia Block is one of my favorite writers of all time--not just as a young adult or children's author but of all genres. She write in a style that is thickly descriptive, flavored for all of the sense and filled with a sense of innocence with darkness of reality twisted in.

It was actually with Block how I figured out why I liked the young adult genre so much--when it comes to most "adult" novels--outside the genres of romance or horror or mystery--there is a world weariness that usually drapes over the characters. The idea of hope and the art of questioning has usually left the story whereas even with the darkest young adult novel there is a sense of hope or idea of time to come and change things. That's something I definitely lock into.

That said--Baby Be-Bop is the 5th book in the Weetzie Bat series but could simply stand on it's own two feet as a single novel. It tells the story Dirk McDonald growing up in a timeless--though 80s in the series timeline--Los Angeles and figuring out who he is, what he wants and how it fits into the history of his family. There are touches of magic and the punk rock scene, dark thoughts and history played off the magic of first love and desire and something very adult in how this is all pursued.

It is the type of book I wish I could write because it blends so much in with such little effort. It seems like a simple story with a simple goal but it is more about the world and becoming an adult than one would imagine.

Four stars

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