I first discovered Francesca Lia Block years ago through her book Weetzie Bat. I had randomly found a copy at my bookstore and figured it’d be a fast, fun read. I ended up being right. I also grabbed Girl Goddess #9 soon after, but that was my only experience with Block’s work for many years. Luckily, at some time last year I was reintroduced to this author and discovered that there were more books in the Weetzie Bat series. Most of those are collected in Dangerous Angels.
Overall I enjoyed these five books (of seven total in the series). I enjoyed a few more than others, but there weren’t any that I didn’t like here. I think the fact that they were all collected into one book made the experience with these characters even better. It kept reminding me that these characters are part of something bigger.
Block created a very diverse, eccentric cast of characters for this series. Their names alone can make the reader smile. I also found the way the setting, the cities and houses, becomes a character in itself. These books wouldn’t be what they are if the settings weren’t incorporated so well.
I’d have a hard time reviewing the individual books in this collection without jumping into spoiler territory, so I won’t go into that. The only thing I’ll mention is that my reread of Weetzie Bat was surprising. I think I got more out of it for the second read and wasn’t bored at all (which is a fear I have for rereading anything). The magic was still there. Another thing to note was Missing Angel Juan, the fourth book. I wasn’t sure how to feel about it at first because it’s the only book that’s written in the 1st person point of view. It threw me off for a bit, but I ended up realizing that it was the only way that book would work. 3rd person POV wasn’t suited for Missing Angel Juan, or Witch Baby’s character for that journey.
There are two more books in the Weetzie Bat series, Necklace of Kisses and the prequel Pink Smog. They’re both on my TBR and will be read soon. I have a feeling that once I’m done with those, I’ll be missing Weetzie and her friends. These are stories and characters that’ll stay with me for a long time.
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About the Author:
Francesca Lia Block was born in Los Angeles to a poet and a painter, their creativity an obvious influence on her writing. Another influence was her childhood love of Greek mythology and fairy tales.
She has lived in the city all her life, and still resides there with her daughter, Jasmine Angelina (about whom she wrote her book Guarding the Moon), her son Samuel Alexander, and her two dogs: a springer spaniel named Vincent Van Go Go Boots and a beagle mix named Thumper.
She left only to attend the University of California, Berkeley. She has often professed her love of Los Angeles, calling it a “Jasmine-scented, jacaranda-purple, neon sparked city,” which she has nicknamed in her books “Shangri-LA.”
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