I finished Weetzie Bat, by Francesca Lia Block, last night. My friend Erin lent it to me a few months ago, thinking I’d like a “fairy tale” in a modern setting, but I just got around to reading it.
Weetzie and her friends are L.A. free spirits and they carry you through the whole book with their L.A. energy, a frilly punkiness, childlike and otherworldly. They live in this, the “real,” world but they have fairy tale vision. The book follows them as they reconcile this vision with reality.
I really like how the characters speak and how Block doesn’t dumb down their conversations—full of inside terms and jokes—for the reader. They have their own lingo and they make the world vivid with their pop descriptions of everyday objects and surroundings. A “normal” character might see a purple car and call it just plain “purple” or maybe even “plum,” but Weetzie would call it something like “the color of Grape Nehi soda.” She somehow manages to make things seem funny and beautiful, and seeing the world through her eyes is a glistening, new experience.
Weetzie Bat is a light book that dips just a little into deepness but doesn’t drown. Even the characters—Weetzie, Dirk, Duck, Secret Agent Lover Man—are shallow enough to be a fairy tale cast, and while I usually prefer more complex characters to whom I become more attached, these characters and their story charmed me.