This is probably the best modern fairy tale novel that I have ever read. This is the whole Weetzie Bat series (not including Necklace of Kisses) all in one book. It is the story of Weetze Bat and My Secret Agent Lover Man and of their children Cherokee Bat and Witch Baby, a modern fairy tale like family living in Los Angeles, the city of lost dreams and classic tastes.
Block is a beautiful, honest, sincere, and imaginative writer. This collection is a wonderful way to introduce yourself to her works and the delighful characters and worlds she creates. In all of the books I've read, there has never been a character who struck me so much as Witch Baby. I highly recommend this collection to adults and youths both.
This is the collection of the Weezie Bat Books all into one book. I picked this up because it sounded like an interesting urban fantasy; that wasn't really what it was.
This book follows Weezie Bat's family. Each book is done from a different character's point of view. More than anything the books are about facing the difficulties of growing up and how a person's personality can affect that. For the most part the book takes place in LA. There are odd bits of magic thrown in at rare points; a genie shows up to grant wishes, Baby Witch tours New York city with her dead grandfather. These fantastical happenings are rarities in the stories though; they are written in a way that leaves you wondering if the character really did run into something magical or are they just hallucinating?
What makes this book different and special is the way it is written. Block throws in so many crazy ways of describing things that it will leave your mind reeling. She tries to explain the taste of a picture, the sound of a smell, the texture of a sight. The novels are decadent purely because of the descriptions...there is so much glitter, so many feathers, petals falling, raindrops touching. With her descriptions Block turns LA into a fantasy world where one doesn't really exist. She uses this over-describing to give her characters personality. Weezie Bat is full of sunshine and everything she touches seems to turn to gold. Baby Witch is dark and chaotic and when she tells the story it is in shades of grey.
Overall I thought these were unique and interesting stories. They weren't what I expected. The characters didn't have a goal or a plot to follow, outside of obtaining their own happiness. Unfortunately like a really rich dessert, the decadent descriptions and frivolous characters started to be too much. By the end of the book, I just wanted to be done with it. The lack of a plot, the characters inability to make anything other than rash emotional decisions, and the amount of time it takes for Block to describe anything started to bug me. I know that these characters are supposed to be teaching life lessons, but they just seemed very immature. And though I enjoyed the novelty of Block's writing in the beginning, by the last story I was sick of it. I would imagine Block's books are something best taken in small doses.
Will I read another book by Block? Probably not, unless I am in the mood for something over the top, decadent, and wandering.
These were my favorite books as a teenager and I still love them today. Francesca Lia Block is master of magical realism. Her prose is incredibly lyrical. I have also found that, despite cultural references and come colloquial language (most of which she makes up), her characters and their stories stand the test of time.
A little too much "fantasy" for me. 5 books in one. I had read Baby Be-Bop before, because of its controversy--the main character knows from childhood that he's gay. I gave this book a 5 and it prompted me to want to read the rest of the series.