Skip to main content
PBS logo
Want fewer ads?

Book Review of I Was a Teenage Fairy

I Was a Teenage Fairy
reviewed on + 533 more book reviews

Once upon a time, in the bubble-gum-snapping, glitter polish-wearing, lip-gloss-applying San Fernando Valley, a gentle girl named Barbie met a feisty fairy named Mab: "Maybe Mab was real. Maybe there really are girls the size of pinkies with hair the color of the darkest red oleander blossoms and skin like the greenish-white underbellies of calla lilies.... But it doesn't matter if Mab is real or imagined, Barbie thought, as long as I can see her." Mab, with her crabby commentary and no-holds-barred opinions, gives Barbie the strength she needs to face the horrors casting a shadow over her life in sunny, shimmering California. How else could Barbie survive her over-perfumed, over-tanned, overbearing stage mother, dragging her daughter to modeling agencies in the gold-plated hope of reliving her younger days as a beauty queen? Or the "cadaver-pale skin" and "fleshy mouth" of Hamilton Waverly, the "crocodile pedophile" photographer who makes Barbie feel "like the doll she had been named for, without even a hole where her mouth was supposed to be"? Mab glimmers and gabs by Barbie's side throughout her teen years as she becomes a successful fashion model, falls in love, and endures all the troubles that come along for the ride--in addition to facing the black secret of her past.
Francesca Lia Block, author of the magical Weetzie Bat books that are collected in Dangerous Angels, and the empowering, punchy Girl Goddess #9, has once again crafted a mystical tale whose ethereal, original language will wrap readers in its gossamer grip. Block carries us to the weeping heart of despair, but would never be so cruel as to leave us there: Barbie gets a new, skyward-gazing name, Selena Moon, and readers get a glimmersome vision of living happily ever after. (Ages 13 and older)

Want fewer ads?