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Psyche in a Dress

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  1,965 ratings  ·  175 reviews
But this is what I could not give up: I could not give up myself Psyche has known Love--scented with jasmine and tasting of fresh oranges. Yet he is fleeting and fragile, lost to her too quickly. Punished by self-doubt, Psyche yearns to be transformed, like the beautiful and brutal figures in the myths her lover once spoke of. Attempting to uncover beauty in the darkness,...more
Hardcover, 116 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Joanna Cotler Books (first published August 24th 2006)
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Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia BlockI Was a Teenage Fairy by Francesca Lia BlockEcho by Francesca Lia BlockViolet & Claire by Francesca Lia BlockWasteland by Francesca Lia Block
Francesca Lia Block Novels
7th out of 27 books — 51 voters
Hush, Hush by Becca FitzpatrickFallen by Lauren KateWicked Lovely by Melissa MarrTorment by Lauren KateTwilight by Stephenie Meyer
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Community Reviews

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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Allison Fraclose for

Francesca Lia Block puts her powerful prose to work in this stunningly simple, yet amazingly complex book. We follow a teenaged girl, known as Psyche, throughout her life, which mirrors the stories in several Greek myths.

An actress in her father's odd, violent movies, Psyche considers herself her father's muse, who took over when her mother left. At night, she is visited by Love himself, who tells her that she is Soul. Her lover brings the sound...more
This might actually be 5 stars. It's pretty amazing. It's not easy to write Greek Myth retellings without turning them into romances or making them a little cheesy. Francesca Lia Block succeeds in making this book of prose true Mythic fiction.
This book is absolutely not YA!

Because of the fact that this book is based on the Greek Myths, I would not consider describing anything as giving away spoilers. In fact, I would say that in order to appreciate this book, one would have to be familiar with...more
I'm not entirely sure what I thought of this. I think this is the first time I've tried anything by Francesca Lia Block, and it just sort of caught my eye. It's quite powerful, powerful images and an interesting way of retelling several different mythical stories.

It's made up of poetry, mostly, and some prose. It's a very fast read if it sounds interesting to you -- but I'm still not sure what I think, having stared at the screen for a while trying to put together a more incisive review.
This book is somewhere between 3.5 stars to 4 stars.

The writing is simple, poetic in some parts and I hope I can write like this and tells a story like this. The ending is quite sweet as well. Psyche in a Dress is unlike anything I have read in the field of Young Adult novels, the author handled the Greek Myth retelling theme nicely, breathing fresh air into the ancient myths and I like how sex is being mentioned in a honest tone in the story.

Still there's a down side. At some point, the overly...more
I didn't even realize I was in the mood for this type of book until I read it. It's extremely unique, using blank verse instead of the usual paragraphs. I wish I knew more about greek mythology however, as the entire book centered around characters of mythological names and dispositions. A good background in that subject would probably make for a better read. Even without that prior knowledge this book was enjoyable. It's quick and interesting.
Another one of Francesca Lia Block's mind-bending stories. It annoys me when the book doesn't have a blurb on the back or on the front sleeve. I want to know what this book is about, darn it! It always leaves me wondering a little when I start the book. What is this going to be about? Am I going to enjoy it? Is bacon going to be involved?

But in FLB nature, this is a real FLB book. Poem-styled writing, lots of words I don't understand, and shifts in character development. It wasn't until the end...more
Her books are always interesting to read because of the way that they are written. She doesn’t give a lot of detail about the big things—about everything that is happening, but she gives extreme details about the little things. Like what the main characters mothers wardrobe is like, or how the scent of the flowers filled the air. I find it quite intriguing.
Block is obviously very interested in Greek mythology. It would be of great benefit to the reader if they had some sort of background knowl...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 29, 2012 Dawn added it
Dawn States
The short free flowing poetry book Psyche in a Dress is a beautiful, harsh, and descriptive retelling of the famous Greek myth of Psyche and Eros. The book follows the original myth closely, only it is an all new telling. Any fan of the great Greek myths will appreciate this book. Though strange in its construction and telling, the book ultimately makes sense and brings the elements of love, family and self to light.
Imagine the Greek gods and goddesses lived among us in this...more
i’d heard a lot of great things about this book before i read it, so when i started reading and didn’t immediately see the draw i was kind of disappointed. it wasn’t bad by any means, but it wasn’t fantastic. as i got closer to the end, however, and the different aspects of the story started coming together for the final conclusion i really thought to myself, this is a really good book.
the writing style is some kind of poetic, stream of consciousness, almost dreamlike approach that allows the re...more
With lyrical and whimsical words, Francesca Lia Block rewrites the timeless Greek myths of love into modern-day, chic tales for a more fashionable crowd. The story begins with Psyche, whom after that fated accident with her lover, Eros the god of love himself, transform into other mythological damsels. From Echo to Eurydice to Persephone, she puts herself through trials to find her god once again.

It's a small book, only 100 pages, but I still read it over and over, indulging in its poetry and ta...more
Fiona Doria
I really liked how this book goes through the different greek myths. How the main character is Psyche but also Echo, Eurydice, and Persephone. I love how it shows the life of a women goes through all those stages. We play many different roles. We are all goddesses, it just may take sometime to realize it. Maybe it's just me but it kind of seems like Joy's lover is Marilyn Manson. And the whole Orpheus and Maenad reminds me of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love. Maybe I'm the only one that sees that....more
Julie Decker
In a stark poetic style, Psyche tells us the story of her search for love and her attempts to rise above her pain. Her father abused her by putting her in sexually explicit movies when she was a child, so she has trouble using those representations of love to connect, and with no support from her mother, she needs to find her match. They appear to her one by one, coming as Narcissus, Orpheus, and Hades in their roles in her life, changing what mythic role she plays as they see fit. When Hades dr...more
This book was just colourful. Block's descriptions are definetely the thing I like most about her writing style, they capture her characters in shades and lights and it's so beautiful.
This was kind of a poem and it had a good rhytm even. Block's retelling of ancient greek myths was wonderful, she did a really good job in adapting them and taking out what she thought would fit her characters and our contemporary society best.
Her decaying cities and people are just perfect.
This was not much about...more
Most of Block's books are pretty far out there for me, especially as writing style goes. I can get into them, but it takes a good bit of letting my mind go slightly out of focus. this was an interesting humaninzing of the god and goddess archetypes, which i appreciated.
when i finished it, i tried another--Ecstacia. I should have waited. i can only chew so much of her stories at a time.
I enjoyed reading this story. It was really interesting and the way Block wrote was simply amazing. To sum it all up, Psyche in a dress is a free-verse poem with bits of narrative tales about its characters. Combined with a modern twist, "Psyche in a Dress" is simply alluring and won't get hold of you no matter how short this work is.
I keep wanting to read and like Block's writing, but something about it makes me so sad, and not in a good way. I think we just have different opinions about life and love. I'm not going to read her again.
I read like 5 pages of this and it was so boring/exactly like everything else she's written that I returned it to the library immediately
Robert Zimmermann
I read Block's Weetzie Bat a few years ago, and I think that helped prepare me for reading this book. Block has an interesting way with language that is beautiful to read, but can also lead to some minor confusion and rereading. It's not a fault in the writing though. It helps it stand out and allows for the story to do interesting things.

Block takes well known myths and weaves them together into a set of modern day characters. It's often hard to tell where the myth and the "real world" aspects...more
Dec 05, 2008 Kelly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Loved the spin on the old story and a fast read.
Jan 23, 2009 Jaemi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: francesca lia block fans, greek mytholgy fans
Psyche loses her first love to self-doubt, sure that she can’t be enough for a god. After he leaves, she sets about punishing herself in hopes of getting him back. She travels through Orpheus, Hades, her mother, Demeter. Eventually, she moves back home to work for her stepmother, who is fond of turning her into flowers and other things with which to make her dresses. But even Aphrodite can see how Psyche suffers, and one day brings her a book. A book so much like her life that she writes the aut...more
E. Anderson
Psyche in a Dress is a sexy, emotionally raw novella written in verse form using classical mythology against the backdrop of hollywood. Our heroine is a young actress, used by her father in films, missing her mother who left when she was younger, and connecting to her through the dresses she left behind. When her first lover, Eros, leaves her upon seeing his face, Psyche embarks on a journey to achieve the same happiness she felt with him, always hoping she might win him back. She takes on the r...more
This is a quick read based on the relationships between gods and a mortal woman who takes the incarnation of various goddesses. I was familiar with almost all of the myths, so it was a simple enough story to grasp for me. I'm not sure if it would be confusing to those that are not familiar with some Greek mythology. However, I'm probably the only one who was a bit peeved by the use of Eros, the Roman form of Cupid, when all other names used were Greek.

I enjoyed this retelling, and the wonderfull...more
Dec 10, 2012 Holly rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
This book is basically a dark and modern retelling of the story of Psyche and Eros.

The classical elements of the story were generally correct. However I find it strange (and bothersome) that the author would name Psyche and Eros' child as "Joy" instead of "Hedone" (the child's Greek name) or "Voluptas" (the child's Roman name). Also, "Hedone" and "Voluptas" both mean 'pleasure', not 'joy'. Though I understand that to modern readers, "Joy" may be a better name than "Pleasure".

Nevertheless, the a...more
Paola (A Novel Idea)
Originally posted at A Novel Idea


I absolutely love most everything Francesca Lia Block writes. She has this writing style that is entirely unique unto itself, almost more poetry than anything else. It is lyrical and beautiful and so sensory that you can hear touch taste smell see feel everything she writes about. This particular book contains retellings of Greek myths, and having loved her collection of retold fairytales (The Rose and the Beast), I figured I would enjoy this as well....more
"When your mothers tell you to love and appreciate your body it isn’t just to get you to shut up. They know that when you are old you are going to feel exactly the same way inside that you do now. We try on different dresses, different selves, but our souls are always the same- ongoing, full of light."

Psyche in a Dress by Francesca Lia Block is a wisp of a book. The story centres around a girl who lives out Greek myths, becoming each of the different characters throughout her life, Echo, Eurydi...more
Fransesca Lia Block's book Psyche in a Dress is a very original, unique work. It's written as free-verse poetry, though the entire novel is one complete tale. There is a decided lack of proper grammar - no periods, confused capitalization, and absolutely nothing to designate conversation, but, at the same time, it flows so smoothly. I was never in doubt as to what was occurring, and the language itself was so evocative. There were certain portions of the story which I felt fairly screamed for mu...more
Psyche in a Dress has most of its narration written by the title character, in a bare-bones poetry style with no capital letters and very sparing punctuation. She tells the story of meeting her true love but driving him away for looking upon his face when she was asked not to.

From a family whose father used her as a character in obscene movies and a mother who abandoned them, Psyche has to look for love elsewhere, and after her first love leaves she begins searching through all kinds of mythica...more
Sarah Keliher
When I was in high school, I edited a zine of sorts. It was mostly comprised of teenage confessional poetry, the kind that prominently features rain and heartbreak and slashed wrists. People were always on me about improving the quality, being more selective about the contributions, elevating the tone. I knew full well that the zine mostly sucked, and yet I had no desire to improve it. I felt that these crappy, clichéd, maudlin outpourings of adolescent angst were just as vital, if not more so,...more
This was not what I was expecting - which was a novel based on the Psyche myth. Instead it is a series of interconnected prose poems, with the main character taking on the character of Psyche (or Eurydice, or Persephone, etc.) depending on what was happening at that point in her life. The author uses a mix of realistic, mundane details (the meals she ate, the dresses she wore) and fantastical flights of imagination ("Love" comes to her bed at night, but won't reveal his face; the mother, Demeter...more
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  • Anatopsis
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 spr...more
More about Francesca Lia Block...
Weetzie Bat (Weetzie Bat, #1) Dangerous Angels (Weetzie Bat, #1-5) I Was a Teenage Fairy The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold Echo

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“He smells like night-blooming flowers
Crushed, juicy petals on the pillows
His voice is full of ocean
Humming like the surf
He kneels before me like I am his goddess
He is a god”
“We try on different dresses, different selves, but our souls are always the same - ongoing, full of light.” 2 likes
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