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Violet & Claire

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  4,401 Ratings  ·  157 Reviews
In search of material for a screenplay they are developing, seventeen-year-old Violet and her new friend Claire try to make life a movie as they chase their dreams through dangerously beautiful Los Angeles.
Paperback, 169 pages
Published October 31st 2000 by Harper Teen (first published September 22nd 1999)
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Jan 11, 2009 Jaemi rated it it was amazing
This is the book that started it all for me. A friend recommended I read it, and Francesca Lia Block made an immediate move to the top slot in my favorite authors list, where she's stayed ever since.

Violet sees life as a movie. There's always a scene, a mood, something unfolding. Though her own life, sadly, is lacking in some of the necessities for a great script. Conflict. Her parents, who seem to be from a completely different bloodline than she, give her none. And what little she does have is
This book is like a dream.

There's a very mystical quality when reading it. The scenes meld into one another, which can be quite disjointing when reading it initially. Pages need to be re-read and at points, nothing is quite clear. The book is very short, however, (easily read in under an hour), and so it isn't quite difficult.

The love between Violet and Claire transcends sexuality, and Violet never makes any attempt to clarify their relationship. Claire relies more on Violet, that much is true,
Jan 20, 2008 Patrick rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2002
Yeah... I went through this really weird phase where I kept accidentally reading young adult fiction, it was very odd. This book was about two friends and... I don't remember. I think they have some problems or something. If I was a teenage girl I probably would've been pretty into it.
Oct 05, 2013 Bekka rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own-it
For a while, I’ve been thinking of doing a feature or something where I could showcase older books that I loved but haven’t read in a few years. I realized, though, that I don’t really have that much time for rereading, so I sort of just tossed that idea to the side and moved on. But recently I’ve been itching to read some older Francesca Lia Block – she was my favorite author as a teen, and this reading slump I’ve been is has been begging me to get to a comfort read. So at random, I pulled Viol ...more
Dec 14, 2011 Nomad rated it liked it
Shelves: f-l-block
I'm a fan of Block's and even though I'm out of her intended age market, I and many others like me, still love her work. I really WANTED to like this book more than I did. It was good, that's not at issue and it was a very well written meditation on female friendship and how sometimes society really pits girls/women against each other. So as a book on the intricacies of female friendship during the teen years and what appeared to be their very early 20's, I recommend this highly.

However: Many ti
Jan 22, 2011 Stacy rated it really liked it
I have been a fan of Ms. Block’s for years since many moons ago when The Rose and the Beast was recommended to me and I fell in love. I read as much as I could get my hands on and in time have read the vast majority of her books, but it’s been years since I’ve really even looked at any of her classic stuff and thought it would be fun to re-visit an old favorite. I found that I am still very much enchanted by the author’s beautiful use of language and lush descriptions that paint crazy vivid pict ...more
May 08, 2008 Izlinda rated it really liked it
Recommended to Izlinda by: Bridgett Mahoney
The brevity bothered me a bit, and a bit of the predictability, but it was engaging in the difference of the way it was written. Based on two girls, the first section is written by Violet, in first person, but with camera cues. The second section is written by Claire, in the form of a journal, again in first person, while the story concludes with a third-person look at Violet & Claire. It explores friendship, ambitions, attaining dreams and falling from them and relationships, though I suppo ...more
Jun 05, 2011 Estelle rated it liked it
"It was excruciating. It was excruciatingly beautiful.". its a fast paced story. As troubled and dark Violet and Claire were, they exude innocence and pure love. This story seems to be all over the place yet also all together. I may not be able to grasp the story as a whole, but it touches me somehow, somewhere. After finished reading, the first thing that came to my mind was 'wouldnt it be nice to have someone there for you, protecting you like that?'
Sep 22, 2007 Melinda rated it did not like it
This book in three words is "irritating, soullessly depressing." Pick it up if you want to be disappointed by the characters' decline in sense and likability, read about the shallow drug-and-sex-driven life of Los Angeles, and find no plot or development whatsoever.
Nov 05, 2007 Alia rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
The problem with FLB is that she gets teenagers so well that it's hard to read her books as an adult. This is a case of exactly that. I remember reading this book as a senior in highschool and totally relating. Now, the characters annoy the crap out of me.
Ashley Scott
Dec 12, 2015 Ashley Scott rated it liked it
Shelves: re-read, young-adult, 2015
Pretty much how I usually feel about FLB's writing - I love the whimsy, I love the lush descriptors, but the stories are sometimes too underdeveloped to mean as much as they could.
Jan 05, 2017 Joshua rated it really liked it
Been reading this author since I was about 15 or 16. Block can be a bit of a hit-or-miss but I immensely enjoyed this. Very mystical and faerie like, reads like a poem or a dream.
Apr 07, 2016 Katie rated it liked it
In my goal of re-reading all of my Francesca Lia Block books, "Violet and Claire" was next. I'm pretty glad I read "The Hanged Man" first to spark the interest, because while this one is certainly respectable, it wasn't nearly as gritty and well-balanced as THM.

So, "Violet and Claire" really makes you remember that FLB is a young adult writer, and that's perfectly fine. Violet comes off as the artsy, different, know-it-all girl at the beginning, who is very smart and knowledgeable but also very
Robin Conley
Jun 07, 2015 Robin Conley rated it liked it
I don't know about this book. There is something about it that is enticing, but not quite enjoyable. I didn't particularly care about the characters, but I did like the story of their friendship and the ending sentiment about it. It's nice to see books about deep friendships like this.

The language in the book at times felt over the top and flowery, but I am unfamiliar with Francesca Lia Block's work so I don't know if it's the author's style, or if it was supposed to be the characters' voices. I
Jul 05, 2011 Mandy rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
What started out as a really cliche, goth/cutter book ended up being surprisingly good. It’s always interesting to me when writer’s write from two or more people’s perspectives in the same novel because you really get to see the depth of their voice, and Block really has one. The two girls are complete opposites and their diction really reflects that.

Violet’s narration was blunt and straightforward, mirroring her personality, and although it starts out bland and cliche, it develops into somethi
May 09, 2013 Cristina rated it it was amazing
The last time I read this I was probably 15. My best friend and I read it together, and we decided that she was a Violet-Claire and I a Claire-Violet, because I was a Violet that wanted badly to be a Claire and she the opposite. This book, our talks of it, my feelings for it...have stayed with me for a long time. I'm 24 now and I think often of the time when I was Violet-Claire and we made the ordinary pain and ugliness of our homelives into something beautiful, magical and useful. We romanticiz ...more
Jan 13, 2015 Claire rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first part of this book, narrated by Violet, has none of the warmth and love that characterized FLB's earlier Weetzie Bat series. Violet's narrating voice is smart and readable, but she doesn't seem like a real high school girl. I think that has to do with the way this book's problems are so far removed from the problems real teens can get into living in LA. For starters, money is no object for Violet's family, she has no trouble getting close to a teen idol rockstar, and she's inexplicably ...more
Julie Decker
Jul 27, 2014 Julie Decker rated it really liked it
Violet has a dream of making movies. Claire has a dream of making poetry. When Violet "adopts" shy Claire at school and they get to know one another, they find that they're opposites in many ways, but vibrating on the same wavelength. Violet's dark, angry ambition and fiery talent are perfect compliments to Claire's light, whimsical contemplation and watery perceptiveness. But Claire slips away into her poetic daydreams and finds love when Violet lands a big film deal and pursues the stars she's ...more
Mar 02, 2015 Claire rated it it was amazing
Shelves: beautiful-books
Violet and Claire was the first book I purchased by Francesca Lia Block, and perhaps the best purchase of my life. Without that purchase I would have never fallen in love with Block's beautiful, whimsical prose and her lush, sweet descriptions of Los Angeles that depict the city to be some sort of enchanted kingdom with jasmine scented nights and manors that resemble Sleeping Beauty's castle.

The storyline seems simple, almost cookie cutter: two teenage girls that seem polar opposites become fri
Katie Sibley
Dec 31, 2012 Katie Sibley rated it really liked it
I had previously read many books by Francesca Lia Block, which made me very excited to start Violet & Claire. It ended up being one of my favorites. Even though it's an easy, fast read, it's jam packed with with dark, seductive sin with girlish innocence. I really liked this book because the two girls, Violet and Claire, are so universally different and yet share the same passionate souls that connect. The darker, intense Violet is passionate and film drives her. Lighter, more whimsical Clai ...more
Jun 02, 2013 Crystal rated it really liked it
I read this book in high school and I absolutely it and I loaned it to a friend and I never got it back thinking that she liked it to

Two different girls highly unlikely to be friends and are BFFs. Violet the dark mysterious girl would like to become a movie director writing a movie but wants to involve Claire and they both currently work on the script together but things happen obstacles occur in their friendship that prevent this from happening for both of them

The book is kind of corny as well
Alexandra Holt
Apr 09, 2015 Alexandra Holt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-13-25
In this coming of age novella, two teenage girls, both outsiders, become best friends. They find themselves in finding each other. They also find their sexuality as well as the realization that there is such a thing as human cruelty. Each suffering great loss and betrayal by their own hand, they recognize that their decisions have very serious consequences.
I personally enjoyed this book because I thought it was realistic and spoke out to sexual frustrations in a very real sense. As the two teen
Rebecca Owen
Violet wants nothing more than to direct movies. Dressing in black she's angry and intense, imagining camera sweeps and images she dreams of bringing to the big screen. Claire is a fairy come to life--complete with wings made of gauze and glitter. She radiates love and wishes to be a poet. And though these girls seem like complete opposites, they are the best of friends. Until the realities of life threaten to split them apart.
Told in alternating narrative between Violet and Claire, their diffe
Tara Calaby
Although the summaries of Block's books always sound a bit odd to me, I decided to give her a go, seeing as her name always seems to come up when GLBT YA novels are mentioned. She has a strange style, and this is more a novella than a full novel, because although it's 170 pages in my edition, there is so much white space on the pages. A lot of the story in this is implied, which I often quite like, but here it's more of an annoyance. There's one large event that's only ever hinted at, and I'm st ...more
May 30, 2016 cuifen rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
This was a teenage favourite of mine, and I haven't read it in probably over 15 years.

When I came back to it, it was just as I remembered, but I had changed. Which meant that the unabashedly teenage nature of it really stood out to me: the heady rush of everything, how wading through the girls' emotions and actions was dizzying and punchdrunk and alternately a technicolour cloud and a goth-black void. I didn't identify as much with it anymore, but there's no denying the strength of the writing a
Amber Brown
Apr 14, 2013 Amber Brown rated it it was ok
Violet is a driven girl obsessed with movies and hell-bent on being a screenwriter.
Claire is a poet who yearns to be a faerie.
Friendship, success, and love force them to navigate through complexities of life, but they learn that they always have each other.

Usually, I LOVE Francesca Lia Block. This novel was a real disappointment to me. There were a few beautifully written parts, but for the most part, the pacing was ridiculous (incredibly slow the first 100 pages, then everything crammed in al
Nov 26, 2007 Hena rated it really liked it
Shelves: have-in-chicago
I just got through my second read of this, but it had been several years so it was like reading it anew. It was very easy to get through and is a good quick read for someone who enjoys "young adult" lit. There's not too much to say about it plot-wise, and I don't think this is a book one reads for the plot. Or dialogue. Or imagery or symbolism, or ... I don't know. I like the way Francesca Lia Block writes, the way things are a sorta fairytale (yes, that's a Tori Amos song) but also real and som ...more
Sep 25, 2008 Daisy rated it liked it
Shelves: 1rst-quarter
This book catched my attention actually. Mrs.mann recommendeed it to me and i'm thankful she did! I would have to say this book is usually meant for teenagers around the age of high school. This book may have some very specific words not meant for ki8ds under the age of 13! If you know what I mean. Besides the bad words you can really relate to this book because it has a point of view of a teenage girl and her best friendgoing through .... you know girl stuff. I had my laughs and curious mommen ...more
Allison Floyd
This is probably my favorite book by Francesca Lia Block that I've read so far. While her writing is always gorgeous, sometimes (certainly not always) it can ring a little emotionally flat. That seemed to be less the case with this one (although every book I've read by her--with the exception of Weetzie Bat--has had an emotionally stirring moment or two). The characters felt more developed, although I thought she went a bit overboard with Claire's daddy issues, to the point of implying that if h ...more
Alicia Scully
Violent is the dark one, obsessed with film and the night. Claire is the bright one, in love with faeries and poetry. They are both outcasts until they meet each other and find contentment. They try to live their lives how they want and they push for their dreams, but the complexities of the real world get in the way that their friendship is threatened.

This book is quite fun as it's written as fantastical realism that Block does so well. I love this style dearly but this novel isn't my favorite
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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 about Francesca Lia Block...

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“This was not a fearie tale. This was not the movies. This was life. It hurt more. It was excruciating. It was excruciatingly beautiful.” 117 likes
“She wished she had a little yellow house of her own, with a flower box full of real flowers and herbs – pansies and rosemary – and a sweet lover who would swing dance with her in the evenings and cook pasta and read poetry aloud.” 94 likes
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