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Blood Roses

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  1,141 Ratings  ·  131 Reviews
What shall we do, all of us?

All of us passionate girls who fear crushing the boys we love with our mouths like caverns of teeth, our mushrooming brains, our watermelon hearts?

What's real is what's imagined in nine tales of transformation by Francesca Lia Block.
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by HarperTeen
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by coollibrarianchick for

On Francesca Lia Block's website, there are a bunch of words lumped together, reminding me of magnetic poetry that has been used to describe her work. I couldn't agree more with the words reviewers have used. The one word that kept jumping out at me while reading this was lyrical. I was looking for a word to describe what I thought about her newest literary novella, BLOOD ROSES, and that describes it perfectly. Surreal and dreamy would be good a
Feb 23, 2009 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: impressionable girls of all ages
I love Francesca. There's probably no one else that could get me to think about visiting Los Angeles. When I think of L.A. I think of asphalt, and traffic, and The Miracle Mile and being... transient. Not like in homeless or anything like that, but just not being settled. That might be why I stick to the East Coast. There's a definite sense of history. Of being grounded, solid. I cling to that.

But, when I read Francesca, I feel that I could lose myself in those hills, hide in the canyon, that I
Francesca Lia Block may well be my favorite author: I certainly own more of her books (15 and counting) than anyone else's. She's more magical, winged, and punk-rock than Alice Hoffman, with a similar belief in the all-consuming, all-transforming power of romantic longing, and a penchant for lush, detailed descriptions of vintage outfits and ethnic foods and the streets and canyons of L.A. But she's spent her career in the young adult ghetto, because her main concern, I think, is reaching out to ...more
It's refreshing to see a YA book actually deals with sex, violence and sexuality etc in a down to earth manner. But I don't like Blood Roses as much as I like Francesca Lia Block's other novels. Among the short stories, I think I like Skin Art and My Mother the Vampire best.
Apr 21, 2011 Nicola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not quite magic realism, not quite fantasy, Blood Roses is a series of short stories that have the quality of a beautiful hallucination.

Francesca Lia Block takes the hellish insecurity of being a teenager and gives those anxieties physical form: this is a world where fairies, vampires and aliens lurk at the edges of the Southern California setting. Unlike some of her contemporaries, however, Block doesn’t use her fantasy to sugarcoat reality: these are gritty stories and better for it.

I first fe
Blood Roses left me with mixed feelings. On one hand, the nine (very, very) short stories are almost invariably beautifully written. But they're barely more than sketches, most of them. Giant is little more than a scene, while Horses Are a Girl's Best Friend is like a summary of a story. Block chooses her words carefully, and she has a gift for creating an arresting image, but her prose is so stripped down that it can lack substance. The characters themselves lack substance, for the most part. A ...more
Jan 02, 2010 Therese rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
I wonder sometimes if I've outgrown Francesca Lia Block. This collection of short stories has nothing on "Girl Goddess #9". Long gone are the riot grrls, DIY culture, and punk love. Instead these fragmented, dream-like stories are centered by a collection of (mostly) girls who hide a few quirks behind a facade of normality. Maybe it's because it's a different audience than it was ten years ago, but these girls are just too insipid for me to care about (let alone be inspired by).

A few of the stor
Emilia P
Jan 24, 2009 Emilia P rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: real-books
Ah the darker FLB stuff. I like you so much. I loved the story about the girl who kissed a boy which turned her into a giant and how the story didn't tell if she changed back to normal size. I love the neediness. I love the death and the aliens and the little bits of crazy and the blossoming and then fading again tattoo girl. I loved the girl in love with the centaur. I like how these are just very good outlines of stories that somehow are still so full of life and myth. I love that it took me a ...more
Sep 16, 2009 Kaethe marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Can't get the Smithereens out of my mind.
Allison Floyd
Even read as prose poems, this collection of short stories is pretty insubstantial. Several felt like recycled drafts of her other work: beautiful butterfly pinned to the corkboard of life; Mom is sad because Dad's not in the picture; damaged young people face Serious Life Issues; the Faeries are real and were banished underground; rinse, wring, repeat. Plot/conflict/tension are largely absent. Characterization is nonexistent. This book was published in 2008 and veers dangerously toward Weetzie ...more
Real Score: 3.5 stars

I think I have a weakness for Francesca Lia Block's books. I've read about 4 or 5 books of hers in just a couple of months, and even though they've yet to make it to my favorites, I keep buying them and devouring them as soon as they come. There's such a gorgeous quality to her writing, a painful rawness to her stories and a flawed beauty to her protagonists and relationships, and that touch of magical realism, those sensual suggestions of fantasy...well, there you see, I'm
Aug 12, 2008 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kelley
Francesca Lia Block is one of those writers that makes me fall in love with writing. It isn't even so much about the story, as it is about the actual words she strings together. This is a collection of strange and beautiful stories with lines like "a palm tree was wearing a dress of ivy"; it has a character named "Fleurette", who I instead of the diner waitress I imagined her to be, lives in a home with a haunted doll house. Then there is the story of the girl who falls in love with a tattoo art ...more
Agatha Donkar
T. brought this back to me in an ARC from ALA Midwinter, and I burned through it pedaling to Belgium on the exercise bike this afternoon. I've always loved the way that FLB's writing was a little dark, a little sad, a little magical, but she's just outdone herself with these stories; they're exquisitely composed, dark and sexy and scary and sad and dreamy and lovely. Awfully adult, too, even with the teenaged protagonists, but in a fascinating way. May just have knocked Witch Baby off the top of ...more
Jul 03, 2008 Anastasia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I generally prefer Block's novels to the short stories, but I still devoured this collection in one sitting. All of the stories have a touch of Block's usual lyrical fantasy and tie together both in theme and even in overlapping characters in a contemplation of the adolescent condition. I wallow in Block's language if nothing else: her gift for metaphor and imagery is unrivaled among writers in her genre.
Nice collection of short stories tying together. Loved the Tori Amos reference:)
May 29, 2008 Alexis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably my least favorite of her books. I just felt that the stories all began to go somewhere and then left the reader hanging.
Dec 31, 2016 Jacky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good read.
Dawn Rutherford
Brief and mysterious stories, FLB fans will enjoy.
Nov 18, 2013 Alisson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blood Roses

By:Francesca Lia Block

Do u always or maybe sometimes believe in happy endings,well this story thought me that not all story's end in a happy ever after some story might end sad,bad or you won't even understand why it ended like that.
Well this story begins with two girls name,Rosie and Lucie they were looking for some roses but not any random one they said it was was call Blood roses thy saw many kinds of roses like eucalyptus and poison oak by the canyon.Lucky told Rosie that you coul
Blood Roses - 3/5
Two sisters are confronted by a man in a music store that leads to their demise. At least I think that's what happens- it certainly appears to be.

I read the end of this story twice, to try and garner the meaning. It also appears that their favourite singer, Solo, may not have committed suicide, but instead was stabbed to death.

I magical story, albeit confusing.

Giant - 2.5/5
The first of a series of four connected stories, that are each stand alone in their own way. A girl is kis
What shall we do, all of us? all of us passionate girls who fear crushing the boys we love with our mouths like caverns of teeth, our mushrooming brains, our watermelon hearts?
Nicole Field
By far, the best part of this book of short stories was the four stories that centred around the four girls, Rachel Sorrow, Berry Rodriguez, Elodie Sweet and Sasha (no last name given).

"Giant" introduced Rachel, a young woman who feels inferior to her three more glamorous friends. Like so many stories in this set, "Giant" explores normal experience of the teenage girl through metaphor. In this case, the feeling explored is feeling that you love too much, too intensely, with the typical teenage
This short story collection always makes me sing the Tori Amos song of the same name when I pick it up.

A collection of magical/fairy-tale-esque stories of transformation, this is the usual adjective bath by Ms. Block. It's odd because I usually prefer books with strong characterization and Block's books seem to be more about concept--especially in her short fiction. In the first story--the title story, "Blood Roses," I found myself randomly crying over a poignant paragraph: "She wondered if when
Julie Decker
This book contains nine short stories:

1. "Blood Roses" is about Rosie and Lucy, who look for blood roses in their special place but don't expect to find them while they're still alive. They mourn for a favorite rock star and encounter a strange man in a record store who invites them over to look at pictures of the star from just before he killed himself. One girl follows the other, both knowing it's dangerous, and they're never the same again.

2. "Giant" is about Rachel who is always too much. Wh
Paola (A Novel Idea)
Originally posted at A Novel Idea Reviews

Rating: 2.5/5

This collection of short stories focuses on the differences between guys and girls—that gap between physical desire and emotional need. There is love and loss, heartbreak and misunderstanding, life and death. As always, the setting is Los Angeles, the author’s favorite city. She depicts the many worlds within that world through each vignette in the book, and a few of the characters are connected, although each has her own story. I think the b
Dreamlike yet hurtfully real, that is how "Blood roses" roots itself. And beautiful, more than anything else it has beauty in its scarring thorns.
This short story collection is for sure nothing I would recommend to anybody, it takes a certain soul to appreciate these I think. We all deal differently with sorrows, challenges and heartache, we all got broken in one way or another at some point in our lives but this is for those who still carry the shards of the shattered hearts deep within us. It
E. Anderson
Block's short story collection paints portraits of troubled teens: girls worshipping a recently-suicided rockstar, a girl in love with a too-old tattoo artist, a boy whose father and girlfriend both have died and has decided to live underground. But Block puts a twist on these stories by adding fantastical elements. In My Boyfriend is an Alien, a girl recounts all the evidence she has seen that he is not from here - his accent, his giant round eyes, the way he says "your" instead of "our" when s ...more
May 08, 2012 Lala rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"What shall we do, all of us? All of us passionate girls who fear crushing the boys we love with our mouths like caverns of teeth, our mushrooming brains, our watermelon hearts?"

Another beautifully painted piece by Francesca. Reading her work always reminds me of art. I imagine I am there in the moments she describes in such an eloquent and colourful way. Francesca delivers a wonderful collection of short stories in Blood Roses. I would be hard pressed to tell my favourite story from within this
Tabitha Vohn
Aug 15, 2013 Tabitha Vohn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Blood Roses is raw, sumptuous prose that captured the dark essence of those elusive years of adolescence, when our minds are not wholly our own, because we cannot know ourselves and therefore cannot fix ourselves; we lack direction and –dare I say-sanity. Then we re-emerge on the banks of adulthood cold and shivering and confused as to how we got there and wondering whether the nightmarish visions of our teen self truly happened to us. We forget them the way a mother forgets the pain of childbir ...more
Oct 02, 2008 Valentina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Francesca Lia Block è una delle mie autrici preferite.

Ogni suo libro mi lascia dentro una voglia di vivere immensa, una voglia di aprire gli occhi il più possibile per catturare ogni particolare del mondo che mi circonda. Vedere ciò che lei vede e come lo vede. Spalanco gli occhi.

Blood Roses è una piccola raccolta di sentimenti, di ragazze. Comincia con la storia di due sorelle che cercano rose rosso sangue, quelle che dicono, si possano vedere soltanto se si muore. L'ambientazione è quella che
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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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“What shall we do? All of us passionate girls who fear crushing the boys we love with our mouths like caverns of teeth, our mushrooming brains, and watermelon hearts?” 27 likes
“Maybe her own tears were the poison that made her grow.” 19 likes
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