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3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  1,396 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
From the very moment she was born, Primavera's songs made water flow and flowers blossom. She brought new life to the desert where her family lives. But even in Paradise there are dreams that cannot be fulfilled. Primavera is in love with a man who can never be hers--so when a handsome stranger offers her the gift of a horse-headed motorcycle, Primavera leaves home in sear ...more
Paperback, 189 pages
Published January 19th 2004 by Firebird (first published 1994)
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(showing 1-30)
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Tabitha Vohn
Oct 06, 2015 Tabitha Vohn rated it liked it
Shelves: the-cool-table
Beautiful and Disturbing.

As always, Lia Block's writing is as lyrical as it is raw. This novel seamlessly blends Greek myth with a coming of age tale set in Los Angeles, complete with themes on homosexuality, drug addiction, sex trafficking, ageism, child abuse, unrequited love, suicide...did I leave anything out? Oh yea, and rock & roll.

It's "hard times in the city", yo, and while I was riveted the entire time, I was equally taken aback by the blunt, deviant sexuality that is explored in t
Jul 08, 2011 Em rated it really liked it
Francesca is such a weirdo, I love her so much <3
Malcolm Logscribe
Jan 27, 2015 Malcolm Logscribe rated it liked it
This was a much more successful fairy tale than Ecstasia, though you do need to read that one first for this one to work (I think).

Usual problems with thinness and whiteness, so if you're not thinthinthin and white (and feminine, delicate...), you may find this book dehumanizing. There are some people who aren't entirely human, bird-women and centaurs and things, and then there are a bunch of fauns described with black features - wide noses, full lips, etc - and they get breast descriptions inst
Jun 20, 2010 Zoë rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
"Now it is as if she is imprisoned in a garden of her own making, lost in a tangle of redolent blossoms, and only when she has seen the city without gardens will she know this place for what it is."

When Primavera sings flowers grow, bringing to life the desert that she, her mother, her father, her uncle and her uncle's beautiful boyfriend Paul (who Primavera may be in love with) live. Primavera by Francesca Lia Block brings with the title character craving experience and adventure, outside of t
Jun 13, 2007 Swankivy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favoritebooks
Also re-issued with its prequel; we no longer have to comb shelves for rare books or pay hundreds of dollars to read it! Primavera is one of my favorites of her work. Told mostly in first person from Primavera's point of view, this is a magical novel! Primavera is the daughter of Calliope and Dionisio, and they live in a desert paradise. Feeling alienated by unrequited love and smothered by the flowers that spring up when she sings, and by her mother's constant knowledge of her thoughts, Primave ...more
May 22, 2011 Amanda rated it it was amazing
"Primavera" is an absolutely beautiful book that takes many elements of Greek mythology and modernity and interweaves them into the Persephone myth. Primavera wants to escape her parents and the utopia she has created, but to do so, she must face the horrors of civilization in Elysia. Mixed in with the story are songs, mini poems that describe what is going on in the plot and inside Primavera. The writing is brilliant, like a kaleidoscope of images and sensory detail: "There were bright things i ...more
Rorie Kelly
This book was moving in both really wonderful and really horrible ways. There are a few movies I've seen that I characterize as being really good and really important, but which were so powerfully disturbing at times that I'm not sure I want to see them again. (Boys Don't Cry and Monster are two examples.) There are parts of this book that are like that--that still come back to me and make me shudder years after having read it. But like all of Francesca Lia Block's book, there is also intense be ...more
Jan 09, 2017 Lauren rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy, retelling
Francesca Lia Block's writing is luminous, but never more so than in this reimagining of the Persephone myth. From a desert paradise where Primavera grows up with the gift of singing flowers to life, to the dark and glowing streets of Elysia, to Under and beyond every detail is a feast. But it isn't just sparkle and flash. It is a deep allegory that speaks to the problems of our world today, and gives us a glimpse of how we can join all its broken pieces together again.
Dec 30, 2008 Brandee rated it it was amazing
This book and it's prequel-Ecstatia- are 2 of my all time favs, even for Francesca Lia Block's collection. I loved the music and flowers and characters. When I was reading this I understood all of their scenerios and related them with my own life experiences and people I have met or was. Two must reads!
Jan 31, 2010 Shanna rated it really liked it
Poetic and captivating. Loved this book along with the others.
Jan 08, 2012 Ronni rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yal
This book is 18 years old, but the story is eternal. A Persephone story update, mixed with a bit of dystopia, and a ton of Block at her best. Makes her dangerous angels seem warmly, cozily safe.
Jan 05, 2010 Natalie rated it it was amazing
I think this is my favourite F.L.B. story, it is so magical and terrible and lovely...
I fell in love with Ecstasia, the predecessor of Primavera, and I just had to read the next installment to find out what happens next. This book doesn't disappoint. As usual, Block's writing is full of beautiful, whimsical imagery, things that are so delicate and charming one minute and dangerous the next, and yet they still keep that terrifying beauty within them. It is an aspect to her writing that never disappears.

I understood Primavera's choices and as a character could really connect to her
Julie Decker
Aug 16, 2014 Julie Decker rated it it was amazing
Primavera, the girl with the magical voice that can make flowers appear, is the daughter of Dionisio and Calliope. They live in the desert, where her parents and their friends Paul and Rafe practice with their band, but she is feeling penned in by having a mother who always knows her thoughts, and she wants to know more about the land of her ancestry--her family is of Elysia, where supposedly, no one grows old. (Really, everyone goes voluntarily or is pushed to the Under at the first signs of ag ...more
Crystal Carroll
Aug 12, 2012 Crystal Carroll rated it liked it
Young Primavera lives in a paradise, soft, lush, suffocating. She longs for hard, brittle adventure. So, into the desert and the cities she rides.

The story of Persephone in a post apocalyptic world where radiation has created mutant centaurs and mermaids and Primavera, who when she sings, makes the world bloom flowers.

A classic journey from innocence into adulthood with all the attendant descents into the abyss and climb into the sun. What’s interesting about this version is that we not only re
Amanda Butler
Sep 11, 2013 Amanda Butler rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, feminism
A beautifully written coming-of-age story that is a perfect example of contemporary magical realism. This book hides inside it a universe of centaurs, mermaids, bird-women, and wonderfully crafted characters. I would recommend this to mature individuals, as dark themes exist such as drug use and rape.
Sep 26, 2013 Melanie rated it liked it
I really like the writing style in this book. The characters are very interesting. The details of the story are great, but the overall image was not the kind of thing I enjoy. I like a book with lots of suspense and surprises. This story has sort of a boring frame in my opinion, But if you like fantasy, then you should read this.
Jesse Schreier Kennard
Apr 08, 2007 Jesse Schreier Kennard rated it really liked it
I started reading this book back in high school, many years ago, fell in love with it and promptly lost it. I found it again, actually I stole it from a library (at the time it was out of print) and have been waiting to resume reading ever since.
Tine Katrine
Oct 21, 2013 Tine Katrine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
I think this is one of my favorite Block books. I often have some trouble with keeping up with the story, understanding what is really happening all the time. Even though I still like them, it was nice to always get what was happening, for a change.
Jul 17, 2011 Hilary rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
A sequel to 'Ecstasia' (though I read them in the wrong order anyway). Not just a sequel for the most part this is a retelling of the same events through the eyes of another character. Rather pointless, then. ...more
Dec 17, 2007 Laurie rated it liked it
Shelves: library-books
It seems to me that it is very obviously one of her first books. I didn't regret reading it, I liked it, but at times it was just a little...too much? It seems that these days she realizes that a healthy dose of realism spliced in can much better achieve her purposes.
Mar 09, 2007 Josie rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
[Attempted re-read in March 2016]

Aaaaaaand that's the last of my FLB books gone! I can't believe they've sat on my bookshelf gathering dust for over TEN YEARS. (Did I ever read them more than once?) Goodbye, pretentious and repetitive YA. Hello, four inches of shelf space!
Taylor Watson
I've loved what I've read from FLB before, but I just couldn't fall in love with this one as much as others for some reason. I enjoyed it, but at the same time... meh.
Christiana Sherrill
May 14, 2014 Christiana Sherrill rated it liked it
Primavera realizes her family left the city for a reason. Don't leave home, kid.
Kelly Taylor
Mar 05, 2008 Kelly Taylor rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: magical-realism
Amazing book. Just as good, if not better than the first of the series.
Jun 09, 2011 Lola rated it it was ok
i remember this book as being inappoptriate, i am not sure now, but i didnt like it
Susan O'connor
Jul 05, 2012 Susan O'connor rated it liked it
Very weird book. I think this author has issues and she even says it is a story of personal issues which she is a wacko lol!
Feb 03, 2010 Debs rated it really liked it
This is actually a sequel, and I probably should’ve read Ectasia first, because I’m having difficulty going backwards. I love Block’s style and the families she creates.
I really identified with the lead character's struggles in this book which is probably why I liked it so much.
May 27, 2008 Gianna rated it liked it
Even though i didn't think that it was as good as it's prequel (Ecstasia), i really enjoyed the storyline and the way that it was written.
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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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“Sometimes she has imagined what it would be like to fly, to live in the river, to run like a horse. She has dreamed of that freedom, that power, and fears the wildness in herself that wants to live as beasts live, moved purely by need and desire. She has felt torn between the heat of her limbs and the thoughts in her mind telling her to be careful and good and always calm” 15 likes
“The lesson of this life is not for me to touch you again. It is to accept who I am now and not feel shame.” 5 likes
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