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How to (Un)Cage a Girl

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  774 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
A celebration of girls and women in a three part poetry collection that is powerful, hopeful, authentic, and universal.
ebook, 128 pages
Published September 16th 2008 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published September 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,877)
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Oct 14, 2015 Rossy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Definitely not my thing, but I give it 2 stars because I think "Popular girl", "A myth of love for girls", and "Forty-five thoughts for my daughter and my virtual daughters" are amazing.
Oct 04, 2014 Cassidy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, favorites, trauma
Now, this is not one of those reads a wide range of people would enjoy. However because I am:

a) female
b) fifteen
c) a poet and a reader of poetry
d) relatively open to all sorts of weird stuff

I was bizarrely taken by this thin little book. I mean, to be fair, I opened the first page and was like, "Um, no, I'm not reading a book that is ENTIRELY in lowercase. That is absurdly pretentious." I still stand by that opinion but with any other poetry book it would have been a deal-breaker. How to (Un)cag
Dec 06, 2009 jess rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, fiction, yaf
I read this book because I once loved FLB, and here is one of her books that I haven't read, so of course I have to read it. But here it is, two stars. It's not that I can't appreciate good poetry, but mostly that the sort of angst, sorrow, mourning, lonely tragedy/difficulties of girlhood and womanhood translate into poetry in a way that is just sublimely irritating to me. So, it's hard for me to discuss the poetry because it's just not my thing. Many apologies to the angsty, healing lady poets ...more
I have a complicated history with FLB, on one hand she's written some of my most loved books and also some I deeply loathe. I didn't much care for this one at all. I can't tell if the poetry is fabulous because she wrote it or if it's saying something so new about girlhood that I missed it.

I think it's even worse than Jewel's book of craptastic poetry.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Lauren Ashley for

HOW TO (UN)CAGE A GIRL is a short collection of poetry for and about girls. Told in three parts, these poems deal with many facets of life that women must deal with, from being a teen to becoming an adult. This is a book about life: the ups and downs, the pressure, the joys, the pain. This tiny book includes it all.

I enjoyed the book very much, and found the modern approach to poetry to be interesting and refreshing. It was a bit hard to understand
Will Walton
This is the kind of book you finish, then let rest on top of your chest for a while as you look up at the ceiling and ponder things.

My favorite thing:

"when I am gone i will still be near you

this is how i know: when you were born
it was not a meeting

but a reunion"
This collection of poetry communicates how hard it can be to be a girl and difficult it is to love yourself sometimes. Good things happen, bad things happen, relationships develop and die; basically, life happens. A lot of the poems are beautifully descriptive; some, I just didn't get. It's obvious how these poems are based on real life, not works of fiction. There is also a consistency throughout the book of stories resurfacing.

I would recommend to older teen girls and adult women. A good read
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Sorry, but I just can't relate to any of the girls in these "love" poems. There were a few individual poems that I liked, such as "Vampire in the City of Lost" and "Forty-five Thoughts for My Daughter and My Virtual Daughters." I wonder how many of these poems are autobiographical? I must look into her background... I won't say I recommend this book or not, as poetry is a highly subjective thing. Teenage girls would probably love it.
Kiana Cook
Jul 11, 2015 Kiana Cook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noteworthy
This style of poetry won't appeal to everybody, but I really enjoyed it. Francesca Lia Block's writing remains beautiful and reading her poetry is otherworldly and dreamy. There are definitely some tired-out themes that I've seen in her other books and a couple of her poems resembled each other a little too closely, but there were also a bunch of poems (or pieces of poems) that I absolutely adored. There were some lines that just punched you in the gut, as all good poetry should.

It probably won
Mar 22, 2014 Tahni rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There were a few poems here that I thought were great -- ones that I thought "Yeah, I would totally share this with my nieces when they're older." But most of them seemed largely repetitive after having read most of Block's books when I was younger. The themes and imagery are basically the same, only less thoroughly explored. The poems that really stood out to me were the ones that didn't feel like repeats because the themes were approached from a slightly different angle, be it because the imag ...more
Oct 05, 2008 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book, but I was a little confused. The poems read like the ones I wrote in high school. Does that mean the poems I wrote in high school were good enough to be published? Or are these poems published only because FLB wrote them?
Sep 19, 2008 Bridgett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youth-fiction, poetry
Beautiful poetry about the author's experience as a female, but widely applicable. I don't know if I always related to it, but I'm strange. I related to some of it and could imagine the rest.
May 03, 2015 Leonard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was impressed with the poetry in this small book for youth. It's honest, gritty, and tells a story. The jacket says it's for 9th grade and older and may be more interesting to girls, but this is the kind of writing boys must read to get a slight glimpse of what life is like for girls. I also find the increasing number of books for youth, written in poetic or verse form, of which this is one, an interesting and intriguing trend. Does this mean that people will be reading more poetry in the futu ...more
Hmm, I think FL Block is a lot more poetic when she writes complete stories. And that my own poetry is really not that bad at all no matter how narcissistic that might sound.
I found this collection very limited. Of course, a writer has a certain style but I had the feeling of reading the same poem over and over, the variation in form, structure, topic and atmosphere were extremely samey turning into dull. Teen angst and body image dominate thematically which would be totally fine if there was a
honestly one of best things ever created

This is the first book I've read by Francesca Lia Block, and it won't be my last. Not many people have heard of How to (Un)cage a Girl, but its great nonetheless. Although it is short (128 pages) I still found myself satisfied with the overall affect of it and the poetry. It's not a novel written in verse but more of a collection of poems that tie together to tell a story. The only problem I had with it was that some of the poems did not
Jill Brown
How to (Un)cage a Girl isn't your typical book of poetry. For starters, the title and book's cover hints that this book is likely geared for girls, but the author's dedication, "For the girls," definitely sets this piece apart from other collections of poetry. The title alone is unique and has probably aroused the curiosity of many people; however, the publisher offers an explanation by way of stating the purpose of the poetry collection: "It is a call to embrace the girl within, to heal her and ...more
Andrea Blythe
Dec 05, 2011 Andrea Blythe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This poetry lives in the adolescent, in that its focus remains for the most part superficial. Since this book of poetry is directed toward a young adult audience, this is not a bad thing.

Many of the poems center on body image, fashion, popularity, finding self, boys, and the like. They revel in the insecurities of the teenager. If I had read this when I was in high school, I would have been amazed, thinking, This is me. She knows. I would have believed.

Even the language itself remains very on
Cheyenne Teska
Sep 07, 2011 Cheyenne Teska rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, won-gifted, reviewed
How to (Un)cage a Girl is beautiful, tragic, and inspiring- as is most of Block's work. I'm a huge fan, so I'm always happy to find others that enjoy her books too.

The first few poems focus on a teenage girl's life, beginning at age fourteen and continuing until age nineteen. Being a teenage girl, I can relate to the text on the paper. It wasn't too long ago that I had to deal with first getting my period, the urges and pressure to have sex, looking in the mirror and hating what I see, and losi
If you were ever a young girl, growing up through adolescence, this book is for you. Francesca Lia Block lyrically address the ups and downs of being a teenager, and the things that we think about at that age. Some lives are broken, and some lives glitter, but every girl should know they have a voice. This book is one voice among the masses. If you adore Francesca, you know this has to be fantastic.

I love Francesca Lia Block, so really a book of poems about adolescence was a no-brainer for me to
This slim volume of Weetzie Bat’s creator Francesca Lia Block’s poetry is a collection of subtle (and not-so-subtle) messages of feminism and what it means to grow up as a woman in this culture. The first section is a year-by-year series on the themes of sexual awakening and the need for independence from parents while still desperately needing parenting. The poems in this section give voice to the struggle to be an adult while still wanting to be taken care of, touching on the illness and death ...more
Feb 02, 2015 Erica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely beautiful. The poems in this book are unlike the poetry that you studied or assumed poetry to be. This poetry is for girls and young women, it is about them growing in this world and learning about themselves as well as about acceptance. I think that any woman, no matter her age, can learn from these poems and relate to them. It is a sort of reminder of who we were and still are.
Jeanni Floyd
Mar 23, 2014 Jeanni Floyd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
This is a book of poetry, in case you don't know. It's amazing poetry. I got it in high school and every single poem spoke to me. I carried it with me everywhere for several years. This is perfect for the teenage girl who's struggling to understand herself, like I was. The tone is similar to other Francesca Lia Block books, and the simplest words make the biggest impact.
Jul 28, 2010 Zoë rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, poetry
how to (un)cage a girl is Francesca Lia Block's slim collection of poetry, which, if one of the poems inside is telling the truth, was written over forty five days. It is divided into three sections, none of which left me lusting for more. There are a couple gems, in particular "forty-five thoughts for my daughter and my virtual daughters" which every teenage girl should probably read. It includes such thoughts as "dancing is an antidepressant / kindness is the new status symbol". Mostly however ...more
Kai VanderBerg
In-Depth Review can be found at:

I'm not exactly great with poetry. I like it, but I also don't love it. I have a hard time "getting" poetry. I guess my brain just isn't wired for it, but overall I enjoyed this collection of poetry.

If you're a fan of poetry or FLB, it's worth a read. It's a pretty small collection, but there are plenty of poems inside. I'm sure you'd find at least one you'd like.
Aug 26, 2011 Aviva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would read Francesca Lia Block's notes on a bar napkin. Seriously. I love this woman's style more than I love cupcakes. And I love me some cupcakes. This book is divided into three parts, years at the asylum, in the lair of the toxic blonde, and love poems for girls. Each part could stand on its own, with the first being from (I'm assuming) Block's teen years, the second observations about other people that have had an effect on her and the third as just what it sounds like: love poems for gir ...more
Jul 04, 2015 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lit, poetry
Frankly, I didn't like this. It felt like the author was trying to hard and the description of the book didn't fit at all.

Some of the poems read like my 15year old diary entries and frankly none of those deserved to be published.

I didn't find her imagery particularly interesting and I found most of her poems to be bland.
May 06, 2014 Victoria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although there were one or two poems that actually spoke to me in this book, most of the writing seem choppy and haphazard. Perhaps it was simply meant for different type of person, preferably one with the mind of a twenty-something but the reading skills of a seventh grader. It wasn't bad, but I think there are better poets out there writing on the same subject matter.
Shelley Coughlin Porter
I was surprised to see that this was a three-part book of poems by Block, one of my favorite authors from middle school. Block’s Weetzie Bat novels really gave me hope for a society that was accepting and loving rather than bitter and cynical. The poems in her newest book, How to (Un)cage A Girl, were still beautiful, but they also hit a nerve that will resonate with every high school girl. Why are some girls popular? Why are some girls total skanks? How am I supposed to make it through the scho ...more
Apr 07, 2015 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
so i liked this book it gave in great detail about francesca i liked it i gave it four stars because it should have went in a little deeper in her family growing up and her struggles.
Janine Darragh
Just not my thing- much angsty teen girl poetry. A few of the poems I really liked, though. Also, though society's and Hollywood's unattainable standard for perfection is addressed, I wouldn't necessarily categorize this book as one about an eating disorder.
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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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“...choose to believe in your own myth
your own glamour
your own spell
a young woman who does this
(even if she is just pretending)
has everything....”
“My mother said, "kiss him, darling, it's easy so natural" and I thought to myself, not with lips of stone, dear mother, not with lips of stone” 12 likes
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