Nicola's Reviews > Blood Roses

Blood Roses by Francesca Lia Block
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's review
Apr 21, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: teen, bookmooch, short-stories

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 fell in love with Block’s novels for their sparing, poetic use of language. And, the more ‘safe’, neutered teen books I read, the more I appreciate the way that sexuality and danger form fundamental parts of all of her teenage characters’ lives.

I went into this very slight volume thinking I’d find it too short to be satisfying, but actually, no, I loved it and it was exactly the right length.

Favourite stories: ‘My Boyfriend Is An Alien’; ‘Skin Art’.
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