Katie's Reviews > Weetzie Bat

Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block
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's review
Oct 12, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: young-adult-literature, magical-realism
Read in February, 2010

I know of many people who really enjoyed this book a lot, but I personally found it confusing, short-sighted, and almost pointless. It tells the fantastical story of Weetzie Bat and her friends who live happily in a fantasy-land California, seemingly dreamlike state. Everything that occurs is very far-fetched to me, and even if it were a fairy tale, I could not find or come up with a theme for this really ambiguous novella.

The characters are extremely one-dimensional,and all the problems that they are faced with they either ignore or some magical solution appears randomly in front of them. There does not appear to be any character growth or change, and I found the writing mediocre.

Although fantasy certainly has it's place, I would recommend a number of other titles before this one to teens and overall do not find it a worthwhile read. It deals with mature content, probably aimed at older teens, and yet, the writing style makes it seem aimed at 10-year-olds. The lack of development, surface level drama and lack of theme-oriented elements makes this book seem hardly worthwhile. I just did not like it.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Mr. (new) - added it

Mr. Ryan Katie, a very acute reading of this text,however, how does one explicitly transcribe perception without interpretation. Is she escaping through a "rainbow and candy" adolescence from an otherwise sad, brutal, and homeless existence?

Katie It's been quite a few years since I read it, so I would really need to revisit the book to give it a proper re-review. Maybe one day I will. Maybe I didn't express myself well enough in this review of the book. From what I remember, Weetzie Bat was quirky, but there was no depth to her character. Meanwhile, the "sad, brutal existence" you are referring to (drug addiction, loss of family/broken traditional family, AIDs, etc)-- sure it was there, but it felt really forced to me -- there was no compassion or sincerity in the author's message. She did not write it in a way that I felt empathy at all, for any of the characters. I felt like the issues were very glossed over and it's rather doubtful to me that a 10-12 year old is going to even pick up on that. And whether it is masking a brutal existence or not, the idea that magical solutions will just appear for you, or you can run from life's problems is a terrible message in my opinion. That's what I was left with at the end.

And I'm sorry, but I found the dialogue and writing completely atrocious. My review may be severe, but it's kind of difficult for me to give a book a good review when I thoroughly disliked it. I've greatly enjoyed magical realism titles, but this one I just could not get into. Doesn't mean it's wrong for everyone, but I personally found it lacking.

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