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Pretty Dead

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3.29  ·  Rating details ·  2,053 Ratings  ·  298 Reviews
People pity me, but mostly they feel envy. I have all the luxury and freedom a girl my age could want.

Something is happening to Charlotte Emerson. Like the fires that are ravaging the hills of Los Angeles, it consumes her from the inside out. But whether it is her eternal loneliness, the memory of her brother, the return of her first love, or the brooding, magnetic Jared—s
...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 24th 2010 by HarperTeen (first published November 3rd 2008)
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Kim
May 22, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young girls not yet jaded
I am sad.

I know that this is nothing new. An invisible wall of despondency surrounds me. I could rival any teenager with a slew of Gothic poetry. (Bring it on, Bella… I can take you.)

Anyway, this wall… it keeps people at bay. There are certain words that they will not use around me. (Like saying to a blind man ‘But, don’t you see?’) Mostly I am okay with this. It saves me from thinking, I can play a role, it eases people, and I feel safe. The problem is that other stuff, the stuff that I want t
...more
AH
Pretty Disappointing.

As I read Pretty Dead by Francesca Lia Block, a thought got stuck in my head. Why would you go back and relive high school if you were immortal? If you already had a nice home, a fancy car, and nice clothes, why would go back to that awkwardness? Yes, I know they did it in another YA book about vampires, but at least in that book, the characters tried to fit in, in their own special ways.

The main character Charlotte seems to stick out like a sore thumb. She has it all – a b
...more
Sue
Dec 17, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brianna
Aug 21, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I admit, I closed this book after like 3 pages. I am sick of this author's characters looking EXACTLY the same. Have some flaws already.

Jutting, curved hip bones.
Swan neck.
Plump lips.
Perfect breasts.
Long, lean limbs.

Mostly quotes up there. I just... This was me giving the author another try and I couldn't get past that. Maybe I'll give the book another try but after however many books of hers I've read, I am tired of all the main characters being skinny perfect things. The one time she wrote a '
...more
Trisha
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-physical
Hmmm...this was an interesting concept, but I didn't like how it was executed.

So, the idea that a vampire might be able to go back and become human again. Interesting, I thought. Charlotte seems to be going through that transition as she gets her bearings living alone and being closer to humans than she has in a long time.

But the writing. It's flowery and arts-y. Like a long winded poem, only more detached and confusing. The chapters are more like diary entries, only lacking emotion but just wi
...more
Commodore
Oct 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: need-to-buy
I'm guessing I'll always have a soft spot for Francesca Lia Block. I liken it to Jack Kerouac: either you found this author at the right time in your life and he/she really spoke to you, and so for the rest of your life you look on their works fondly, even if you grow up enough to see the flaws that are there, or you didn't.

So yes, this book isn't the best book ever. It's not even the best among Francesca Lia Block books. There are parts where things aren't quite properly explained, Charlotte is
...more
Trin
Sep 23, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-lit, fantasy, ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
~Tina~
Jun 17, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There is a lot of potential in this book. The writing is very well done but this plot line and it's characters are very strange and confusing.
In short, This book is weird and not for me.


Shirley :]
Oct 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lillie Roberts
Feb 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charlotte Emerson is devastated. Once a care free teen, twin to Charles, but when he succumbs to rheumatic fever, she loses him... lost to her forever, lost to her parents, and to those who enjoyed his essence. She's sick and tired, sick with his lost, tired of the pain. When into her live walk the mysterious William Stone Elliot, he offers takes away the loss and to gives something else in return.

William Stone Elliot, made vampire, has long sought the one to accompany him on his travels through
...more
Amanda
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The cover drew me in, even though I feel as if vampires have been overdone lately and far too often I find myself reading the same story with a different title. But this novel is eloquently written and not your run-of-the-mill teen vampire love story. Throughout the entire novel Charlotte's grief and depression can be felt. I find myself filled with sympathy for her loss. Otherwise the book falls emotionally flat.
It is not often that you get to hear of a vampires past. Sure, they've lived 100 y
...more
Grace
Jun 30, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mandy Brouse
Sep 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: october-2009
I'm not sure how to best start this review, but my very first reaction, even after reading the first PAGE of Pretty Dead, was "wow. Really? Wow".

Francesca Lia Block's writing astonished me. I was almost unprepared to read this book. I'm going to copy out the first paragraph because after I read it my mind shifted gears, knowing I was about to read something totally different:

Teenage girls are powerful creatures. I remember; I was once one of them. They are relentless and underutilized. They want
...more
Krys

Sigh, oh Francesca Lia Block... you had me at wine and seductions of young, impressionable beauties with satin ball gowns and Portishead. I always am impressed with Block's writing ability and her nuance, particularly in how she couples words and imbues them with about ten different meanings. Eventually I want to read everything that Block writes, and I am slowly working my way through it all... must make a point of reading the Weetzie Bat books soon... mental note. I've written it on the intern
...more
Greta is Erikasbuddy
Pretty Dead was a story about a girl vampire. And not just ANY Girl vampire.... Actually, it was a story about a girl vampire who's pretty much moving backwards and can't figure out why. Instead of dining on pouches of blood she's starting to eat regular old people food.

This book wasn't the best by FLB that I have read. I read a review that said someone must have told FLB that vampires were in so she had to write one too.... well, I agree....I think this was written just because of popularity an
...more
Ashley Rieflin
Conceptually beautiful, I feel that this story was unfortunately rushed. I have always loved FLB, but her past few tales were too short for their own good. Pretty Dead offers a unique twist on the vampire legend and some of the passages are as beautiful as FLB's old tales. However, she rushes through the story and the reader is unable to really connect with the characters in order to fall in-love with them and relate to their conflict.

I really wish that FLB could go through this novel again and
...more
paula
Reading Francesca Lia Block is like standing in front of your grandma's jewelry box and putting on every necklace and all her rings. Mmm, charm bracelets! And what are these green beads! And yes, please, the big pearls, whether they are real or fake. In fact, I get the distinct impression that writing Francesca Lia Block is a lot like standing in front of grandma's jewelry box and loading it all on. The clothes! The houses! The beautiful boys and the beautiful girls!

Full review on Pink Me: http:
...more
Sian Lile-Pastore
I love reading Francesca Lia Block.
This one is a vampire story, and reminded me a little of the movie 'only lovers left alive' - it's got lots of luscious descriptions of clothes, food and pretty boys and has a decadent velvety feel to it.
I also liked how the death of Kurt Cobain is considered one of the major events of the last 100 years... (which is probably true).
Laianna
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amanda
Sep 23, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bought-2010
People pity me, but mostly they feel envy. I have all the luxury and freedom a girl my age could want.

Something is happening to Charlotte Emerson. Like the fires that are ravaging the hills of Los Angeles, it consumes her from the inside out. But whether it is her eternal loneliness, the memory of her brother, the return of ger first love, or the brooding, magnetic Jared - she cannot say. What if it's something more . . .

Something to do with the sudden tear in her perfect nails. The heat she fee
...more
Zoë Danielle
"By becoming artists we monsters can sometimes be redeemed. We can give instead of devouring."

Pretty Dead is the story of Charlotte Emerson a girl who has everything a person could want, designer clothes, a gorgeous house, a slim body- she is the object of envy and desire. Charlotte is also a vampire who has been mourning her twin brother Charles' death for over a century during which she has been frozen at nearly eighteen. Charlotte has flawless skin and nails which never break until one day th
...more
Cortney
I am very much a "good new last" type of person, but for this one I am putting the good first and the "not so good" last.

I enjoyed this story, I LOVED the concept and ideas behind developing this plot, the details provided I enjoyed, the story of Charlotte's past was brief, but fantastic. I found Charlotte to be a very likable character, depressed and at a loss, but I LOVED her, I could feel her struggle, what she wanted/desired, and how alone she felt.

The "Not so Good":
I wanted it to be longer,
...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by LadyJay for TeensReadToo.com

Charlotte Emerson used to be a teenage girl. She loved writing, clothes, and her brother, Charles. Charles meant everything to her - he was her world, her reason for living. Rheumatic fever took him too early, leaving Charlotte heartbroken and lost.

Enter William, a dashing young man who offers Charlotte a life of immortality; free from worry, disease, and old age.

Charlotte is exquisite as a vampire; her beauty is unparalleled, but she longs for something m
...more
Sarah
Dec 03, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
I like FLB, sometimes. I loved the Weetzie Bat stories and I've loved some of her other work. But this? This feels like a book written to go along with the trend of vampirism in YA fiction, and it's fine, but that's all.

The things I enjoy about FLB's writing are here, but they are echoes of themselves. Normally I come to her books for the magic, the sensuousness, the opportunity to become involved in the wardrobes and beautiful food and sensory experiences of beautiful girls. It's silly, but so
...more
Robin Finn
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy
I was so disappointed in this book! It had a lot of signature Francesca Lia Block elements - the lush language, unrealistically beautiful protagonists, idealized romance - but it seems like she stopped there. The storyline didn't make much sense, didn't tie up at the ends. I grew up loving FLB's Weetzie Bat books and her other earlier works, although I have aged out of that demographic and also become more critical of some of the more problematic aspects of her work,* so I'm probably less likely ...more
Melissa Declet
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura
Nov 30, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vampires, youngadult
I think I'm officially too old to read Block's YA novels. I can no longer stand the product name-dropping descriptions and general emptiness. I got through her previous books because they held a sense of wonder and her alternate LA was a wonderful place to be, but this one just felt like a vampiric YA novel by Bret Easton Ellis.
Alyce Hunt
'Teenage girls are powerful creatures. I remember; I was once one of them.'

I was considering writing a full-length review of this one, but I just can't bring myself to do it. This was awful. When the opening line is the only strong sentence in the entire book, you know you've found a bad one.
The timeline is all over the place, starting with Charlotte the vampire and her human friend Emily sitting by the pool. Emily says she wishes she could live forever, and Charlotte reprimands her. Charlotte's
...more
Cait S
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I can always count on Francesca Lia Block for a quick read. Whatever the book, I always end up reading it in less than a day. The books themselves, though, are always hit or miss. I read one by her recently that absolutely blew my mind (Beyond The Pale Motel for anyone curious, check it out if you are. It's damn good.) but then this... Meh.

I never felt intrigued by or connected to any of the characters at all. I found them are sort of petty and insufferable, actually. I never saw what made Emily
...more
Teana
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Short reading (thank god)
I knew this book was going to be bad when it's praise by Cassandra Clare.
A book where the author tries too hard to sound sophisticated, mysterious, and seductive? but it's just cringe fest. It has all your cliche YA tropes: the mysterious good looking bad man, the bad boy that is misunderstood, your all so imposible beautiful female lead, and a second female lead that envies female lead beauty, even though she is also as beautiful. It also has your short Lannister twins
...more
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Francesca Lia Block is the author of more than twenty-five books of fiction, non-fiction, short stories and poetry. She received the Spectrum Award, the Phoenix Award, the ALA Rainbow Award and the 2005 Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as other citations from the American Library Association and from the New York Times Book Review, School Library Journal and Publisher’s Week ...more
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