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How to (Un)cage a Girl

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  855 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews

A celebration of girls and women in a three part poetry collection that is powerful, hopeful, authentic, and universal.

Kindle Edition, 133 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by HarperTeen (first published September 1st 2008)
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Oct 14, 2015 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.
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, trauma, favorites
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 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
Maggie Moritz
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Thank you for sharing a piece of your soul. It spoke to me.
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.
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"
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I wanted to love this book.

The overall theme of poetry for girls is something I've always really liked. I appreciate the fact that some, not all, of the poems in this book aren't written in the whole


so that was a plus. But to be honest, there were only two poems that I thought I could really connect with — "Forty-five Thoughts for My Daughter and My Virtual Daughters" and the other being "Popular Girl".

I would have enjoyed this so much more if I read it when I was a bit younge
I think what I like about this collection is that some of its poems make a world out of teenage girldom. We can forget so fast what the world is when we were that age, and later in our lives poems about all the feelings and magnified sorrows and devastation over such seemingly minor events can seem a little petty, but to tell the truth, they aren't. They're right for that time in your life, and people who aren't forced to deal with adult woes before their time experience them like this--pieces o ...more
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
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.
Jul 08, 2008 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?
May 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, youth-fiction
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.
Carrie (brightbeautifulthings)
I’ve loved Francesca Lia Block since the first time I read one of her books. I took a summer class in YA literature, and I remember sitting at the bottom of my stairs during a tornado warning reading Weetzie Bat and being kind of okay about the fact that there wasn’t a basement in my apartment complex. I quickly blew through all the Dangerous Angels novels, including Pink Smog and Necklace of Kisses, along with a smattering of her other books. I have more of them on my TBR, but since this one wa ...more
Melissa Joy
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy Hell! I am not one that intentionally opts to read poetry. The meanings behind the long, drawn-out sentences are just too much for me to wrap my head around. But this! How to (Un)cage a Girl was the book of poetry that I didn't know I was looking for! Powerful as fuck poems for all women to read!
Shantel Parsell
This is the type of book that makes you laugh out loud. If you were a edgy emo kid this will make you think was I that dumb growing up. I had to give it a five star because I thought it was just hilarious. It was a little jumbled up because there were no periods which was the only bad thing.
Tara Schuhmacher
There was a few poems that were ok to good, but for the most part it wasn't my cup of tea.
Rogene Carter
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, poetry
Fantastic. This is the best example of literary and fluid poetry I have ever seen.
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More like 3.5.

I loved some of the poetry but some of it was super fixated on a few aspects.
bellatuscana bellatuscana
Beautiful poetry about being a girl and the challenges it brings.
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
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
Dec 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Cheyenne Teska
Jul 05, 2011 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
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
Andrea Blythe
Dec 05, 2011 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
Julie Decker
A collection of poetry about the female experience at different ages. Some are dedicated to specific girls and women; some are about the author's relationship with other ladies in her life; some are about her experiences with family death, anorexia, perfectionism, men, motherhood, desire, self-hate, and inspiration. I enjoyed taking a romp through the equal parts depressing and inspiring images of Francesca Lia Block's poetry, but I didn't take home any really big moments from the book. Sometime ...more
Apr 05, 2011 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
Zoë Danielle
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
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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
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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” 13 likes
More quotes…