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Pretty Dead Hardcover – September 22, 2009
"Salt to the Sea" by Ruta Sepetys
Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival. See more
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From School Library Journal
“I love the lush, melancholy world of this novel, and its heroine, with her century of secrets.” (Claudia Gray, New York Times bestselling author of EVERNIGHT)
“A startlingly original work that drives a stake deep into the heart of typical vampire stories.” (School Library Journal)
“Sizzles and satisfies.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Will be gobbled like candy by teen readers.” (The Horn Book)
“With her characteristic flair and seductive prose, Block makes this tangled story of betrayal and love a standout. Sensuous and heartbreaking, sure to both satisfy and challenge fans of the supernatural romance.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
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Top Customer Reviews
And there doesn't seem to be much inspiration beyond that for Block's latest novella, a tale of vampiric angst and luxurious misery called "Pretty Dead." While her prose is as luscious and vivid as ever, the story itself is a paper-thin hodgepodge of vampire cliches -- you've got the wangsty wealthy vampire, the sinister and hedonistic ex-lover, and some rather boring humans who dream of being immortal.
Charlotte is a vampire, living a life of glamour and beauty in modern L.A., and locked in the flawless body of an eternal teenager. But when her friend Emily dies (apparently of suicide), Charlotte finds herself changing -- she breaks a nail, develops a zit, and finds herself perspiring. At the same time, she finds herself drawn to Emily's grief-stricken boyfriend Jared, who has figured out what Emily really is (she uses lots of sunscreen! She must be a vampire!) and wants her to turn him.
And at the school she currently attends, she encounters a face from her past: William, her former lover and maker, who seems to be followed by widespread disaster wherever he goes. Charlotte looks back on her long life with William -- how he seduced her away during her mourning for her twin brother, and how they traveled through countless decades of change, fashion, and immortal numbness that has slowly left her hollow. But William has one last shock for his former lover and protege...
Francesca Lia Block has a way with words, and "Pretty Dead" is no exception.Read more ›
This book was short and sweet, maybe a little too short. Unlike Block's earlier works this book seem to be lacking that poetic edge, that twists your stomach in knots and makes you cry out as if you were one of her tragic characters. This book was simply a small glimpse into the life of Charlotte Emerson. It was a good story for what it was. You got to see how she dealt with a very small section of her very long life. A sneak peak into what could have been a much longer novel. The characters were mostly undeveloped, though it seemed to be on purpose. You didn't really feel for any of them because you never got a chance to connect to them. I was quite excited when I found out that the lovely Francesca was doing a vampire novel but after reading it, I was left feeling disappointed. This is not a novel, it is a snippet; An epic poem without the hero. If you want to tick this one off your list then go ahead and read it but don't add it to your pile.
"Teenage girls are powerful creatures."
"my darling in the red dress"
"Pretty Dead" is the latest in a long line of bizarre, provocative novels written by Francesca Lia Block. Once again, the theme is loneliness. Loneliness that is endured by teenagers who yearn for a love that will last forever. The teenager in "Pretty Dead" is Charlotte Emerson who happens to be a one-hundred-year-old vampire. For her, vampirism is a living hell on earth. The wealthy, exotic lifestyle she has shared with her creator, William Stone Eliot, has provided little compensation. A life without true love is meaningless.
Think "An Interview With The Vampire" for teenage girls. Anne Rice would be pleased by the similarities. Charlotte resembles Louis de Pointe du Lac who forever mourns the deaths of his wife and child. Like Charlotte, he detests killing humans for food and finds comfort by pretending that one of the undead (in this case, Claudia, a vampire child) represents the human child he lost. William resembles Lestat de Lioncourt who enjoyed killing.Read more ›
Her writing has always been magical and this doesn't change one bit in Pretty Dead. The story starts off by telling the reader about this girl, Charlotte, who isn't really a girl after all. Not a living one, at least. She speaks about the people that surround her and how she can sense their jealousy. They've always thought she was perfect on the outside and they admired all of the treasures she had, when the truth was that she would trade it all just to be mortal again.
When she loses the closest friend she's had in about a century, a part of her seems a little off. Over time, she notices that she broke a nail, she's perspiring, and she has a menstrual cycle for the first time since she was changed. Charlotte grows closer to a boy named Jared, who is actually the first person to realize who- or what- she is.
The story keeps your interest and pulls you along for the ride through a look at Charlotte's life, before, during, and after her years as a vampire. You begin to realize how easy it was for her to fall for this charming devil named William Stone Eliot, especially after she felt that she had nothing more to live for.
Definitely recommended if you're interested in vampire romance or the beautiful and graceful writing styles of FLB.
Review from The Hollow Cupboards- [...]
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The jacket was a bit bent when I received it, other than that all was perfect.Published 12 months ago by Dani Bale
This book about a lonely vampire was a little different from most of Ms. Block's other work in that it had a very straightforward storyline and spent comparatively little time... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Swank Ivy
This book is amazing. The condition that it was in, immaculate. I am very, very pleased with it. Money well spent. Read morePublished on May 29, 2012 by HarlotSlaughter
First and foremost, this is NOT another vampire novel. This is a love story, through a century of fashion, music, architecture, friendships and losses. Read morePublished on December 23, 2011 by E. Kristin Anderson
This book was a deliciously sad gothic tale of loss, love, power and friendship, all seen through the eyes of Charlotte Emerson, a vampire. Read morePublished on April 8, 2011 by Mystrez
It's hard to summarize Pretty Dead too much because not only is it short (208 pages) but much of what's in the summaries published on a lot of book sites, doesn't happen until the... Read morePublished on March 19, 2011 by Book Sp(l)ot Reviews
Charlotte Emerson seems to have it all. She has designer clothes, a gigantic mansion in LA, and more money than she could use in a lifetime. Read morePublished on January 8, 2011 by titania86
When you first pick up Pretty Dead, and read the description on the back of the book, it sounds totally enticing. When you start reading it, it is so much more. Read morePublished on September 12, 2010 by Erica
I enjoyed this book, it was a quick and easy read. However.. after I finished reading it I had no feelings about it. Read morePublished on May 20, 2010 by S. J. Waldemarsen