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Weetzie Bat Paperback – July 6, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: Weetzie Bat
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 10 Anv edition (July 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060736259
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060736255
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An offbeat heroine shares a Hollywood cottage with three equally quirky companions; in PW 's words, "Block's first book is related in a breezy, knowing voice; her strange and sparkling tribute to growing up in L.A. is a rare treat for those sophisticated enough to appreciate it." Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up-- A brief, off-beat tale that has great charm, poignancy, and touches of fantasy . Weetzie, now 23, is a child of Hollywood who hated high school but loves the memories of Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin, plastic palm-tree wallets, and the roller-skating waitresses at Tiny Naylor's. She wears a bleached-blond flattop and Harlequin sunglasses, covers her '50s taffeta dresses in glittery poetry, and sews fringe down the sides of her minis in sympathy with the plight of the Indian. Nobody understands her, least of all her divorced bicoastal parents, until she meets Dirk, who takes her slamdancing at the hot clubs in L.A. in his red '55 Pontiac. When he tells her he's gay, they decide to go "duck-hunting" together. He meets his ideal blond surfer, and Weetzie finds her Secret Agent Lover Man. They all move in together, make movies that become underground successes, and have a baby. This recreates the ambiance of Hollywood with no cynicism, from the viewpoint of denizens who treasure its unique qualities. Weetzie and her friends live like the lillies of the field, yet their responsibility to each other and their love for the baby show a sweet grasp of the realities that matter. As in Rosemary Wells' None of the Above (Dial, 1974), these kids spend no time considering college or career. Their only priority is finding love and keeping it once they find it. " 'I don't know about happily ever after. . .but I know about happily,' Weetzie Bat thought." --Anne Osborn, Riverside Public Library, Calif.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Francesca Lia Block, recipient of the prestigious Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award. has been publishing novels, short stories, essays, memoirs and poetry since 1989. Her work has been translated into many languages. Ms. Block lives in Los Angeles where she teaches writing workshops that are also available online.

Customer Reviews

The beginning felt too quick.
H. A Truett
Block combines magical surrealism with dynamic characters in an urban, Los Angeles setting to create a timeless modern fairy tale.
Karli
This book is wonderful and I highly recommend it to readers young and old.
Joe Donatone

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
You've got to be a very particular type of person to love the book "Weetzie Bat". The right reader is the one who is (or once was) into the quirky, crazy, and bizarre. Anyone who's ever felt at any time that sometimes life is just too darn frumpy should read this story. For me, "Weetzie Bat" won me over when its protagonist and her best friend went to see "The Girl Can't Help It" starring Jayne Mansfield. Any book that mentions that splendid splendid movie (it's right up there with "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?") has my unequivocal love. If you like books that create little worlds where reality is rarely fixed and true love conquers all (eventually) then you'll enjoy taking a wild and wacky run through the insatiable "Weetzie Bat".

Weetzie lives in L.A. and has just met a very cool guy named Dirk. The two are perfectly suited for one another in every way. Dirk wears his hair in a black mohawk and drives a '55 Pontiac. Weetzie sometimes wears feathered Indian headdresses and sometimes makes her clothes out of kids' bed sheets. Together they paint the town red and have wonderful times. When Dirk confesses to Weetzie that he's gay she's delighted. Now the two can go Duck hunting. But finding the right Duck is hard, and after too many bad dates and bad Ducks (which is pretty much the same thing) the two feel bad. Weetzie's one goal is to find her Secret Agent Lover Man. Then, one day unexpectedly, she's given three wishes. After being told that world peace and "a million more wishes" never really work she wishes for a Duck for Dirk, a Secret Agent Lover Man for herself, and a house for them all to live happily ever after in. When the wishes start coming true, things start getting REALLY interesting.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
What a bizarre read! I had no idea that young adult fiction like this existed when I was a teenager, but I'm really glad to know that it does. Homosexuality, single parenthood, non-traditional families...how this book could make it onto the bookshelves in these conservative times of ours is beyond me, but it gives me hope, and really makes me admire the courage of the author. While I think that other readers in their twenties, like me, would enjoy the whimsical writing style and charming story, I think this would be a great book for younger readers (probably grades 6 and up). It conveyed the messages of acceptance, unconditional love, compassion for others, and the bonds of love and family that we create with our friends more beautifully than a lot of more serious texts I have read. Fabulous!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alex on November 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
First, the good: Weetzie Bat is a fun character who pushes the boundaries of both reality and society. The story is fast-paced and would have no trouble keeping the attention of adolescent readers. Further, the language is interesting and lyrical, with plenty of Weetzie's own made-up terminology in the mix. Block definitely knows how to write an engaging narrative and manipulate language to her advantage. One of the most important positive aspects of this novel is the immediately accepting treatment of the gay characters. This is something that needs to be done more in young adult literature, and I was glad to see how Block handled this topic. In fact, Dirk and Duck were my favorite characters and the ones I felt closest to by the close of the novel.

Unfortunately, other than these elements there was not much that I liked in this book. While the fast pace can certainly be viewed as a positive, I felt that the story moved far too fast. There was virtually no character or plot development, with important issues being glazed over unnecessarily. It was also very hard to tell how much time had passed, which I believe is important when such mature material is present. (For example, how much time had passed before Weetzie's boyfriend moves in with her and she has her baby? She's certainly not still in high school, but how old is she? It's impossible to tell.) The idea of incorporating fairy-tale elements is interesting, but here it felt random and not very well incorporated. And a character named "My Secret Agent Lover Man" just seemed ridiculous.

Going back to the handling of the mature material: I do not think I would ever be comfortable recommending this novel to a student in my class.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
I first read Weetzie Bat in 9th grade....and I was almost shocked by how good it was. I know the book's not especially realistic, but it was one of the first I'd ever read that dared to be honest enough to say that sex can be both an enjoyable, natural thing, as well as an incredibly scary, dangerous thing...that someone who's gay could be a kind, funny, foolish normal person...things I'd always sort of suspected, but that no one had ever told me. Besides, even if all that stuff still bothers you, Francesca Lia Block's style is just to incredible to pass up....I don't know how to describe it, but her prose is just so rich and original, you can almost taste it...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brittany Rose VINE VOICE on July 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
It's my understanding that the Weetzie Bat books have quite a following, and I can understand their cult status, as Block herself has a bit of a cult angle to her fan base. I however, entered into the world of Weetzie Bat, the title character, completely unaware of what to expect.

The book is quite short, quite fluffy, and quite quick to get through - under an hour or two easily. Although it's probably meant for younger readers, the poetic prose (which I'll get to later) makes it enjoyable for more artistically inclined older readers as well.

The story is Cinderella-esque in nature, or at least a pastiche of fairy tale motifs. Weetzie Bat is a cool LA chick that befriends a gay guy and makes 3 wishes on a magical lamp. The wishes come true but not without their challenges - mostly challenges to the standards we are accustomed to in the modern world including extended families, multiple fathers, and the realities of diseases like AIDS.

The book is not exactly coherent- meaning it reads more like a long form poem than an actual plot based story with the typical climaxes and denouments. However it is beautifully written and challenges the reader to question the status quo if they are willing to analyze the enchanting words laid out by Block.

Overall I enjoyed reading this book but I didn't really get a lot out of it...it was sweet and frothy, but altogether, left me feeling empty.
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