16 March 2009
Book Review: Weetzie Bat
Oh, Weetzie Weetzie Weetzie Bat. I think it would be safe to say that this is my FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME.
I first heard about Miss Weetzie in Jennifur Brandt's Life is a Movie Starring You! Yes. I know it's a cheesy title. But when I read a review of it in Girl's Life, circa 2001, I immediately told dad I NEEDED it. And I got it for Christmas a couple of days later! The book really, truly changed my life. It made me more confident, more open to other people, and definitely much less shy.
There is a section in Jennifur's book about her influential movies, books, magazines, etc. I hadn't really heard of any of then, so I began to read and cross things off the list. I also have a deep-seated obsession with Audrey Hepburn because of Ms. Brandt (Breakfast at Tiffany's was my first). I soon picked up a copy of Weetzie Bat, and just immediately fell in LOVE.
Weetzie is a high school girl who just isn't understood (it's not as cliche as it sounds). She meets Dirk, this awesome punk rocker guy who takes her to rock shows and late-night taco stands. They do everything together. Weetzie finds an old bottle, begins to polish...and then a genie comes out and grants her three wishes! She wishes for a duck (man) for Dirk, a duck for herself, and a cute house to live in together for ever after. Soon after, Dirk's grandmother dies and he inherits her cute pink and aqua-colored house (wish #3 granted!). Then, he meets a cute surfer boy named Duck (wish #1!). But will Weetzie meet Her Secret Agent Lover Man?
I just love this book. The words are perfectly placed, created these colorful, vivid pictures in my head. I want to jump into the story. I want to BE Weetzie. It's like a little fairy tale. And the BEST part, which I did not know about when I first read it in 7th grade, is that Francesca Lia Block (the author) wrote four more books to take place AFTER Weetzie Bat. The Dangerous Angels series follows the characters from the first book throughout the rest of their lives - kids are born, travels and adventures happen. And they are each as good as the first.
Funny story: When I was in eighth grade I lent the book to a friend. Her stepmom found it on the kitchen counter and...flipped out. The book has a lot of taboo issues in it - homosexuality, the AIDS epidemic, children being born out of wedlock, interracial relationships, etc...and really, I think that these topics make it all the better. AND, after seeing how her stepmom acted, I was so grateful for my parents, who let me read whatever I wanted so that I could learn about the world around me.
I really, really recommend these books. Try Weetzie Bat first and see what you think. It's a quick, easy read. It makes me want to be in California. And if a movie is EVER made and I am not cast as Weetzie Bat...I'm going to cry.
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