Monday, March 24, 2014

Teen Spirit by Francesca Lia Block | Book Review

The review box on Goodreads is topped with "What did you think?" Honestly, for this book, I'd just shrug my shoulders and mumble something noncommittal. Like "meh." This was my first Francesca Lia Block; are all of her books like this one? Is this a good litmus? Because if so I have a hard time understanding all the "let's bow down and worship at the throne of FLB, the greatest YA author of the last couple decades!" I don't know; I did read this while not feeling great with some kind of vague stomach something or other so maybe that colored my feelings. I still don't think it would have earned more than 3 stars, even under optimal circumstances.

So Julie lives a rather ok life in an upper-middle-class part of Beverly Hills. She lives with her mom and her grandmother and there's much love in the house. Then grandma dies. And Julie thinks she saw her grandma's aura leave her body as she died. And now Julie & her mom are kind of falling apart and they have to move into a seedier apartment across town. Things are not looking good for Julie, but she does find a friend, Clark, who's pretty much perfect. He's kind of geeky cute and he loves Joss Whedon and he's nice and he shares his homemade lunch with Julie every day. One day Julie and Clark decide to contact Julie's grandma via a Ouija board. No good comes of this. They do get in contact with a spirit... but it's not grandma...

Ugh. I just feel like I spent the whole book bored and angry. Bored because there are NO surprises. The reader sees everything coming. And angry because Julie just keeps making stupid choice after stupid choice. I would've said this could just be a very-young teen book, but there's some "tender loving" near the end so that's out the window. Ugh. I don't know. Maybe this could hook a reluctant reader. Who also likes paranormality. Who also likes romance. A pretty narrow niche.

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