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I Was a Teenage Fairy (1998)

de Francesca Lia Block

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1,0682113,903 (3.71)17
A feisty, sexy fairy helps a young girl heal traumas of her past.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 21 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Barbie's mom lives vicariously through her fashion model daughter, subjecting Barbie to some dangerous, predatory people and causing her to take refuge in a friendship with a tiny fairy who maybe is or isn't there.
The writing here is sparse and ethereal and it's difficult to tell what actually is or isn't happening. Maybe if I'd read this as a teenager myself, I'd have been more enamored of it because in a way it's pretty similar to some books I just adored at that age, including ones by this very author. ( )
  EmScape | Feb 16, 2021 |
I almost had the material for a real review but I think I just lost steam so anyways here's this

Full disclosure, if I hadn't read this as a kid, and this was the first time, I would'a forgotten it instantly. That stuff about there being better times to read things or times that things will impact you more applies so much to this. It was the first time I really ever saw writing like this, what with the style, magical realism, and [gasps] sex. (but mostly the style, which obviously made a huge impression on me if my writing from the era is any indication lmao dear god).

It's inoffensively just...there, with some nice ideas and a lot of pretty imagery and a metaphor that never quite gets there. Since this I've read lots of stuff that handles their material (and similar styles) with a clearer target and a harder swing, but who knows, maybe that's the appeal of Block's writing anyways. There's little drama and little clarity - everything's quiet and with a soft blur focus, lush and airy. I'm not mad. I think my standards are just higher and I want to be punched in the face with symbolism, not have them whispered at me and vaguely come together.

but ehhhh maybe that's the point, and it did honestly suit the subject matter, this gentleness when dealing with childhood trauma and the constant dull pain caused by it. maybe i'm just too old. i'm so reassured to say that it isn't as aggressively faux-deep as Weetzie Bat.

also, Todd was an asshole and was boring and I just want to escape ever reading about characters like him gaaaaahhh ( )
1 vote Chyvalrys | Aug 5, 2020 |
I don't know how many times I've started this review only to erase it and begin again. That's because it can be incredibly hard to review a book you loved growing up, especially when grown up you has realized that she doesn't really love the book anymore now that the rose-colored glasses have come off.

It's no secret that Francesca Lia Block is an amazing wordsmith. The way she weaves her words are the closest we'll ever come to IRL magic. However, as gorgeous as her prose may be, her storytelling can leave a lot to be desired. This is 100 percent the case with I Was a Teenage Fairy.

Francesca Lia Block's books are known for their ethereal quality and the way they grapple with big topics. However, the actual plots of her novels, including I Was a Teenage Fairy can be a bit sparse and confusing to the point where even writing a coherent synopsis would be difficult. And perhaps that is a purposeful stylistic choice that helps to enhance the novel's vague, dream-like world.

To me, though, it is frustrating as heck, especially when you have flashbacks with absolutely no setup or changing voices with no indicators as to when the change happened. Everything is abstract and disjointed, and I guess I just need a little more meat on dem bones to feel satisfied.

Look, this isn't the worst book, but it really could have done with a "kill your darlings" approach. Saved by Francesca Lia Block's spellbinding writing, I'm giving I Was a Teenage Fairy a 2.5 out of 5. ( )
1 vote MeganAngela | Apr 7, 2018 |
Barbie and Griffin both wrestle individually with memories of having been sexually molested by a photographer; Mab is the fairy whose love and encouragement gives them the confidence to confront their past. Magical and positive, not as dark as it sounds.
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
While there was a lot of really good imagery sprinkled throughout the story, the edgy feel of the writing style did not match the actual content of the story at all. This left the book feeling overly censored, since the style seemed to be attempting to reach a more mature audience then the actual content would appeal to.

I also felt like the author attempted to encompass to much story for such a short book - especially after the jump in time. The story was also not particularly coherent, and I felt like the ending came out of nowhere. That said, I don't think the ending she was setting up was all that much better, but I'm the silly person who actually finished reading it.

Overall one of the only redeeming factors to this book was that it was published before Tithe. So it is apparently not just a cheap ripoff.

Edit: Having now also read a couple of the Bordertowns books I can say this book is a silly redundancy that probably should never have happened. Well, live and learn. ( )
  swampygirl | Dec 9, 2013 |
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If Los Angeles is a woman reclining billboard model with collagen-puffed lips and silicone-inflated breasts, a woman in a magenta convertible with heart-shaped sunglasses and cotton candy hair; if Los Angeles is this woman, then the San Fernando Valley is her teeny-bopper sister.
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A feisty, sexy fairy helps a young girl heal traumas of her past.

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