Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pink Smog by Francesca Lia Block

Two amazing things happened this past fall. The first, I was sent an ARC of Francesca Lia Block's Pink Smog. The second was attending a wedding of 2 librarians. But wait, here's the connection! What do marrying librarians offer guests as favors? BOOKS! The incredible union of their marriage also unified their vast book collections. All books that were duplicates (dozens) were offered on tables all over the reception. I walked away with the first volume of Bone for my son and Weetzie Bat for myself. A double Weetzie and Joanna reunion!

I've talked about Weetzie before. She and Witch Baby hold a special place in my heart. I even love her as an adult in Necklace of Kisses. Pink Smog (HarperTeen 1/12), a prequel, tells the story of a 15 year old Louise whose father just walked out and who is deep in the confusion of early high school. Add to that mysterious poem clues delivered by strangers, a guardian angel, and a load of voodoo.

I will admit that the story dragged through the middle. As much as I loved learning about Louise and what helped shape her into the character I so adore, I found myself bored with the ongoing Winter/Staci saga as well as what is behind all the notes. But all in all, by the end when things are wrapped up and Weetzie peeks her bedazzled head out, I embraced the story.

Prequels may be a mixed bag and we do certainly have some of that here. This novel does not contain as much as the fun magic realism as the others, but that is to be expected because Weetzie is not Weetzie just yet. So while this is a must for collections, I would hesitate to have a new Dangerous Angels reader start with this one. Perhaps try it after the original classic Weetzie Bat.

Now, when is FLB going to work on another middle grade story? I loved House of Dolls.

me in my official work pic from 2007. we were asked to pose with books.


Allison said...

Ahh, Weetzie. I've only read the first book in the series, but I was spellbound. I glanced through this prequel when it came into my library but didn't have time to read it, so I appreciate hearing your thoughts on the book!

joanna said...

You're welcome! It is a nice addition to the series but not essential. Weetzie fans will eat it up and make comparisons between Anna and Witch Baby's story.