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Pink Smog, the long-awaited prequel to Francesca Lia Block's groundbreaking novel Weetzie Bat, was praised as "an intoxicating mix of mystery, fantasy, and romance" by ALA Booklist in a starred review. Weetzie Bat is one of the seminal young adult novels of the '90s and continues to be an iconic treasure for teens everywhere. Now Pink Smog reintroduces a whole new generati Pink Smog, the long-awaited prequel to Francesca Lia Block's groundbreaking novel Weetzie Bat, was praised as "an intoxicating mix of mystery, fantasy, and romance" by ALA Booklist in a starred review. Weetzie Bat is one of the seminal young adult novels of the '90s and continues to be an iconic treasure for teens everywhere. Now Pink Smog reintroduces a whole new generation to the eponymous Weetzie Bat—before she was Weetzie. Against the backdrop of a Los Angeles teeming with magical realism, Louise Bat struggles to find a way to deal with life after her father's unceremonious departure. Longtime fans and newfound readers alike will fall in love with Francesca Lia Block's beautifully crafted and brutally honest world. Maggie Stiefvater, New York Times bestselling author of The Raven Boys, proclaimed "Pink Smog sparkles and obscures; it's a glorious mirage, like the city it pays homage to."


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Pink Smog, the long-awaited prequel to Francesca Lia Block's groundbreaking novel Weetzie Bat, was praised as "an intoxicating mix of mystery, fantasy, and romance" by ALA Booklist in a starred review. Weetzie Bat is one of the seminal young adult novels of the '90s and continues to be an iconic treasure for teens everywhere. Now Pink Smog reintroduces a whole new generati Pink Smog, the long-awaited prequel to Francesca Lia Block's groundbreaking novel Weetzie Bat, was praised as "an intoxicating mix of mystery, fantasy, and romance" by ALA Booklist in a starred review. Weetzie Bat is one of the seminal young adult novels of the '90s and continues to be an iconic treasure for teens everywhere. Now Pink Smog reintroduces a whole new generation to the eponymous Weetzie Bat—before she was Weetzie. Against the backdrop of a Los Angeles teeming with magical realism, Louise Bat struggles to find a way to deal with life after her father's unceremonious departure. Longtime fans and newfound readers alike will fall in love with Francesca Lia Block's beautifully crafted and brutally honest world. Maggie Stiefvater, New York Times bestselling author of The Raven Boys, proclaimed "Pink Smog sparkles and obscures; it's a glorious mirage, like the city it pays homage to."

30 review for Pink Smog

  1. 5 out of 5

    usagi ☆ミ

    I might be a little biased, as the first five "Weetzie Bat" books (when first published as the omnibus "Dangerous Angels" in 1996) literally changed how I saw the world through writing when I was 12 years old, but this is a glorious and wonderful conclusion to the "Weetzie" series. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy from the author herself, and to participate in one portion of the book, making me feel apart of something larger than myself for the first time within the world of books. Bias I might be a little biased, as the first five "Weetzie Bat" books (when first published as the omnibus "Dangerous Angels" in 1996) literally changed how I saw the world through writing when I was 12 years old, but this is a glorious and wonderful conclusion to the "Weetzie" series. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy from the author herself, and to participate in one portion of the book, making me feel apart of something larger than myself for the first time within the world of books. Bias aside, "Pink Smog" is not a long read, but it's a very tightened, almost sparely-written tale of how Louise Bat becomes the girl we know and love in the rest of the books. Yet at the same time, it's still full of the magical realism that's come to dictate Block's style all of these years later after the first book was published in 1989. Make no mistake - "Pink Smog" may be a prequel, but it's a book you cannot miss in 2012. Even if you're new to the "Weetzie" canon, Block starts "Pink Smog" by constructing the 13-year-old Weetzie's character almost, it feels, from scratch. This is the first time we've seen and interacted fully with this version of Weetzie, as opposed to the mid-to-late teen and 20's version, and in a "Necklace of Kisses", near middle aged version. This Weetzie is still soft in places where in the later books she's become hardened by her experiences with the world and her parents' divorce, and here we're only experiencing the beginning twinges of this divorce with her for the first time. We're also experiencing her entrance into the teenage years, with mean girls and social outcast best friends, an empty place where her father used to be and magical trips into the most wonderful parts of Los Angeles. Block builds a wonderful foundation for Weetzie all over again, leaving no stone unturned yet at the same time, as previously said, her prose almost feels sparse. This is probably because we've seen so much action in the rest of the Weetzie books that there's very little else to say that we don't already know with six other books out. But this sparse style is awesome. If anything, it just made me even hungrier to read about how Louise became Weetzie, with all of the pain and love and magic that she experienced to kick her transformation into high gear. It leaves so much room to fully take in her scavenger hunt that a certain genie gives her, along with a witch that moves in next door, and a boy that may or may not be angelic that becomes a good friend. And that's not even when she's in school. Weetzie is trying to not only find her father but herself, making her the more secure teenage Weetzie we meet in the first book later at age 15-16. This is the perfect book to introduce a new generation of YA readers to Weetzie because she's in the process of trying to find herself, like all the other YA readers out there, whether they're in their teens or already adults. All of the opposites that attracted me to the original books in the first place are still intact in this prequel. Down is up, ugly is beautiful, dirty is clean, mean is kind, and quiet is loud. The "Weetzie" series has always been about finding yourself, and I'm happy to say that this final book really tops off the other six books that echo that message. As for my own participation in the making of this book, I found it rather pleasantly there in the last part of the book. I didn't expect it to be there, as Francesca herself was mysterious about where the real experience was going in the several books she was working on at the time, but there it was. I won't reveal what happens or how I participated here (that will later be revealed in a separate entry on the blog), but get ready for a happy tear-jerker ending that foreshadows the rest of the books. Oh, and seeing 1970's Los Angeles/places that are now gone there again in text didn't hurt, either. As "Weetzie" helped build me up during a rather difficult adolescence, even now in my late 20s, I felt the cushion that is this series buoy me up once more. So thank you, Francesca, for writing this final book. If you love magical realism, or if you love books about finding yourself, or if you're in the midst of trying finding yourself, this is the book for you. Every girl should read the "Weetzie" series, but especially "Pink Smog"; the younger, the better, before all of the self-hate that current Western culture quietly encourages takes hold. This will help you believe that you are good enough, you are worth it, and yes, it does get better. (posted to goodreads, shelfari, librarything, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com)

  2. 4 out of 5

    La Katie

    HERE THERE BE SPOILERS 5 Things About...Pink Smog 1. I've been reading Francesca Lia Block's books since high school. I was a big fan of the books that made up Dangerous Angels. I also thought quite a bit of her other solo pieces. That being said, I did not feel like this book was as strong as those. It was all a little too straightforward, a little less magical, a little more 'this is a book that you will only appreciate if you are around that age.' It's the first book I've read by her that's act HERE THERE BE SPOILERS 5 Things About...Pink Smog 1. I've been reading Francesca Lia Block's books since high school. I was a big fan of the books that made up Dangerous Angels. I also thought quite a bit of her other solo pieces. That being said, I did not feel like this book was as strong as those. It was all a little too straightforward, a little less magical, a little more 'this is a book that you will only appreciate if you are around that age.' It's the first book I've read by her that's actually felt truly YA. 2. The transformation in Wee-Weetzie is very believable, and you can follow the evolution of the character in a natural movement. I like quite a bit that it took her a lot of work to get to the cool Weetzie of the Dangerous Angels books. 3. The trademark lyrical prose is still present in Pink Smog, albeit slightly muted. While I can recognize it was important for the story that it be in first-person perspective, I feel like some of the beautiful poetry that is a highlight of Block's writing was sacrificed for it. 4. The book does a really good job of setting up certain characters for the series, although I feel like the departure of Weetzie's middle-school friends was a bit hasty. Even though from the start we know they won't make it to the next book, it felt a little like, "Uh-oh. I'm on the last ten pages of this manuscript. These two have got to go!" 5. I worry a bit that I am out-growing Francesca Lia Block, but I can't help returning to her books now and then. Pink Smog, like most of her other books, is a good romp through what some might wish growing up was like. If it had to be bad, couldn't it have at least been bad with a wiener dog and the freedom to wander around having adventures in LA?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Marcec

    I wasn't sure what to think of Pink Smog when I read through the first chapter. It's narrative seemed disjointed, chaotic, and at times focused on items that didn't seem to matter. However, it wasn't until I had gotten about halfway through the book and learned more about the characters, that I realized what Francesca did, and I was engrossed with this book until the end. What she did, and did incredible subtly, was perfectly write this book from the view of a thirteen year old girl. Now I have n I wasn't sure what to think of Pink Smog when I read through the first chapter. It's narrative seemed disjointed, chaotic, and at times focused on items that didn't seem to matter. However, it wasn't until I had gotten about halfway through the book and learned more about the characters, that I realized what Francesca did, and I was engrossed with this book until the end. What she did, and did incredible subtly, was perfectly write this book from the view of a thirteen year old girl. Now I have no idea what being a thirteen year old girl is like, but thinking back on my time as a teen I remembered how chaotic things were. How important the little things like clothes, music, and what brand of bike you rode mattered. Those first few chapters suddenly fit perfectly with this story, and perfectly introduced the character who came to be Weetzie Bat. On the surface, this book appeared to be your standard coming of age story. A girl, Weetzie, is taking care of her former actress and current drunk mother after her father leaves. This book strays from the typical formula where the protagonist finds a significant other who helps them realize that life is worth living, and instead focuses on a child realizing her own inner strength in the face of not only adversity, but in the face of life in general. She not only has to learn to cope with these feelings of abandonment, but also discovers that though her situation is unfortunate, she is not alone in her struggle to survive in life. Her two friends show her that they are just as troubled as she is. Francesca's writing style was incredible. Not only does she have an excellent flow to her writing, but she did something I find not many authors can do. She piqued my curiosity about specific items in this book, and genuinley makes me want to know what the outcome will be. She built these characters, so that you will actually care what happens to them in the end...even if each character's end isn't the one you want for them. All-in-all, though the book is categorized as "teen", I would recommend this as a read for anyone. I think you will all walk away being thoroughly entertained.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Therese

    Pink Smog isn’t bad. In fact, it’s a rather sweet and charming story. I think my problem with it is that I’m no longer FLB’s target audience so her books are always hit-or-miss for me now. And the whole concept of needing a prequel to introduce today’s young folk to Weetzie and the rest of the Dangerous Angels gang feels completely unnecessary. For me, the entire plot of Pink Smog can be summed up in the first sentence of Weetzie Bat (“The reason Weetzie Bat hated high school was because no one Pink Smog isn’t bad. In fact, it’s a rather sweet and charming story. I think my problem with it is that I’m no longer FLB’s target audience so her books are always hit-or-miss for me now. And the whole concept of needing a prequel to introduce today’s young folk to Weetzie and the rest of the Dangerous Angels gang feels completely unnecessary. For me, the entire plot of Pink Smog can be summed up in the first sentence of Weetzie Bat (“The reason Weetzie Bat hated high school was because no one understood.”) and I’d recommend that book over this one to anyone in a heartbeat.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    OK, so, back story: My 8th grade year, I found the first Weetzie Bat book in the abandoned Lost-and-Found box in the water boiler room of my middle school and it was sort of like a guiding light for adolescent me (I later found out who it belonged to, but not until I lent the book to like 3 other people). I really, really loved Francesca Lia Block's whole world in middle and high school but stopped reading her when her books became more fairy tale/Tori Amos-y - all of those books were a little t OK, so, back story: My 8th grade year, I found the first Weetzie Bat book in the abandoned Lost-and-Found box in the water boiler room of my middle school and it was sort of like a guiding light for adolescent me (I later found out who it belonged to, but not until I lent the book to like 3 other people). I really, really loved Francesca Lia Block's whole world in middle and high school but stopped reading her when her books became more fairy tale/Tori Amos-y - all of those books were a little too Fantasy Club for my tastes. The Weetzie books & some of her earlier titles (like Girl Goddess # 9) clearly always had bits of fantasy in them but they were not as fantastic as some of her later books have become (I suppose it goes without saying that she has also written her share of supernatural romance-type books in the last few years). So I had been sort of apprehensive about re-visiting her even in the context of my profession because I was *terrified* that the books would strike me as really NINTIES and kind of NEW AGE and sort of HOKEY and HIPPIE, and my recollection of reading them was so magical that I didn't want that to go away. And then this book (which is a "prequel" to the Weetzie books) was published recently and showed up in my library and even though I was nervous I picked it up anyway annnnd ... IT TOTALLY HOLDS UP! Whew! Thank GOD, right? In fact it might be one of the better books about Weetzie that FLB is written specifically BECAUSE it sort of lacks in the airy-fairy department. It's about Weetzie at age 13 - not as confident or as sure of herself or as resourceful as we find her in the original books - and how she grows into her own identity. It is not as overall "rosy" but still has the compassion and magic realism of the original Weetzie books. Highly recommended for your baby cousin or tween niece.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Greta is Erikasbuddy

    Before we met Dirk. Before we found Duck. Before Secret Agent Lover Man, Angel Juan, Cherokee, and Witch Baby. Even before the time of Slinkster Dog and Go Go Girl There was Louise. But she'd like it much better if you called her Weetzie. Pink Smog is the pre-quel to "Weetzie Bat". Weetzie is 13 years old and in 7th grade. Her Mom and Dad have been fighting and her Dad has finally moved out. Mom, whether heartbroken or unsure what to do next, has taken to the bottle. While Weetzie is left to take care Before we met Dirk. Before we found Duck. Before Secret Agent Lover Man, Angel Juan, Cherokee, and Witch Baby. Even before the time of Slinkster Dog and Go Go Girl There was Louise. But she'd like it much better if you called her Weetzie. Pink Smog is the pre-quel to "Weetzie Bat". Weetzie is 13 years old and in 7th grade. Her Mom and Dad have been fighting and her Dad has finally moved out. Mom, whether heartbroken or unsure what to do next, has taken to the bottle. While Weetzie is left to take care of her and try to live a normal life. But that's kind of hard to do in 7th grade. Just like high school, junior high can be cruel. Greta's Thoughts: Whenever I think of Weetzie, I always think of this Sheryl Crowe song. But this book is before. In "Pink Smog" Weetzie's life is hard. I found it hard to believe that Weetzie wasn't always full of fun sunshiney rainbow glitter smiles. Sure, she has a good outlook on life but I couldn't believe how many people were mean to her. It helps you understand why Weetzie is so carefree in the later books. If Weetzie can make it through Junior High then she can make it through ANYTHING! On the way Weetzie does befriend 2 outcasts. They form a club formed by a cruel joke and stick together through thick and thin. This just shows you how loyal Weetzie can be. Mindblowing? No, not really. The writing in the book didn't knock me off my feet but it did make me believe that a thirteen year old was telling the story. Maybe that's what FLB was going for. If it was she did a bang-up job. And it does make sense. Most kids don't find their voice until they get a bit older. Plot: This probably isn't the best Weetzie Bat book to start with. There are some Ah-HAH moments that will help you understand the later books. I think everyone should start at the beginning. But otherwise that, the story was very interesting and I loved how short it was. Shortness is key to me. It guarantees that I'll probably read it again. Rated R? This is a teen book so of course there is a bit of cussing. There isn't much. Also, there is a bit of drug use. If your kids watch "That 70s Show" then this book won't scar them at all. Overall: I love Weetzie. I love her style. I love her voice. I love how carefree and caring she can be. I enjoyed watching her grow up into a 40 year old woman. And I loved hearing her tale before she was our Weetzie Bat. For any girl out there who wants to read, get inspired, and dream.... might I introduce you to a girl named Louise.... but you can call her Weetzie.

  7. 4 out of 5

    BAYA Librarian

    For fans of the Weetzie Bat, this prequel will have obvious appeal. But for someone stumbling upon this series for the first time, this book will sound discordant and jumbled. By her teenage years, Weetzie had struck her groove, but this novel finds her in middle school, pleading with teachers to call her by her nickname instead of Louise, suffering humiliation at the hands of the mean girls, and uncertain of the magic around her. Her beloved father Charlie has just driven out of Weetzie’s life For fans of the Weetzie Bat, this prequel will have obvious appeal. But for someone stumbling upon this series for the first time, this book will sound discordant and jumbled. By her teenage years, Weetzie had struck her groove, but this novel finds her in middle school, pleading with teachers to call her by her nickname instead of Louise, suffering humiliation at the hands of the mean girls, and uncertain of the magic around her. Her beloved father Charlie has just driven out of Weetzie’s life in his battered yellow T-Bird, leaving her reeling while trying to support her alcoholic and suicidal mother. This book is 75% style, with every character’s entrance including a rundown of their outfit. More time is spent on the state of mom’s pedicure than her emotional state. Weetzie’s narrative is breezy and light. She lives in a world of fading starlettes in a Hollywood that never really existed. While her mother’s alcoholism is clearly a downer, that doesn’t give her any reservations about pouring herself a cup or two of chardonnay with a Bubble Yum chaser. Serious subjects are touched on, but then veered away from quickly. In addition to mom’s suicidal tendencies and alcoholism, Weetzie’s best friends are a girl with an eating disorder and a boy who is most likely a male prostitute and definitely the subject of gay bashing. But more attention is focused on the dreamy boy who may be her guardian angel. Yes, it’s an ugly world, but look at my cute outfit. Or as the book didactically states in the conclusion, “No matter how bad things get, you can always see the beauty in them.” Content Advisory: contains 13 year-olds smoking pot for no real reason other than the author seems to think it makes them look cool.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mizuki

    It's a passable coming-of-age story with some cool lines and scenes, but it's not magical like Francesca Lia Block's other YA novels, that's it. It's a passable coming-of-age story with some cool lines and scenes, but it's not magical like Francesca Lia Block's other YA novels, that's it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    WitchyFingers

    3.5 stars. It got better near the end.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ciara

    full disclosure: i LOVED the "weetzie bat" books when i was a teenager. just like all other teenage girls who read "sassy" magazine (original recipe) & wore flannels & were born in the 70s. after obsessively devouring them over & over again from the library, i of course bought the bound collection (dangerous angels) when it was released. i tried to read it again when i was like 21 &...wow. even at that young of an age, i was already pretty much completely over francesca lia block's writing style full disclosure: i LOVED the "weetzie bat" books when i was a teenager. just like all other teenage girls who read "sassy" magazine (original recipe) & wore flannels & were born in the 70s. after obsessively devouring them over & over again from the library, i of course bought the bound collection (dangerous angels) when it was released. i tried to read it again when i was like 21 &...wow. even at that young of an age, i was already pretty much completely over francesca lia block's writing style. i still got a little thrill of nostalgia reading the sentences that i had practically memorized when i was 14 years old & imagining what life could be like had i been born in los angeles instead of toledo, ohio, but unfortunately, block is really more for a younger crowd, one that still thinks that fairies & eating disorders are kind of glamorous. i checked out pink smog anyway because i am nothing if not an obsessive completist. it is billed as a prequel to weetzie bat, explaining more about why weetzie's dad ran off & how she came to develop her personal style & meet some of the characters that figure prominently into the "weetzie bat" series. i was disappointed, & probably not just because i was 32 when i read this book & not 15. all of block's usual writing tricks are here...i mean, just consider the title. "pink smog"...rather evocative, isn't it? makes the air quality issues in los angeles seem kind of romantic & mysterious. but i lived in L.A. & can vouch for the fact that really, smoggy days just burn your throat & make your eyes water. the whole book is all pink smog & hollywood glamour & guardian angel mermaids & candy. & all of this is unfortunately at the expense of a plot. block tries to hang everything on a scavenger hunt that weetzie is sent on after her father leaves, but there are big chunks in between where she gets picked on at school & is tormented by a witchy violet-eyed neighbor with a collection of angry dogs, so when the scavenger hunt comes up again, it's kind of like, "oh, this again? i'd forgotten about this. what a snore." the one character i kind of cares about was weetzie's asian american friend who is suffering from an eating disorder. & this is one of the few characters that isn't actually in the "weetzie" series. at the end of pink smog, she is sent to a rehab center for treatment & is never heard from again. i mean, her character wasn't even very strongly drawn or anything (nor were any of the other characters--if this had been my first introduction to the weetzie world, i would probably have been very confused), but i just really wanted her to get some help. i also wonder if she was shoehorned into the book as penance for the fact that block so often writes about characters suffering from eating disorders & she makes them sound super glamorous & romantic. maybe i am mistaken, but i seem to recall some book where the protagonist has an eating disorder & is so disoriented from hunger that she hallucinates a fairy that becomes her best friend & they have all these adventures together. her relationship with the fairy is the plot of the entire book, & of course there are plenty of scenes where the protagonist has borderline-assault sexual relationships with way older, inappropriate men who are attracted to her fragility. even if i'm imagining this & it's not a real block book, it pretty much sums up her entire oeuvre. feel free to snag this plot, francesca. i'll keep an eye out for the check.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Book Twirps

    Things aren't easy for young Louise "Weetzie" Bat. Her father and mother fight incessantly and she's tired of the bullying at school. When her father leaves, her life seems to crash down around her. Her father was everything to her, and now he's disappeared without a trace. Weetzie holds out hope that he'll come back after a few days, just as he always does, but as the days pass by it becomes evident that he may never return. The night her father left, he and her mother had their biggest fight ye Things aren't easy for young Louise "Weetzie" Bat. Her father and mother fight incessantly and she's tired of the bullying at school. When her father leaves, her life seems to crash down around her. Her father was everything to her, and now he's disappeared without a trace. Weetzie holds out hope that he'll come back after a few days, just as he always does, but as the days pass by it becomes evident that he may never return. The night her father left, he and her mother had their biggest fight yet, and her drunk mother passed out and fell into the swimming pool. A handsome young man saves her, and Weetzie sets out to find him, convinced he may be her guardian angel. When Weetzie finally meets the mysterious young man (Winter), she can't help but develop a crush on him. When he tells her that her father asked him to watch over Weetzie, she develops an even stronger bond with him, but there's something very strange about Winter's family. His sister seems hell-bent on terrorizing her, and his mother may have something to do with constant tension between Weetzie's parents. As the bullying at school persists, and Weetzie continues searching for answers around her father's disappearance, she learns things about herself that will shape the young woman she is meant to become. I'm going to (shamefully) admit upfront that I've never read a Weetzie Bat book. I was in college when they came out and pretty much everything I read at that time was a textbook. This book was my introduction to the writing of Ms. Block, and I will admit I am now a fan. I loved seeing 1970's L.A. through Weetzie's eyes. The entire book is a literary love-affair with the city as experienced by a thirteen-year-old. The writing is fluid and the characters, especially Weetzie, are extremely engaging. I especially loved the spatters of magical realism that Ms. Block uses to enhance Weetzie's story. Pink Smog is a quick read at just under 200 pages, but it is well worth the time. After reading this, I'll definitely be purchasing the other Weetzie books.

  12. 4 out of 5

    jess

    This is the Weetzie Bat prequel and I didn't hate it as much as I hated all of FLB's other recent works. I don't know if it would appeal much to anyone who's not already interested in Weetzie, and it doesn't introduce a whole lot of unknown Weetzie history for the obsessive. It is, however, a sweet story about a high school girl who dresses weird (even for Los Angeles), doesn't fit in, struggles to make friends and tries to cope with her parents' break-up/her father's departure. This is not as m This is the Weetzie Bat prequel and I didn't hate it as much as I hated all of FLB's other recent works. I don't know if it would appeal much to anyone who's not already interested in Weetzie, and it doesn't introduce a whole lot of unknown Weetzie history for the obsessive. It is, however, a sweet story about a high school girl who dresses weird (even for Los Angeles), doesn't fit in, struggles to make friends and tries to cope with her parents' break-up/her father's departure. This is not as much of a love letter to L.A., which I always felt was one of the best things about the Weetzie books, but Weetzie's world is a lot smaller here. She's younger and the city is not as familiar. But a lot of the groundwork for the charm and metaphysical connection between Weetzie and Los Angeles is laid here - her childhood memory about the tar pits, being obsessed with Marilyn Monroe and watching fireworks on the rooftop in January. One note: FLB was trying too hard with Weetzie's friends here - the tragic girl with the eating disorder and the tragic gay teen hustler, come on. It's like, we always knew that Weetzie was friends with "outsiders" because she herself is too weird for the norms, but these pals of hers come across as tragic allegories representing the hardships of teen angst. They didn't seem like tender, real people -- which I always felt was true about Weetzie's friends. I just wanted them to be more 3D. At the end of the book, I was feeling like everything was going to work out OK with Weetzie. And then I immediately started reading Weetzie Bat and wishing they would make a Weetzie movie.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Summer

    I won Pink Smog in a GoodReads First Reads giveaway. I had never read any of the Weetzie Bat books before reading this one, so I was completely new to the Weetzie Bat experience. Pink Smog was a bit quirky in kind of a urban-cool, retro sort of way. It's sort of like She's All That where the main gal is cute and quirky yet tragically picked on by her peers, but at the end of the day she's still a little darling. Well, I'm not sure I would call Weetzie a "darling" but I thought she was a very inte I won Pink Smog in a GoodReads First Reads giveaway. I had never read any of the Weetzie Bat books before reading this one, so I was completely new to the Weetzie Bat experience. Pink Smog was a bit quirky in kind of a urban-cool, retro sort of way. It's sort of like She's All That where the main gal is cute and quirky yet tragically picked on by her peers, but at the end of the day she's still a little darling. Well, I'm not sure I would call Weetzie a "darling" but I thought she was a very interesting character. I don't quite get the semi-fantasy aspect of Weetzie's world - I made it all the way to the end of the book, and there were still pieces of the story or characters that I wasn't really sure were real or if she just has an active imagination. But as I've done a little more digging into the Weetzie Bat series, I've learned that this is just how her world is. A little bit fantasy, a little bit rock and roll. This wasn't the "most amazing book ever" but I enjoyed it enough to look into reading the other Weetzie Bat books. I'm actually glad I started with this one, because the cadence and rhythm of the writing and plot in the other books are very different and much less cohesive than Pink Smog. If I'd started the Weetzie Bat series with the first WB book, I don't think I would have continued with the series. It's a bit choppy. But as with books or TV sitcoms or things in a series like that, I'm hopeful that the books get better as the author gains more experience with the characters and the story finds its footing. If Pink Smog is any indication, then I'd say I have more to look forward to in the series. Pink Smog

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. POTENTIAL SPOILERS IN REVIEW!! Block is my favorite author, but to be honest, I was beginning to tire of the focus on Weetzie (really, how many books does she need?). But of course, deep down, I still love the character. I believe all of Block's books are love letters to LA, and they're true love letters because they even describe the faults with Weetzie's city along with all its inherent magic. This book also seemed to be a love letter to Marilyn Monroe, which was a little strange but still inte POTENTIAL SPOILERS IN REVIEW!! Block is my favorite author, but to be honest, I was beginning to tire of the focus on Weetzie (really, how many books does she need?). But of course, deep down, I still love the character. I believe all of Block's books are love letters to LA, and they're true love letters because they even describe the faults with Weetzie's city along with all its inherent magic. This book also seemed to be a love letter to Marilyn Monroe, which was a little strange but still interesting and enjoyable. I also admired how I, like young Weetzie, was completely terrified of Annabelle. I think Block could write a great horror/suspense story if she wanted. I also enjoyed the premonition Weetzie has at the end of the book that describes the characters she'll meet later in life. That made me very nostalgic for the other books and I thought it was a nice touch for anyone familiar with Weetzie's full story. On that note, reading the excerpt from Weetzie Bat in the back was wild! Seeing the difference in Block's writing and narrative for the same character in books separated by at least twenty years (might be more actually, but I don't have the first book right in front of me to check the copyright) was incredible. All in all, a good read if not a little abrupt and still peppered with trademark WTF moments I've come to expect from Block. But her prose and magic still make it a fun journey.

  15. 4 out of 5

    April

    Once upon a time, when I was in eighth grade, my local library had a very small section of three revolving racks and a sign that said young adult. This was the year 2000. Because I am mad old. One of the books on the racks had pretty much the most attractive, eye catching cover ever. It was also thick, which might as well have been a siren call to me. That book was Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block and it contained all of the Weetzie Bat books. Now, I read it and so much went over my head, Once upon a time, when I was in eighth grade, my local library had a very small section of three revolving racks and a sign that said young adult. This was the year 2000. Because I am mad old. One of the books on the racks had pretty much the most attractive, eye catching cover ever. It was also thick, which might as well have been a siren call to me. That book was Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block and it contained all of the Weetzie Bat books. Now, I read it and so much went over my head, but I remember really enjoying Block’s whimsical prose. I would end up reading the rest of the books the library had to offer by Block. Years and years later Pink Smog, the prequel to the Weetzie books, showed up at my house for review. Although it was wicked short, I kept putting it off, because I do that. I am a procrastinator. THEN Epic Reads, one of my favorite book sites, decided to make Pink Smog one of their monthly book club picks, so that kind of kick started me into reading it. Y’all, I read this prequel in like a day and remembered why I was so into Francesca Lia Block as a teenager. Read the rest of my review here

  16. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Hoskins

    At the American Library Association convention exhibits, I lucked into finding out that Francesca Lia Block was signing books. I chose Pink Smog - because the cover is so compelling - to have her sign. Having grown up in the early 70's I loved this setting - complete with details I had forgotten like Bonnie Bell cosmetics and those awful gym suits we wore. Francesca called me a first generation of Weetzie Bat. That book was so groundbreaking in the late 80's. It still has appeal to new generation At the American Library Association convention exhibits, I lucked into finding out that Francesca Lia Block was signing books. I chose Pink Smog - because the cover is so compelling - to have her sign. Having grown up in the early 70's I loved this setting - complete with details I had forgotten like Bonnie Bell cosmetics and those awful gym suits we wore. Francesca called me a first generation of Weetzie Bat. That book was so groundbreaking in the late 80's. It still has appeal to new generations, but I don't think it has the impact that it did back then. I felt Pink Smog was well written and showed matured writing skill that I don't think Weetzie Bat had. The characters are strong, the plot kept me reading, the magical realism genre is so cool, and the shimmering voice has crystalized. The parts of Weetzie Bat that I have re-read don't stand up to my memories of being blown away. There is the controversy of Weetzie wearing an Indian headdress, which I have learned is very offensive and emotionally hurtful to Native Americans. But because of the memories I have of reading Weetzie Bat it will remain on my favorite books.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Keri

    Keri McLucas Contemporary realistic fiction Louise Bat is 13 years old and lives in Las Angeles, California. Pink is the color of the sky in L.A. at dusk, through the smog. Her father, Charlie, recently left Louise and her mother-leaving Louise longing to be called Weetzie, the nickname her father gave to her. Weetzie is in the ugly-duckling stage of growth. She feels insecure and is searching for her own identity. At the same time, abandonment is deepened by her mother’s obsessive drinking. Weet Keri McLucas Contemporary realistic fiction Louise Bat is 13 years old and lives in Las Angeles, California. Pink is the color of the sky in L.A. at dusk, through the smog. Her father, Charlie, recently left Louise and her mother-leaving Louise longing to be called Weetzie, the nickname her father gave to her. Weetzie is in the ugly-duckling stage of growth. She feels insecure and is searching for her own identity. At the same time, abandonment is deepened by her mother’s obsessive drinking. Weetzie feels alone in the world. Through all of the hardship, Weetzie has a couple friends who just happen to be as much outcast as she is. Time will help Weetzie to grow and accept who she is, developing into a very cool teenage girl. Pink Smog is a prequel to other Weetzie Bat stories by Francesca Lia Block. It is a story about growing up, understanding and dealing with life. She learns to love herself and begins to see the magic of herself through the pink smog. This story is written well and intrigues the reader from the beginning.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I love Block's brand of magic realism -- sadness, magic, wonder, evil mixing it up in L.A. This prequel to Weetzie Bat is about overcoming bad things - a parent's alcholism, another parent's desertion, bullies, the doubts of one's own heart -- and coming out the other side strong and happy because you've learned to love yourself. Weetzie's such a wonderful character. You want to be her friend and give her a hug. And Block's love for L.A. in all its crazy beauty is so beautifully rendered -- I co I love Block's brand of magic realism -- sadness, magic, wonder, evil mixing it up in L.A. This prequel to Weetzie Bat is about overcoming bad things - a parent's alcholism, another parent's desertion, bullies, the doubts of one's own heart -- and coming out the other side strong and happy because you've learned to love yourself. Weetzie's such a wonderful character. You want to be her friend and give her a hug. And Block's love for L.A. in all its crazy beauty is so beautifully rendered -- I could quote it all day long. For instance: "He smelled like sand and tar and wind, gasoline and sawdust and oranges. He smelled like Los Angeles." And then other things like this: "Whatever love meant there was some version of it that I felt for Winter. And it didn't matter if he felt that for me or not or if it was real love or just my sadness about my dad that had turned into longing. Love, that elusive leading lady, plays too many parts to be typecast."

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bcoghill Coghill

    Another visit with my favorite woman in literature. Ages ago I bought the first Weetzie Bat book for my pre-teen daughter. I have maintained a relationship with the (fictional) woman for two decades. Witchie Bay is my favorite character but there would be no Witchie Baby without Weetzie Bat, would there? How good to be back with a younger Weetzie.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    A nice supplement to Dangerous Angels and even Necklace of Kisses. I thought the mysterious notes storyline dragged as well as the ongoing interactions with Anna. But, it was absolutely wonderful to read Weetzie again. Specifically, Louise before she became Weetzie. I loved this glimpse into her early life.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jenn Estepp

    Not sure how much I would've cared for this, if I didn't already have a vested interest in Weetzie Bat and company. But I do. And while this doesn't come close to rivaling the earlier books, it's an interesting slice of something and it did remind me of the affection that was once there. And, it's eons better than other stuff Block has put out lately (and which I couldn't even get through). Not sure how much I would've cared for this, if I didn't already have a vested interest in Weetzie Bat and company. But I do. And while this doesn't come close to rivaling the earlier books, it's an interesting slice of something and it did remind me of the affection that was once there. And, it's eons better than other stuff Block has put out lately (and which I couldn't even get through).

  22. 4 out of 5

    Carolee Wheeler

    Really enjoyable; created movies and mythologies in my mind just like Weetzie Bat. Not a stand-alone book for people who haven't read Weetzie Bat, though... Really enjoyable; created movies and mythologies in my mind just like Weetzie Bat. Not a stand-alone book for people who haven't read Weetzie Bat, though...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stacey Adams

    Kind of a weird book...left you with questions. Weetzie Bat as Louise wants to be called is having family troubles. Her mother drinks too much and her father is absent. Her best friends have their own issues that Weetzie can't help them with. School is tough with her nemesis, Staci Nettles always giving her grief. Her neighbors are connected somehow to her own family with the son Winter who rescues Weetzie on more than one occasion and the daughter Anna who is really strange and maybe dangerous Kind of a weird book...left you with questions. Weetzie Bat as Louise wants to be called is having family troubles. Her mother drinks too much and her father is absent. Her best friends have their own issues that Weetzie can't help them with. School is tough with her nemesis, Staci Nettles always giving her grief. Her neighbors are connected somehow to her own family with the son Winter who rescues Weetzie on more than one occasion and the daughter Anna who is really strange and maybe dangerous and the mother who might have been involved with her father. There were a lot of unexplained happenings in the book like the notes left for Weetzie, the dolls in Anna's room, the uncanny ability to be there right when Weetzie needed Winter. Some of it was tough to follow, not written clearly I thought. The story was cool though with twists to keep you reading. Struggles of a teenage girl in LA, Weetzie handles them pretty well in her own way. Not everything was resolved at the end of the book leaving you with questions.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hurricane_ReD

    What a magical, exciting life you must lead, FLB. I first read about Weetzie 20 years ago, when I was 14. She is still just as visible and vibrant to me as she was then. This book, as with her other work, is full of ambiguous imagery. I think it's fantastic, but I know that this writing style is not for everyone. If you've never read any of her works before, start where I started: with Girl Goddess #9. If you're a long-time Weetzie fan like me, get some tissues ready. It's haunting, and achingly b What a magical, exciting life you must lead, FLB. I first read about Weetzie 20 years ago, when I was 14. She is still just as visible and vibrant to me as she was then. This book, as with her other work, is full of ambiguous imagery. I think it's fantastic, but I know that this writing style is not for everyone. If you've never read any of her works before, start where I started: with Girl Goddess #9. If you're a long-time Weetzie fan like me, get some tissues ready. It's haunting, and achingly beautiful, and it will make you cry. The only reason this didn't get 5 stars from me is because I wanted a better transition at the end - sort of a way to get us from here to the original book, Weetzie Bat, since this was intended to be a prequel.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    I love, love, LOVE the Weetzie Bat books. I, like so many others, discovered them in my teens and just devoured them. They're like bubble gum and glitter and cotton candy. Francesca Lia Block's writing is dreamy and so delicious you can almost taste it. I'm well beyond the target age for Weetzie these days, but I couldn't resist Pink Smog . I adored learning how our beloved Weetzie went from mousette to the slinkster cool punk pixie we all know and treasure. It wasn't an easy road for 13 year o I love, love, LOVE the Weetzie Bat books. I, like so many others, discovered them in my teens and just devoured them. They're like bubble gum and glitter and cotton candy. Francesca Lia Block's writing is dreamy and so delicious you can almost taste it. I'm well beyond the target age for Weetzie these days, but I couldn't resist Pink Smog . I adored learning how our beloved Weetzie went from mousette to the slinkster cool punk pixie we all know and treasure. It wasn't an easy road for 13 year old Louise. But...what 13 year old does have it easy? If you're a fan of the Weetzie Bat books at all, Pink Smog should be a read you will greatly enjoy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alex Clark

    A nice return to the Weetzie Bat world Parts of this book brought me back to being 14 and reading the Weetzie Bat books for the first time. The lyrical love notes to Los Angeles, the friendships, the magical realism. But this felt rushed. I wanted more from the 1st person. It felt flat and voiceless, which was weird because I feel that I know Weetzie so well from the previous 3rd person books. Either way, this was an enjoyable enough read. I would recommend to anyone who is a fan of the other bo A nice return to the Weetzie Bat world Parts of this book brought me back to being 14 and reading the Weetzie Bat books for the first time. The lyrical love notes to Los Angeles, the friendships, the magical realism. But this felt rushed. I wanted more from the 1st person. It felt flat and voiceless, which was weird because I feel that I know Weetzie so well from the previous 3rd person books. Either way, this was an enjoyable enough read. I would recommend to anyone who is a fan of the other books, but if you haven’t read those, I’d read those first before reading this because I don’t believe it would stand well on its own.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Caity

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Overall I enjoyed this book though not quite as much as the rest of the Weetzie Bat series. My main issue was the ending her middle school friends received, while I knew they weren't in the the later books of the series I was still surprised by how easily they were written off. It felt like Weetzie would have been more upset by their loss particularly due to the circumstances of Bobby's disappearance. Overall I enjoyed this book though not quite as much as the rest of the Weetzie Bat series. My main issue was the ending her middle school friends received, while I knew they weren't in the the later books of the series I was still surprised by how easily they were written off. It felt like Weetzie would have been more upset by their loss particularly due to the circumstances of Bobby's disappearance.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    i've read the series of weetzie bat but never this one and it's strange how a younger weetzie makes more sense than the other one in terms of thought processes (absence of very poetic prose) but i still quite like this, the feeling of figuring things out and questioning whether you made it up is something i still relate to even at 22 and i think anyone can enjoy i've read the series of weetzie bat but never this one and it's strange how a younger weetzie makes more sense than the other one in terms of thought processes (absence of very poetic prose) but i still quite like this, the feeling of figuring things out and questioning whether you made it up is something i still relate to even at 22 and i think anyone can enjoy

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    getting ready to re-read Weetzie Bat (because nostalgia) and discovered this prequel. i wish i hadn't. It lacks the fairy-tale short-story style that made Weetzie Bat (and the sequels) so endearing. Weetzie isn't very deep and it was surprising to find her with a back story that gave her depth. getting ready to re-read Weetzie Bat (because nostalgia) and discovered this prequel. i wish i hadn't. It lacks the fairy-tale short-story style that made Weetzie Bat (and the sequels) so endearing. Weetzie isn't very deep and it was surprising to find her with a back story that gave her depth.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Libby

    A belated prequel to the Weetzie Bat series, Pink Smog doesn't quite stack up to the beloved source material it is building from. Coming off as more of a rehash of ideas than anything truly original, the book establishes a comfortable familiarity, but lacks wow factor. A belated prequel to the Weetzie Bat series, Pink Smog doesn't quite stack up to the beloved source material it is building from. Coming off as more of a rehash of ideas than anything truly original, the book establishes a comfortable familiarity, but lacks wow factor.

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