I think I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Francesca Lia Block’s books. Sometimes I am like wow that book was so cool omg the imagery you guys. And then other times I am like, I do not understand what I just read at all! Teen Spirt, Block’s latest young adult book sort of falls on the meh end of the spectrum as far as my feelings towards her books go. I read it pretty fast, yes, but I did not feel emotional investment. I did not find myself totally into the imagery nor did I ever feel her typical gritty LA magic. Oh well, not every book can be a winner, that is for sure.
The premise of Francesca Lia Block’s Teen Spirit is as follows – Julie lives with her mother and grandmother. She has no friends, but she is okay with that because she sees her grandmother as her best friend. Also, Julie is really into vintage clothes. Unfortunately for Julie, her grandmother dies while trying to tell her something. Julie is bereft. So is her mother. Eventually, Julie’s mom loses her job and they lose the house that Julie loves and end up moving to a different part of LA. There, Julie finds a Ouija board in her room and attempts to contact her grandmother. Also, Julie begins to go to a different school and makes her first friend, the super dorky Clark, a boy who is trying to outrun his past. Ghosts abound in Teen Spirit.
Okay, so I did not totally take to Julie. She is nice enough and I like her taste in clothing, I imagine her to be a walking version of ModCloth. However, she’s just so single minded and obsessed with the past that I don’t know. I felt bad for her instead of like, caring for her. I also thought she was making a couple bad life choices which normally I am okay with because high school is a series of bad life choices, but I don’t know, I guess I just was not all that interested in Julie’s choices. Meh. She’s just basic to me, you guys. Also I kind of am not into books where the girl character has no female friends.
Now, there is a sort of love interest for Julie, but I am kind of left in the dark on some of this. So, Julie’s new friend Clark is into Buffy and Joss Whedon and a total nerd. He’s cool though. However, he’s hiding a secret, you see his brother Grant died in a hit and run accident. Anyways, Grant isn’t totally done with Earth, so he possesses Clark’s body from time to time. Oh and when he is possessing Clark, he is cool and confident and attracted to Julie. I basically wanted Clark to stay Grant — which FYI I am pretty sure is the opposite reaction I should have.
Eh, I think I would have been happy had there been more magic and more Ouija and more spirits. I don’t know, this book is a quick read, but it just does not have that oomph that I hope for when I read Block’s books. If you are a die hard FLB fan, you might like this, but more me, it’s not a winner.
Disclosure: Review Copy Provided By Publisher