P for Pink Smog: Becoming Weetzie, by Francesca Lia Block (book review) – reinventing herself

book cover of Pink Smog by Francesca Lia Block published by Harper CollinsDad leaves and Mom crawls into the bottle,
Mean girls with slam books rule the junior high halls,
Weetzie’s certainly glad of the guardian angel who popped into her life.

No one loves the quirks and history of Hollywood and LA like Weetzie Bat, named Louise after a famous silent film star by her B-movie director dad and former starlet mom.  No one has better friends than too-thin Lily and so-gorgeous Bobby. With their friendship, her angel, and those mysterious silver envelopes, she might make it through this year of break-ups and breakdowns in Tinseltown.

It’s Support Teen Literature Day during National Library Week, so meet Weetzie as she creates herself amid the Pink Smog, then find the rest of the Weetzie Bat books at your  local library  (or independent bookstore).

Book info:  Pink Smog: Becoming Weetzie Bat / Francesca Lia Block. HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2012. [author site]  [publisher site]  [book trailer]

My recommendation: New school, Dad leaves, Mom drinks away her sorrows, and no one will call her by the right nickname – if this is what being 13 is like, then Weetzie feels cheated. But a guardian angel appears, and her life in LA takes on some new sparkle.

It must have been an angel who helped Weetzie pull her mom from the swimming pool, who did CPR till the ambulance came. The family who just moved in upstairs are no angels though, that girl with long black hair and empty eyes and creepy laugh, the mother who knew Weetzie’s movie director dad a little too well. The angel guy turns out to be Winter, and somehow Weetzie’s dad asked him to watch out for her… wherever Dad is.

Eventually her solitary lunchtimes at junior high give way to friendship with Bobby and Lily, against all the mean kids who hurt everyone’s feelings. With Bobby and Lily, life is better, and when hand-delivered silver envelopes start appearing with messages for her (ransom note style, with the cut-out letters), life starts to get interesting. Weetzie turns well-loved old clothes into fantastic fashions, tries to get Mom to eat dinner instead of drink it, wonders how love so sweet could turn so bitter.

Does that girl upstairs really have voodoo dolls?
Can Winter help Weetzie find her dad again?
What are all the silver envelope messages telling her?

This long-awaited prequel to Block’s popular Weetzie Bat series weaves the pivotal life events of young Weetzie through LA’s orange blossoms, star-sprinkled pavements, and Pink Smog of the 1970s.   (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

One thought on “P for Pink Smog: Becoming Weetzie, by Francesca Lia Block (book review) – reinventing herself

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