Sunday, February 2, 2014

ARC Book Review: Teen Spirit

Teen SpiritAuthor: Francesca Lia Block
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen

Francesca Lia Block, critically acclaimed author of Weetzie Bat, brings this eerie and redemptive ghost story to life with her signature, poetic prose. It's perfect for fans of supernatural stories with a touch of romance like the Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

After Julie's grandmother passes away, she is forced to move across town to the not-so-fancy end of Beverly Hills and start over at a new school. The only silver lining to the perpetual dark cloud that seems to be following her? Clark—a die-hard fan of Buffy and all things Joss Whedon, who is just as awkward and damaged as she is. Her kindred spirit.

When the two try to contact Julie's grandmother with a Ouija board, they make contact with a different spirit altogether. The real kind. And this ghost will do whatever it takes to come back to the world of the living.

Francesca Lia Block's latest young adult novel is a haunting work about family, loss, love, and redemption.

“What does ‘marl’ mean anyway?” I said. I usually loved Emily Dickinson but that day the poem gave me a graveyard chill that made me pull my sweater sleeves down over my hands and I wanted to stop reading.

I took out a tiny peach-colored envelope, embossed with my grandmother’s initials and a wreath of flowers, that she had placed in the pocket of the jacket. It said, You are a thing of beauty in this, my love.

I didn’t even tell my mother about the words my grandmother had said but I thought about them a lot. There’s something I must tell you, darling. Did she know she was about to die? Was there something important she needed to let me know?

How could a person you loved be reduced to this? I wondered, looking at the urn.

Francesca Lia Block has always been a favorite of mine simply because of the magic and thrill she brings to each book. I was not disappointed on her latest book, Teen Spirit, either. Julie is introduced to a whole new world when her grandmother, Miriam, passes away. Secrets begin to unravel and Julie decides to try and make contact with her grandmother from beyond the grave. During this interaction they get a desperate plea, and it’s not from Miriam. Parts of this book will send chills up your spine and make you want to turn the light on!

This book was a nice, easy read for me. I finished it in almost one sitting and it gave me a nice look into a magical and different world from my own. I have always loved how Francesca’s books infuse a tad bit of magical realism and fantasy, so much so that you are unsure what to classify the book as. The characters were very real and versatile, but their world and the supernatural things going on around them are very much an out of this world experience! This book will be sure to please any age from middle grades to adults. It is a nice adventure into a place that cannot be real.

This book made several reference to pop culture like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This was just an excited little tidbit that avid readers like me enjoy. This book was a nice vacation to be able to suspend my disbelief for a while. If you have never checked out one of Francesca’s book before then this would be a great one to start with. Julie is an amazing female lead and we get to see her grow and change as she learns to make her own way after her grandmother’s passing!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at HarperTeen in exchange for my honest review***

1 comment:

  1. Oh! Very interesting. I'm not a fan of ghosts but it sounds very thrilling. Nice review, Chelsey! :)