Thursday, August 06, 2009

Review: Pretty Dead

Pretty Dead
Francesca Lia Block
2009; HarperTeen; 978-0-06-154785-0 (hardcover)

Summary: Charlotte Emerson has it all: beauty, riches . . . immortality. She's lived a hundred years, thanks to Michael who made her into a vampire. For the last few years, Charlotte has lived in LA, in a mansion up in the hills, and has even gone to high school. She was looking for a friend and found one in Emily, a wounded girl. Charlotte tried to protect Emily--but she couldn't, as Emily's suicide proves. And with Emily's death, something begins to happen within Charlotte.

Francesca Lia Block brings her unique talents to a vampire story, making it into something different from your standard supernatural creature novel. Charlotte's world-weary attitude disguises a young woman who is becoming something different. The romance with Jared, Emily's boyfriend, is but one part of Charlotte's change; it's just another cog in her evolution from William's beautiful pet to being her own person. Like so many of Block's works, Los Angeles serves as more than a setting, providing an atmosphere of age and youth that complements Charlotte. Fans of Weetzie Bat will be eager for this new work, and vampire junkies might discover for the first time the appeal of Block's brand of urban fairy tales with Pretty Dead.

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