Sci Fi — Actually, Fantasy Sunday
Necklace of Kisses, the most recent novel in the Weetzie Bat series by Francesca Lia Block. If you’re not familiar with Block, she writes young adult fiction set in a magical realist version of Los Angeles. I would characterize her books as fantasy, but it’s the fantasy of Like Water For Chocolate rather than The Hobbit. Necklace of Kisses is, in some ways, a young adult novel for grown-ups. Block’s best known character, Weetzie Bat, turns forty and runs away from home to stay in a marvelous pink hotel. Weetzie’s love, Secret Agent Man, is in the grip of a profound depression and has stopped kissing her — in fact, he doesn’t seem to be interacting with her much at all. The characters Weetzie meets in the hotel are fantastical, including a fairy and a mermaid, and the kisses she collects have an important role in linking the characters and their stories together. I don’t want to give away too much, because the way Block plays with mythology has to be read to be appreciated. This book will stand alone if need be, but I highly recommend first reading Dangerous Angels, which is a compendium of all the Weetzie stories. Warning: I will not be responsible for any desire to move to Los Angeles and wear vintage tutus that may result from the reading of these books.