This is the story of two girls, racing through space like shadow and light. A photo negative, together they make the perfect image of a girl. Violet is the dark one, dressed in forever black, dreaming Technicolor dreams of spinning the world into her very own silver screen creation. Claire is like a real-life Tinker Bell, radiating love and light, dressing herself in wings of gauze and glitter, writing poems to keep away the darkness. The setting is L.A., a city as beautiful as it is dangerous, and within this landscape of beauty and pain Violet and Claire vow to make their own movie. Together they will show the world the way they want it to be, and maybe then the world will become that place--a place where people no longer hate or fight or want to hurt. But when desire and ambition threaten to rip a seamless friendship apart, only one thing can make two halves whole again--the power of love.
Francesca Lia Block's latest novel is a beautifully told story that boldly combines the world of film with the lyrical graceful language of poetry. The voices of two friends--one dark, one light--combine to tell a larger tale of love and loss, and the strength that comes from believing in dreams.
Block (the Weetzie Bat novels) sets herself new challenges and meets them with consummate grace in this resonant novel. Violet and Claire, best friends, are polar opposites: Violet is angry and intense, with a fierce ambition to write and direct films; Claire is passive, attempting poetic transcendence of the casual cruelties of everyday life. Each girl gets what she thinks she wants. Violet, still in high school, lands a six-figure film deal, and Claire begins a romance with her poetry teacher. But these fulfilled dreams sour, and Violet and Claire become painfully estranged. In a triumphant finale, they embrace, aware that their relationship restores the balance missing in their separate personalities. The elements of the storyAfairies, overnight fame, arts, sex and drugs, glamorous parties and, of course, the heady Los Angeles settingAare classic Block; the combination, however, is fresh and arresting, and her fans will applaud it. The narrative line is more pronounced than in previous works and, in another departure, provides a clear division between the fantastic and the real. The fairies, for example, belong to Claire's fantasy history of a lost race of "faeries" ("The patriarchy turned them into little insects," she explains to Violet). Cynical Violet and dreamy Claire alternate as narrators, projecting distinct voices that gradually come to resemble each other. Shedding a transformative light onto the often complex, sometimes dark nature of close friendships, Block's writing is as lush and luminous, as hip and wise as ever. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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September 18, 2000
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