Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books

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Love is a dangerous angel...Francesca Lia Block's luminous saga of interwoven lives will send the senses into wild overdrive. These post-modern fairy tales chronicle the thin line between fear and desire, pain and pleasure, cutting loose and holding on in a world where everyone is vulnerable to the most beautiful and dangerous angel of all: love.

Available for the first time in a single volume, Francesca Lia Blocks luminous saga of interwoven lives will send the senses into wild...

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Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books

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Overview

Love is a dangerous angel...Francesca Lia Block's luminous saga of interwoven lives will send the senses into wild overdrive. These post-modern fairy tales chronicle the thin line between fear and desire, pain and pleasure, cutting loose and holding on in a world where everyone is vulnerable to the most beautiful and dangerous angel of all: love.

Available for the first time in a single volume, Francesca Lia Blocks luminous saga of interwoven lives will send the senses into wild overdrive. These five postmodern fairy tales chronicle the thin line between fear and desire, pain and pleasure, cutting loose and holding on in a world where everyone is vulnerable to the most excruciatingly beautiful and dangerous angel of all: love.Ms. Blocks far-ranging free association has been controlled and shaped . . . with sensual characters. The language is inventive Californian hip, but the patterns are compactly folkloristic and the theme is transcendent. The New York Times Book ReviewMagic is everywhere in Blocks lyrical and resonant fables, which always point back to the primacy of family, friends, love, location, food and music. At once modern and mythic, her series deserves as much space as it can command of daydream nations shrinking bookshelves. The Village VoiceBlocks extravagantly imaginative setting and finely honed perspectives remind the reader that there is magic everywhere.Publishers Weekly

Author Biography:

Francesca Lia Block is the acclaimed author of the Los Angeles Times best-sellers The Rose And The Beast, Violet & Claire, and Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books, as well as I Was A Teenage Fairy, Girl Goddess #9, andThe Hanged Man. Her work has been translated into seven different languages and is published around the world. She made her dazzling entrance onto the literary scene with her debut novel, Weetzie Bat, in 1989.

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Editorial Reviews

Spin
“A poetic series of books celebrating love, art, and the imagination, all in hyper-lyrical language.”
Village Voice
“Magic is everywhere in Block’s lyrical and resonant fables. At once modern and mythic, her series deserves as much space as it can command of daydream nation’s shrinking bookshelves.”
New York Times Book Review
“Transcendent.”
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Five Weetzie Bat books have been collected and published together. Block is a cutting-edge young adult author who writes of a heroine who rambles in a wild Los Angeles world filled with unique characters. Several of them, like Dirk, the hero of Baby Be-Bop, are gay. Her settings are lush and her tone is a mix of dream and (sometimes) nightmare. She writes gay-lesbians as characters rather than poster children. Books such as these can help bridge the feelings of isolation that some young adults may be experiencing.
New York Times Book Review
“Ms. Block’s far-ranging free association has been controlled and shaped...with sensual characters. The language is inventive Californian hip, but the patterns are compactly folkloristic and the theme is transcendent.”
Spin
“A poetic series of books celebrating love, art, and the imagination, all in hyper-lyrical language.”
Village Voice
“Magic is everywhere in Block’s lyrical and resonant fables. At once modern and mythic, her series deserves as much space as it can command of daydream nation’s shrinking bookshelves.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064406970
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/1998
  • Series: Weetzie Bat Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 496
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.24 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 1.33 (d)

Meet the Author

Francesca Lia Block, winner of the prestigious Margaret A. Edwards Award, is the author of many acclaimed and bestselling books, including Weetzie Bat; the book collections Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books and Roses and Bones: Myths, Tales, and Secrets; the illustrated novella House of Dolls; the vampire romance novel Pretty Dead; and the gothic werewolf novel The Frenzy. Her work is published around the world.

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Read an Excerpt

Dangerous Angels EPB
The Weetzie Bat Books

Chapter One

Weetzie and Dirk

The reason Weetzie Bat hated high school was because no one understood. They didn't even realize where they were living. They didn't care that Marilyn's prints were practically in their backyard at Graumann's; that you could buy tomahawks and plastic palm tree wallets at Farmer's Market, and the wildest, cheapest cheese and bean and hot dog and pastrami burritos at Oki Dogs; that the waitresses wore skates at the Jetson-style Tiny Naylor's; that there was a fountain that turned tropical soda-pop colors, and a canyon where Jim Morrison and Houdini used to live, and all-night potato knishes at Canter's, and not too far away was Venice, with columns, and canals, even, like the real Venice but maybe cooler because of the surfers. There was no one who cared. Until Dirk.

Dirk was the best-looking guy at school. He wore his hair in a shoe-polish-black Mohawk and he drove a red '55 Pontiac. All the girls were infatuated with Dirk; he wouldn't pay any attention to them. But on the first day of the semester, Dirk saw Weetzie in his art class. She was a skinny girl with a bleach-blonde flat-top. Under the pink Harlequin sunglasses, strawberry lipstick, earrings dangling charms, and sugar-frosted eye shadow she was really almost beautiful. Sometimes she wore Levi's with white-suede fringe sewn down the legs and a feathered Indian headdress, sometimes old fifties' taffeta dresses covered with poetry written in glitter, or dresses made of kids' sheets printed with pink piglets or Disney characters.

"That's a great outfit," Dirk said. Weetzie was wearing her feathered headdress andher moccasins and a pink fringed mini dress.

"Thanks. I made it," she said, snapping her strawberry bubble gum. "I'm into Indians," she said. "They were here first and we treated them like shit."

"Yeah," Dirk said, touching his Mohawk. He smiled. "You want to go to a movie tonight? There's a Jayne Mansfield film festival. The Girl Can't Help It."

"Oh, I love that movie!" Weetzie said in her scratchiest voice.

Weetzie and Dirk saw The Girl Can't Help It, and Weetzie practiced walking like Jayne Mansfield and making siren noises all the way to the car.

"This really is the most slinkster-cool car I have ever seen!" she said.

"His name's Jerry," Dirk said, beaming. "Because he reminds me of Jerry Lewis. I think Jerry likes you. Let's go out in him again."

Weetzie and Dirk went to shows at the Starwood, the Whiskey, the Vex, and Cathay de Grande. They drank beers or bright-colored canned Club drinks in Jerry and told each other how cool they were. Then they went into the clubs dressed to kill in sunglasses and leather, jewels and skeletons, rosaries and fur and silver. They held on like waltzers and plunged in slamming around the pit below the stage. Weetzie spat on any skinhead who was too rough, but she always got away with it by batting her eyelashes and blowing a bubble with her gum. Sometimes Dirk dove offstage into the crowd. Weetzie hated that, but of course everyone always caught him because, with his black leather and Mohawk and armloads of chain and his dark-smudged eyes, Dirk was the coolest. After the shows, sweaty and shaky, they went to Oki Dogs for a burrito.

In the daytime, they went to matinees on Hollywood Boulevard, had strawberry sundaes with marshmallow topping at Schwab's, or went to the beach. Dirk taught Weetzie to surf. It was her lifelong dream to surf along with playing the drums in front of a stadium of adoring fans while wearing gorgeous pajamas. Dirk and Weetzie got tan and ate cheese-and-avocado sandwiches on whole-wheat bread and slept on the beach. Sometimes they skated on the boardwalk. Slinkster Dog went with them wherever they went.

When they were tired or needed comforting, Dirk and Weetzie and Slinkster Dog went to Dirk's Grandma Fifi's cottage, where Dirk had lived since his parents died. Grandma Fifi was a sweet, powdery old lady who baked tiny, white, sugar-coated pastries for them, played them tunes on a music box with a little dancing monkey on top, had two canaries she sang to, and had hair Weetzie envied-perfect white hair that sometimes had lovely blue or pink tints. Grandma Fifi had Dirk and Weetzie bring her groceries, show her their new clothes, and answer the same questions over and over again. They felt very safe and close in Fifi's cottage.

"You're my best friend in the whole world," Dirk said to Weetzie one night. They were sitting in Jerry drinking Club coladas with Slinkster Dog curled up between them.

"You're my best friend in the whole world," Weetzie said to Dirk.

Slinkster Dog's stomach gurgled with pleasure. He was very happy, because Weetzie was so happy now and her new friend Dirk let him ride in Jerry as long as he didn't pee, and they gave him pizza pie for dinner instead of that weird meat that Weetzie's mom, Brandy-Lynn, tried to dish out when he was left at home.

One night, Weetzie and Dirk and Slinkster Dog were driving down Sunset in Jerry on their way to the Odyssey. Weetzie was leaning out the window holding Rubber Chicken by his long, red toe. The breeze was filling Rubber Chicken so that he blew up like a fat, pocked balloon.

At the stoplight, a long, black limo pulled up next to Jerry. The driver leaned out and looked at Rubber Chicken.

"That is one bald-looking chicken!"

The driver threw something into the car and it landed on Weetzie's lap. She screamed.

"What is it?" Dirk exclaimed.

A hairy, black thing was perched on Weetzie's knees.

"It's a hairpiece for that bald eagle you've got there. Belonged to Burt Reynolds," the driver said, and he drove off.

Weetzie put the toupee on Rubber Chicken. Really, it looked quite nice. It made Rubber Chicken look just like the lead singer of a heavy-metal band. Dirk and Weetzie wondered how they could have let him go bald for so long.

Dangerous Angels EPB
The Weetzie Bat Books
. Copyright (c) by Francesca Block . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

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Reading Group Guide

About The Book:

Dangerous Angels brings together in one volume all five of Francesca Lia Block's celebrated novels about Weetzie Bat and her nontraditional L.A. family of musicians and filmmakers. Populated by fascinating characters, filled with the magic, and occasional misery of the creative life and enriched by themes of the redemptive power of love, respect for the natural world, and the universal search for self-identity, the Weetzie Bat books are modern classics in the making.

The publication of Weetzie Bat in 1989 heralded the arrival of one of the most powerfully original voices in contemporary literature. Francesca Lia Block's marriage of gritty realism and magic in the pages of her postmodern, punk fairy tale was brilliantly innovative. At the same time, her celebration of love in all of its varieties—both heterosexual and homosexual—and the expression it finds in nontraditional or blended families invited controversy among critics but attracted the passionate devotion of readers everywhere. In the books that followed, Witch Baby (1991), Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys (1992), Missing Angel Juan (1993), and Baby Be-Bop (1995) Block enriched readers' understanding of her characters, of the intertwining of love and magic, and of the conflict between light and darkness in contemporary life. Block's wonderfully lyrical writing style matches the authentic sweetness and fundamental innocence of her sensibility and that of her characters. Because of the vividness she brings to her California settings, Los Angeles is as lively a "character" as Weetzie Bat herself. Block issometimes described as a regional writer. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, her characters' search for love, self expression, and personal identity is equally indigenous to the concrete canyons of New York and the wheat fields of the Great Plains, as it is to Hollywood or Weetzie's flower bedecked home in Laurel Canyon.

Questions For Discussion:

  1. The title of this book comes from a quote from Weetzie Bat: "'Love is a dangerous angel,' Dirk said." [p. 11] What does Dirk mean by this? How would you apply this quote to the four other Weetzie Bat books?

  2. According to The New York Times, "Ms. Block writes about the real Los Angeles better than anyone since Raymond Chandler." Discuss some of the ways in which the author brings such vivid life to her setting.

  3. Missing Angel Juan takes place in New York. Does this change of setting make the novel significantly different from the other Weetzie Bat books? This is also the only Weetzie Bat novel to be told in a first person voice, that of Witch Baby. In what ways does this change the experience of reading the book?

  4. In such phrases as "lanky lizards," "duck hunt," and "slinkster cool" Block invents a "slanguage" for her characters. Can you find other examples? How do these compare with slang that you use in talking with your friends?

  5. Francesca Lia Block is also a poet. How has this influenced her style as a fiction writer?

  6. The author says that Witch Baby is the character with whom she most closely identifies. How would you describe Witch Baby as a person? How does she change over the course of the two books about her (Witch Baby and Missing Angel Juan)?

  7. Witch Baby "outs" Duck to his mother [p.110]. Why do you think she does this? Is it wrong for her to do this?

  8. Block's characters love not only one another but the natural world as well. How do they demonstrate this? How does the character of Coyote Dream Song embody this? How and why do the four magical animal "gifts" in Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys change the band members?

  9. At the end of Baby Be-Bop, Dirk thinks, "Our stories can set us free. When we set them free." [p. 478] Discuss what he means by this.

  10. Magic is a regular part of all of the Weetzie Bat books. Genies, magic lamps, ghosts, tree spirits, and more are part of the characters' daily lives. Why do you think Block adds these magical elements to her stories? Are they enriched by this intermingling of the magical and the realistic? And what do you think Block meant when she told an interviewer, "Magic and love. That's the equation, finally. Out of love there emerges transformation and transcendence." Finally, how does she demonstrate this in her use of myth and fairy tales in her novels? (E.g., the Orpheus myth in Missing Angel Juan.)

About The Author:

Francesca Lia Block, nurtured by a painter/filmmaker father and a poet mother, wrote most of her first novel, Weetzie Bat, while she was studying at the University of California–Berkley. Since then, Block has written four Weetzie sequels— Witch Baby, Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys, Missing Angel Juan, and Baby Be Bop. Like Weetzie, all have received high praise and prestigious awards. Ms. Block is also the author of The Hanged Man, Girl Goddess #9, and I Was a Teenage Fairy. Francesca Lia Block lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 83 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(66)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 83 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    Visceral.

    I didnt just read this book....I tasted it, touched it, smelled it, saw it, and heard it. Poetry that is oddly sensory- every be-bop and slinkster word delectable. In other words.....I adored every magical word of it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2008

    d ng r s ngl s

    Dangerous Angels is possibly my most favorite book in the whole wide world. Francesca Lia Block's slinkster cool fairy tale a go go writing style is maybe the most beautiful and transfixing I've ever stumbled across. Not only that; her characters are not only are totally relatable, but they're also ridiculouslyfabulouslywonderfully cool. I want to -be- them. In a way, they're almost TOO dreamperfect & cool, but that makes them all the more magical. And really, you don't even notice any of that when you're reading because you're so wrapped up in the stories. Dangerous Angels is made up of the whole series & I was afraid that after reading them all out of order I wouldn't like them as much one afer the other, in chronological order, as one story. But since Block has literary powers beyond my feeble imaginings, I should have known that you could read them separately or as one & they'd still be just as if not more breathtaking.<BR/><BR/>After reading this book, you will want to move to California & change your name to something as gnarly as Block's characters (Weetzie, Duck, Cherokee, Witch Baby, Angel Juan & My Secret Lover Man among others).

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2006

    my bible

    Ever since I discovered Weetzie Bat when I was 10 I have cherished Fracesca Lia Block's work, and reread all of her books until they fell apart. Her writing is so poetic and beautiful, you can easily lose youself in her world. She also shows Los Angeles in a very uinique unique light. It's a pleasure to have a complete book of all the Weetzie Bat tales.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2006

    I FREAKING LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!

    It make me want to laugh, cry, sing, dance, anything creative and raw, anything to come out of my heart alone. I related to Witch Baby most, and I wasa really a 'clutch pig'.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2013

    This series is really good!

    The weezie bat has had one of the best impacts on my life(besides harry potter). Ms. Block has the writing style to have you hooked til the very end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    I cant even.....e.o

    This was(Lord knows why) in my " Books recommended for you" so I clicked it and ,after reading the summary and reviews, I got the sample and I .... I dont even know what to think •_• The writing style was as though someone gave a six year old child Twilight and asked them to try and replicate it. I mean 'Dirk did this and Weetzie did that' thing was annoying and offered little viewpoint on the situation and charcters feelings. Not to mention it was a horrible writing style for this type of story!! And the story was sooooo confusing and tended to go off on rabbit trails. First Dirk was super popular and weetzie was an outsider(i think) and then the became besties and then he was gay and then they both started acting like whores and then they went to hang with her father and then they went to a random convo with dirk and weatzies mother and how weird her name was and then <---- yeah thats a basic summary of the sample the way the book was written. It felt like one big, terribley written crack trip. Hated the characters, the writing style and the cliche story. I DO NOT RECOMMEND- AMAI

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2012

    Weard.

    I could oddly just could not get into this book. I actually archived it. The writing style is hard to understand. I know everyone loves these books, but honestly it has too mush TRASH in it. It's just really weard and grose. First the guy friend is gay, and there is nothing wrong with that, but then the girl sleeps around with every punk-rocker she can find. Even the guy friend sleeps around with everyone. Eww, it's SUCH a weard book. I don't recommend it to young readers.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Amazing

    I have loved this series since I first read it as a teenager and it is just as wonderful now as then. It was the style of the writing that first drew me to this author's books, and keeps me coming back for more now. This is a long-time favorte of mine and a collection Ihighly recommend. Magical, lovely, and filled with fun and unique characters, this is a great book.

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  • Posted March 23, 2011

    dont put the book down

    this book is fun it has a little of every fairy tale

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  • Posted June 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    DANGEROUS ANGELS BY FRANCESCA LIA BLOCK

    I BOUGHT THIS BOOK FOR MY DAUGHTER. SHE LOVES THIS SERIES, IT'S HER FAVORITE. EVEN THOUGH IT IS JUST FOR FUN, THAT CAN HAVE AN IMPACT ON SOMEONE. SO I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO ANY YOUNG PERSON LOOKING TO ESCAPE REALITY FOR AWHILE WITHOUT THE USE OF CHEMICALS.

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  • Posted October 29, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    a must read

    When I first read this book I was mesmerized. Not only by the initial story, but by the characters and setting. The entire time I was reading this I felt like I was watching an amazing, out of this world movie. The characters are all so relatable. While the book has a very magical element to it, the characters are so real. It makes be want to drop everything and move to Los Angeles. The imagery that Francesca Lia Block creates is nothing I have ever experienced before. There are just so many wonderful elements to this book that every time I re-read it (which I do very often) I find something new in it, and I never get bored of reading it. Not only is it fun to read, but it really makes you think. This is a book that will make you cry, laugh, and just stare at the page with your eyes wide and your chin hitting the floor. Hands down: the best book I have ever read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2007

    Dangerous angels...

    Love is a dangerous angel¿ Dangerous Angels isn¿t like any other book since it has a completely original plot line it¿s like a fairy tale, magical. It expresses feelings such as fear, lies, pain, desire, and pleasure. Nothing could go wrong except for what lies in between, the dangerous angel ¿ Love. When not expressing their love towards each other, you can still feel that they love each other, even while they fight. When you start the book, it seems like you are being taken in by the characters¿ intense feelings, especially during their school experience. As you read on, the book takes an even wilder turn. It seems like a family of misfits who are trying to be perfect but again who can blame them ¿ after all they are misfits. As you read these books, you realize that there are actually five novellas inside, just like an ¿Lord of the Rings¿ mini series. Though they can be read separately, reading them in order helps to understand some of the foreshadowing better. The fairy tale aspect of this book comes from genies, ghosts 'nice ones', the setting of living in L.A., and a touch of magic. Being mostly set in California with a little bit of New York glimpse, it shows the basic life of a few friends and two couples who call themselves family. There is some seductiveness 'that makes men mesmerized' involved in the plot besides a little bit of magic, as the character often calls forth nature to help him. Some readers may feel that the plot in the book is not perfect ¿ and indeed there may be a couple of flaws ¿ but one should not expect perfection in a novel about misfits. This book shows the cruelty of the world and how people release their anger to take charge of the powerless. If you are living in a dream in which your mom is a witch and your dad is a secret agent lover man, won¿t you continue to be in suspense as to what¿s happening? This novel would be a good read for you if you are interested in fiction that has a lot of twists and turns. Each of the five books consists of a little less than 100 pages, not requiring much time to read. So you could just pick it up and never let it down or call it garbage and throw away, but be careful because love is a dangerous angel¿

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2005

    Bizarre and Beautiful

    Wow. An amazing, beautiful, mysterious, raw, emotional, colourful book. Unlike anything I have ever seen before.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2004

    Dangerously addictive

    Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block is a beautiful story. I love how the author can take the most remote ideas and display them in a tale with so much poetic detail. I easily get taken away when reading any of her books. The characters she describes instantly steal your heart and you soul making you wish that they were more than just words on pages. You really want to meet them! I think even if Francesca was describing mud she would still make it sound beautiful and attractive. I would recommend this to anyone with an open mind and eager heart.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2004

    Block is the greatest!

    This is the first book I ever read by Block and I've read everyone I could get my hands on since. I read this book the summer before my second year in High School and it was truly inspiring in a creative be who you are kind of way. Everyone should read it no matter how old you are.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2004

    One of the best books I've evr read

    I loved fairytales a a child. 'Dangerous Angels' puts a dark twist on fairytales. I have read this book 3 times. After I finished it the first time, I had to find more by this author. So far, I've read 3 of her other books and loved them as much. I highly recommend this book for anyone with a dark imagination.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2004

    How Can You NOT Love This Book From Just The Title

    I love this book, its so different from everything else. It's unique, and you know that by just the first page, you're gonna get hooked on it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2004

    How can you not love a book with a character named 'My Secret Agent Lover Man'?

    I've had to read this class for several of my adolescent lit. classes. My professors are always impressed by the use of imagery and Block's unique style of writing. It's a refreshing break from 'Are You There God, It's Me Margaret?' Some of the content is a bit racey for middle schoolers, but it's perfect for a highschool aged kid. Block is a magnificent writer and it is a pleasure to read her stories over and over.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2003

    If they had ten stars I would give this book ten stars!!!!!

    Any person of any age will love this book. There is so much to love about. You can tell that the auther had a great time writing this book and put alot of tima and effert into making it this good. I have told everyone I know at least 3 times to read this book. Boys and girls have fallen in love with it as much as I did. I hope you buy it at love it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2003

    eee! my favorite!

    im 14 and i just started reading books. i know it sounds silly.. but this is my favorite series thingy! i love the authar lady and i have read i was a teenage fairy and the hanged man.. and eee! im reading Nymph next and i just wanna say this is my favorite book. AGAIN..

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