Necklace of Kisses: A Novel

Necklace of Kisses: A Novel

by Francesca Lia Block

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060777524
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/08/2006
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 1,251,712
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.54(d)
Lexile: 820L (what's this?)

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

Necklace of Kisses

Chapter One

Kisses

Where were the kisses? Weetzie Bat wondered.

Even after almost twenty years, Weetzie and her secret agent lover man still threw each other against walls, climbed up each other's bodies like ladders, and attacked each other's mouths as if they were performing resuscitation. The kisses had been earthquakes, shattering every glass object in a room. They had been thunderstorms, wiping out electricity so that candles had to be lit; then, those kisses extinguished the candle flames. They had been rainstorms on the driest, thirstiest desert days, causing camellias, hydrangeas, agapanthus, and azaleas to bloom in the garden. Those kisses, Weetzie remembered--they had been explosions.

Now there were no kisses at all.

Weetzie dressed in a pair of cropped, zippered, pale orange pants, a silver-studded black belt, a pair of high-heeled ankle-strap sandals, a black silk-and-lace camisole, a white satin trench, a pink Hello Kitty watch, and a pair of oversized rimless pink glasses with her name written in rhinestones on the lens. Then, carefully, thoughtfully, one by one, Weetzie took out of her closet:

a lime green, pink, and orange kimono-print string bikini she had made herself
two fresh, unopened packs of men's extra-small white tank tops from the surplus store
new-fallen-snowy-white Levi's 501 jeans
men's black silk gabardine trousers from the Salvation Army, tailored to fit
a pair of orange suede old-school trainers with white stripes
orange-leather, silver-studded slides
some bikini underwear and bras in black, white, pink,lime green, and orange
a pink-and-green Pucci tunic from her best friend Dirk's Grandma Fifi

Weetzie put everything into a small white suitcase covered with pink roses and fastened with gold hardware. It was very important that everything was just right--fabulous, actually. She'd read an article in a fashion magazine, "Aceness at Any Age," and realized that she had already zipped through her twenties and thirties--only ten short years each--wearing Salvation Army finery mixed with her own wacky creations. She liked the jacket made of stuffed-animal pelts and the necklace of plastic baby dolls, but at forty she wasn't sure that either looked particularly ace. And there was less and less time left to be fabulous now.

Why was fabulousness important? The world was a scary, sad place and adornment was one of the only ways she knew to make herself and the people around her forget their troubles. That was why she had opened her store almost five years ago. Everyone who entered the little square white house with miniature Corinthian columns, cherub statues, and French windows seemed to leave carrying armloads of newly handmade and spruced-up recycled vintage clothing, humming sixties girl-group songs, seventies glam and punk, eighties New Wave one-hit wonders, or nineties grunge, doing silly dances, and not caring what anyone thought.

Weetzie loved the old dresses she found and sold, because they had their own secret histories. She always wondered where, when, and how they had been worn. What they had seen. Old dresses were like old ladies. Except that the Pucci tunic, Emilia, still shone like a young girl.

In her white purse, Weetzie put her tiny pink Hello Kitty wallet, her huge black sunglasses case, a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss, deodorant, a bottle of jasmine-and-gardenia perfume, a tube of pink lipstick, a heart-shaped powder compact, travel-size bottles of sunscreen, moisturizer, hair gel, and shaving cream, a razor, a comb, and her cell phone. She smacked on some pink lip gloss and dumped that in, too. Then she went to look at Max, who was asleep with a newspaper covering his face.

Who was he? she wondered. This man with his head in a newspaper all the time. This man who had been her secret agent lover for so long and was now just Max. They had hardly said a word to each other in days. There was nothing left to say. There were no kisses or even the ghosts of kisses floating through the air, waiting to be caught.

Weetzie caught a glimpse of herself in the heart-shaped mirror as she walked out of the door of the cottage where she and Max had been together for over two decades. Her hair was short and bleached platinum blonde, as it had been since she was a teenager. Her nose, chin, and ears were pointy, as a petulant fairy's, but her mouth was wide, soft, and affectionate. Her eyes were hidden under pink sunglasses, so she could not see the little lines that revealed her age, or the tears that were not there.

Necklace of Kisses. Copyright © by Francesca Block. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Necklace of Kisses 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
First novel of Francesca Lia Block's that I've read and I read it up in like 4 hours over 3 consecutive days. I dug it totally up even being probably somewhat out of her demographic of readers. I hadn't even read a Weetzie Bat series before this one and look forward to the previous ones. I hope she continues writing even more on her two daughters Cherokee and Witch Baby. Lots of soul searching in everyone and that's what I loved about it and reading on to know what other jewel she'll kiss up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just loved this book, after reading everyone of her books multiple times I was so happy to get to read another. The 'Weetzie Bat ' series is my favorite ,and to see weetzie going on more adventures was so exciting!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adore all of Block's books - I see them more as epic poetry. This one is another fantastic excape for the reader as well as Weetzie from a very 'real' life problem.... she excapes to a very surreal place where through extraordinary experiences, everything falls into place. Pick this book up and enjoy - you won't want to put it down.
PhoebeReading on LibraryThing 9 days ago
Like most teenagers with Punky Coloured hair, I loved Weetzie Bat. My sister introduced me to her when I was about twelve, and I spent the remainder of my adolescence reading them over and over again until my copy of Dangerous Angels looked like a dog had gnawed on it. I'm sure I cried every single time I read Witch Baby (life is so unfair!).So I was excited to find that Francesca Lia Block had returned to the magical landscape of LA. Perhaps I should have hesitated more--perhaps I should have taken it as a sign that Necklace of Kisses was shelved with the adult fantasy rather than in the young adult section of my local library.Because Necklace of Kisses is the story of Weetzie in her middle age. After her sex life with My Secret Agent Lover Man (called here Max, mostly, as if Block could no longer tolerate the silly names she gave her characters) abruptly stops, Weetzie retreats to the pink hotel that hosted her high school prom for some reflection. She has a series of quasi-sexual romantic flings with some mystical creatures, but it seems clear from the outset that she won't consummate them, so there's no real tension, sexual or otherwise.This narrative is interspersed with tales of other Weetzie Bat characters, but they seem more like token guest appearances than anything else. Max's meeting with Coyote stuck out particularly--Coyote sits around talking about what a politically incorrect cliche he is, and then defends this cliche because (essentially) it's "who he really is!" I think the author needs to get out of the mouths of her characters.This contributes to a read that is, even without these distracting interludes, uneven. There's something almost comical about Weetzie's clothing obsession--this is supposed to be the story about her maturation, but in the end, as she spins around in a coco chanel dress, it just doesn't feel earned, magic or not. Don't get me wrong--I love magic. But maybe this sort of whimsy is just more easily forgiven, and even endearing, in teenagers, whereas in a character as old as Weetzie, it just seems sad.
heatherheartsbooks on LibraryThing 9 days ago
"Necklace of Kisses" reminds me why I love Weetzie and FLB. This beautiful, fanciful, shimmery tale isn't without darkness, but the good moments outweigh the heavy. Ultimately "Kisses" is a search for self identity in a world that has lost the innocence of Weetzie's teenage years.
glitterina on LibraryThing 9 days ago
Weetzie Bat at 40. Still my hero.
secondhandrose on LibraryThing 9 days ago
I was disappointed by this update on Weetzie and her crew. The magic realism elements didn't seem to work for me and the descriptive material acted as filler. I wanted to love it but it didn't hold my attention the way other books in the series have. The characters progressions worked well though.Having read other recent FLB I don't think this was her best but still love her style.
xicanti on LibraryThing 9 days ago
Weetzie Bat, forty but still fabulous, leaves her Secret Agent Lover Man Max for an adventure in a magical pink hotel where she once missed out on a potentially life-changing kiss.Another reviewer has said that this is exactly the sort of book you want to see happen to your favourite characters. I agree with all my heart.All the characters we came to know and love in the previous five Weetzie Bat books are still very much themselves... but they've grown and changed as they aged, and this book puts them in a perfect position to develop further. While Weetzie returns to centre stage, (a position she hasn't occupied since the very first book), her decision to embark upon this solo adventure affects her family just as much as it does her. They remain entirely themselves, but Block takes their experiences into account as she reinvents them in this older mode. And she does a beautiful job of it.The book itself is a good deal more linear than Block's best stuff, but I'd still rank it right up there. Weetzie's emotional progression may be clearer, but it never lacks the sorts of telling scenes that really illuminate the story and make everything click into place. I was often moved to tears. I enjoyed it far more now, this second time through, than I did the first time around.I highly recommend this. I don't think you need to have read the rest of the series to enjoy it, but it's probably a good idea. I personally felt that most of the book's impact came from the way Block dealt with these beloved characters. Give yourself a chance to get to know them before you start in on this sixth and (at this point in time) final book.
dancingwaves on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Not her best book, but it's an interesting revisit of the Weetzie Bat books.
jehara on LibraryThing 3 months ago
i finished this book today and it was oh-so-good! it's been ages since i read the weetzie bat books but now i want to re-read them all again.in Necklace of Kisses we are re-united with weetzie bat at age 40. her children witch baby and cherokee are grown and in college. she is still best friends with dirk and he is still as madly in love with duck. she now owns a clothing store with another close friend, ping jah-love. the only thing wrong with this picture is that somehow things are amiss with her secret agent lover man, max. ever since the twin towers blew up he has been withdrawn and obsessed with the news.the story takes place in 2003, two years after 9/11. weetzie bat decides that she needs time away. she needs to go on adventure. and quite an adventure it is. she runs away to the enchanted pink hotel where she embarks on a journey of self-discovery. of course it wouldn't be a francesca lia block book much less a weetzie bat book without her signature stamp of magical realism.she meets an enchanting cast of characters who help her in her journey including a woman who has turned blue from sorrow, another who can spin webs and clothes from her abdomen after being attacked by a man, a faery and her son who are trying to escape the changelings, a mermaid who has been surgically mutilated and a handsome waiter/actor who looks suspiciously like a faun.i loved getting re-acquainted with beloved characters and finding out where they are now. i love block's lyrical style that combines magic and fantasy with an urban modern edge. i love the way the book sucks me in and pulls me to the end too quickly. i love her imagery and the way she handles heavy material. i love the way she brings L.A. to life with it's flowers and trees and natural wonders juxtaposed against its seedy underbelly.one last thing i leave you with. i really like the quote from Time Out (New York) that is at the bottom of the cover."a fizzy cocktail of Joseph Campbell, Sex and the City and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, filtered through the blunt-edged poetry of rock lyrics. Necklace of Kissesis a welcome reminder that midlife is still ripe for magic."
Chandra on LibraryThing 3 months ago
This is the type of sequel you always want to happen to your favorite characters.
paisley1974 on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Reading "Ruby" got me to pick up this, Block's last book I read before Ruby. I can read this over and over again--Weetzie Bat dealing with grown up issues, in her unique Weetzie way.
hoosgracie on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Weetzie Bat is all grown up and having a mid-life crisis at age 40. My Secret Agent Lover Man, who is now just Max, and Weetzie haven¿t been having good times for 2 years, so Weetzie goes off to a pink hotel where she experiences magic kisses and re-discovers life and love. Wonderful.
miztrebor More than 1 year ago
Necklace of Kisses is the book in Francesca Lia Block’s Weetzie Bat books. I read the first five books in the Dangerous Angels collection and loved every minute of it. While Necklace of Kisses differs from those books, in my opinion, Block’s writing is just as captivating. As I said, I found this book to have a different feel than the rest of the Weetzie Bat books, though this wasn’t a thing that turned me off. One thing that made this change (that I’m not really sure I can accurately put into words) feel natural is that Weetzie is now 40. She’s grown up. She’s a mother of college kids. And she is just now finding herself. As readers, we’ve aged with Weetzie, as well. And behind the beautiful language, magical characters, and otherworldly experiences Weetzie has in this book, there is a story that we can all relate to. I may not be Weetzie’s age, but we all have a time in our life when we need to go out and find ourselves. For her, it just happened a little later in a magical, crazy life. I’m not going to come out and say this was my favorite book of the series. I think the first book will always hold that place for me for many reasons. However, the fact that Block has shared this cast of characters’ lives with us over many years, and still can keep the magic in her books, that’s what’ll keep me reading her work. It’s also what’ll keep me coming back to this series (I still have the prequel, Pink Smog, to read next) for as long as it may go on. I wouldn’t be opposed to reading about Weetzie, Max, Dirk, and Duck all in rockers watching grandchildren grow up before their eyes.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Midlife crisis sparks a journey for Weetzie Bat, one in search of the 'kisses'. Her quest takes her to a strange motel where a blue woman runs the front desk, an invisible woman cleans, and the room service clerk is willing to fulfill her every desire. As she learns about the various inhabitants of this odd place, Weetzie begins to learn about herself. Could she settle into this pink world, or will she find her kisses and follow her dreams back home? If she does, can she take the magic with her? .................................. Readers will find a strange odyssey of lyrical allegory. If one lacks a background in the Weetzie series, like as not it will seem even stranger. Yet there is a message here, for those who are willing to look.