Pink Smog: Becoming Weetzie Bat

Pink Smog: Becoming Weetzie Bat

by Francesca Lia Block

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061566004
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/04/2014
Series: Weetzie Bat , #6
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 680,836
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

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.

What People are Saying About This

Maggie Stiefvater

“Pink Smog sparkles and obscures; it’s a glorious mirage, like the city it pays homage to.”

Customer Reviews

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Pink Smog 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 74 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
With one final breath, she dies a quiet death. With horror and pain, they must obtain. A silent soul, for better or worse. And showing they're remorse, travel upstream to find the source.
Tawni More than 1 year ago
Quick review: OK - So its more along the lines of a 3 STAR, but I made the mistake of reading this before the Weetzie Bat books. I really loved the writing, so give it a shot. I'm really interested in Dangerous Angels now!!! Pink Smog was not bad by any means. It wasn't anything in particular or special...it just was. I was left completely unsatisfied. I really hoped for more out of this book, but then again, it is a prequel and the good stuff is the whole series, I'm sure. Weetize kept growing and growing into a young adult throughout the story, which I loved. She is just a normal, everyday teen, dealing with school bullies and a home-life gone array. I really felt that we could've have learned more about her though. I felt a little cut off by the end of the book. The characters outside of her family were weird and felt incomplete to me. There was no depth to them and I found myself continuously asking questions. I did however like the traveling around L.A. in this book. I grew up near L.A. and it was really fun reading about all the places Weetzie goes and thinking Hey, I've been there too! I also really enjoyed the writing. It was very clean and flowed nicely. I'm thinking that Pink Smog is a book to read after you've read -at least- the first Weetzie Bat (Dangerous Angels) book. I was just a bit lost and cut off by the end - I'm really not sure its worth picking up. But, if the Weetize Bat books are something you've already read, I would definitely give it a shot, as you might enjoy and understand it MUCH better than those who have not.
exlibrisbitsy on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Making the transformation from a shy girl to a confident woman is no easy task, especially when you are growing up amidst the fading hopes of once great Hollywood. It becomes even harder when your father leaves you for New York City, your ex-starlette mother becomes a suicidal alcoholic, and your name is Louise ¿Weetzie¿ Bat. We know Weetzie¿s young adult life from the books in her Dangerous Angels series, starting with the self titled Weetzie Bat. I have given her a lot of flak in the past for the way she deals with things and her, occasionally thoughtless, outlook on life and finding happiness. I have a new appreciation for just how hard it was to make the transformation from child to woman, and manage to lead a life of hope and happiness and love in spite of her past, after reading about that difficult transition in Pink Smog.Little Weetzie has a very difficult life once her father decides he no longer wants to be in the picture. Her mother attempts to commit suicide and then slips into a deep depression aided by alcoholism. Weetzie is left to fend for herself, cleaning their apartment, cooking their meals, trying to make sure her mother eats and bathes while trying to get her out of the funk she is in. Weetzie is rocked by her father leaving her with next to no explanation. At middle school Weetzie has to deal with bullies who couldn¿t care less what she was going through. She has two friends to fall back on, but one struggles with an eating disorder and the other is possibly a male prostitute. All three struggle with problems bigger than themselves and there are no competent adults around to step in and help. This is very deep and heavy stuff for anyone to deal with and Weetzie must find a way to prevail or get pulled under.Pink Smog works as a great introduction to the character of Weetzie. For a new generation unfamiliar with the Dangerous Angels series there is now a coming of age novel showing Weetzie as she was at an age they can identify with. Unlike other Weetzie Bat books this one is written within the confines of Weetzie¿s perspective and is very linear and straightforward in story telling. The magical language was toned down a bit and while the magic of LA was still present it seemed muted when shown in relief next to the stark reality of the difficulties Weetzie faced. I can¿t help wondering if this was deliberate, not just to tone things down for a new generation but also because Weetzie isn¿t capable of seeing all the magic of the world she lives in just yet as she is in a haze from all the problems she is suddenly having to deal with at thirteen.People that grew up with Weetzie might not like this book as well as others in the series because this was clearly written for younger fans. I recommend for old school fans to check out Necklace of Kisses if you haven¿t already. I do think middle schoolers will appreciate a book that was tailor written for them and introduces a whole new generation of Weetzies to the magic of Los Angeles. Parents might want to know that while most of the above issues Weetzie deals with are glossed over to some extent there is drug use, bullying, and language as well.Ultimately Weetzie learns to see the magic and beauty in things and it is wonderful to see a glimpse of the cool, confident high school Weetzie we meet at the beginning of Weetzie Bat. Her transformation was by no means effortless and, like I said, I have a better understanding of Weetzie now that I not only know her as the slinkster cool teen and confident adult she will be, but also as the scared overwhelmed kid she was. Reading about Weetzie overcoming her problems and coming of age into the magic, fun-loving young woman we know she can be was magical to see.I received this book for free to review.
thebookwormsorg on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Quick review: OK - So its more along the lines of a 3 STAR, but I made the mistake of reading this before the Weetzie Bat books. I really loved the writing, so give it a shot. I'm really interested in Dangerous Angels now!!!Pink Smog was not bad by any means. It wasn't anything in particular or special...it just was. I was left completely unsatisfied. I really hoped for more out of this book, but then again, it is a prequel and the good stuff is the whole series, I'm sure.Weetize kept growing and growing into a young adult throughout the story, which I loved. She is just a normal, everyday teen, dealing with school bullies and a home-life gone array. I really felt that we could've have learned more about her though. I felt a little cut off by the end of the book. The characters outside of her family were weird and felt incomplete to me. There was no depth to them and I found myself continuously asking questions.I did however like the traveling around L.A. in this book. I grew up near L.A. and it was really fun reading about all the places Weetzie goes and thinking Hey, I've been there too! I also really enjoyed the writing. It was very clean and flowed nicely.I'm thinking that Pink Smog is a book to read after you've read -at least- the first Weetzie Bat (Dangerous Angels) book. I was just a bit lost and cut off by the end - I'm really not sure its worth picking up. But, if the Weetize Bat books are something you've already read, I would definitely give it a shot, as you might enjoy and understand it MUCH better than those who have not.
titania86 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Louise is an unhappy thirteen year old girl that really would like to be called Weetzie. Her parents constantly fight and their unhappiness finally resulted in her father, the person who means the world to her, leaving for good. Her mother drowns her sorrows in booze, leaving Weetzie to fend for herself. Not only is she bullied at school by the popular crowd, but the teachers also routinely humiliate and mock her. Her life is in shambles and she tries to pick up the pieces, starting out with following fairy tale clues from a mysterious benefactor, befriending a couple of fellow outcasts at her school, and saving an angelic boy from his voodoo doll torturing sister. Will Weetzie's difficult life break her or will she rise above it all and take control of her life?I absolutely loved the Weetzie Bat books when I was a kid. Her stories really inspired me and helped me through some difficult times. I was so excited to hear that Francesca Lia Block would be revisiting and expanding upon the series. In Pink Smog, Weetzie is more vulnerable and much less sure of herself in comparison to her later teen and early adult self. She flounders as her life suddenly falls apart and his forced to grow up because of her father's abandonment and her mother's drinking. Instead of being taken care of as she should, both of her parents abandon her and she takes care of her mother as best she can as someone who can't fully take care of herself. I really felt for her and hurt with her as her support system crumbled. I also celebrated with her when she found people she could confide in and believed in herself more. Weetzie got me to connect with my pre-teen self where everything is felt much more intensely and where I felt less sure about who I was.As with many of Block's other novels, Pink Smog is at its heart a loving portrayal of LA and its unique effect on people. The title itself describes the beautiful pink sunset seen in LA because of the disgusting smog in the air. This encompasses what I love about the city: the beauty and wonder is very close to the grime and less savory aspects. This great center of culture that is famous for celebrities and the privileged is also home to homeless people, strip clubs, and the dregs of society. I've never seen another place like it and it holds a special place in my heart. Block doesn't glamorize it and shows it how it is. Pink Smog is a formidable prequel to Weetzie Bat and I enjoyed reading this blast from the past. As always, Francesca Lia Block's beautiful prose brings the novel to life. I would recommend this to anyone, whether they have read any of the series or not.
booktwirps on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Things aren't easy for young Louise "Weetzie" Bat. Her father and mother fight incessantly and she's tired of the bullying at school. When her father leaves, her life seems to crash down around her. Her father was everything to her, and now he's disappeared without a trace. Weetzie holds out hope that he'll come back after a few days, just as he always does, but as the days pass by it becomes evident that he may never return.The night her father left, he and her mother had their biggest fight yet, and her drunk mother passed out and fell into the swimming pool. A handsome young man saves her, and Weetzie sets out to find him, convinced he may be her guardian angel. When Weetzie finally meets the mysterious young man (Winter), she can't help but develop a crush on him. When he tells her that her father asked him to watch over Weetzie, she develops an even stronger bond with him, but there's something very strange about Winter's family. His sister seems hell-bent on terrorizing her, and his mother may have something to do with constant tension between Weetzie's parents. As the bullying at school persists, and Weetzie continues searching for answers around her father's disappearance, she learns things about herself that will shape the young woman she is meant to become.I'm going to (shamefully) admit upfront that I've never read a Weetzie Bat book. I was in college when they came out and pretty much everything I read at that time was a textbook. This book was my introduction to the writing of Ms. Block, and I will admit I am now a fan. I loved seeing 1970's L.A. through Weetzie's eyes. The entire book is a literary love-affair with the city as experienced by a thirteen-year-old. The writing is fluid and the characters, especially Weetzie, are extremely engaging. I especially loved the spatters of magical realism that Ms. Block uses to enhance Weetzie's story. Pink Smog is a quick read at just under 200 pages, but it is well worth the time. After reading this, I'll definitely be purchasing the other Weetzie books.
usagijihen on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I might be a little biased, as the first five "Weetzie Bat" books (when first published as the omnibus "Dangerous Angels" in 1996) literally changed how I saw the world through writing when I was 12 years old, but this is a glorious and wonderful conclusion to the "Weetzie" series. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy from the author herself, and to participate in one portion of the book, making me feel apart of something larger than myself for the first time within the world of books. Bias aside, "Pink Smog" is not a long read, but it's a very tightened, almost sparely-written tale of how Louise Bat becomes the girl we know and love in the rest of the books. Yet at the same time, it's still full of the magical realism that's come to dictate Block's style all of these years later after the first book was published in 1989. Make no mistake - "Pink Smog" may be a prequel, but it's a book you cannot miss in 2012.Even if you're new to the "Weetzie" canon, Block starts "Pink Smog" by constructing the 13-year-old Weetzie's character almost, it feels, from scratch. This is the first time we've seen and interacted fully with this version of Weetzie, as opposed to the mid-to-late teen and 20's version, and in a "Necklace of Kisses", near middle aged version. This Weetzie is still soft in places where in the later books she's become hardened by her experiences with the world and her parents' divorce, and here we're only experiencing the beginning twinges of this divorce with her for the first time. We're also experiencing her entrance into the teenage years, with mean girls and social outcast best friends, an empty place where her father used to be and magical trips into the most wonderful parts of Los Angeles. Block builds a wonderful foundation for Weetzie all over again, leaving no stone unturned yet at the same time, as previously said, her prose almost feels sparse. This is probably because we've seen so much action in the rest of the Weetzie books that there's very little else to say that we don't already know with six other books out. But this sparse style is awesome. If anything, it just made me even hungrier to read about how Louise became Weetzie, with all of the pain and love and magic that she experienced to kick her transformation into high gear. It leaves so much room to fully take in her scavenger hunt that a certain genie gives her, along with a witch that moves in next door, and a boy that may or may not be angelic that becomes a good friend. And that's not even when she's in school. Weetzie is trying to not only find her father but herself, making her the more secure teenage Weetzie we meet in the first book later at age 15-16. This is the perfect book to introduce a new generation of YA readers to Weetzie because she's in the process of trying to find herself, like all the other YA readers out there, whether they're in their teens or already adults. All of the opposites that attracted me to the original books in the first place are still intact in this prequel. Down is up, ugly is beautiful, dirty is clean, mean is kind, and quiet is loud. The "Weetzie" series has always been about finding yourself, and I'm happy to say that this final book really tops off the other six books that echo that message. As for my own participation in the making of this book, I found it rather pleasantly there in the last part of the book. I didn't expect it to be there, as Francesca herself was mysterious about where the real experience was going in the several books she was working on at the time, but there it was. I won't reveal what happens or how I participated here (that will later be revealed in a separate entry on the blog), but get ready for a happy tear-jerker ending that foreshadows the rest of the books. Oh, and seeing 1970's Los Angeles/places that are now gone there again in text didn't hurt, either.As "Weetzie" helped build me up during a rather difficult adolescence, even now in my late 20s, I felt the cushion that is
Jenisaur218 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Okay, to be fair, Dangerous Angels is my favorite book of all time. I'm not sure if that means I had extra love for this book, or if I was extra critical of it...either way I'm in love. "Pink Smog" is a pretty perfect prequel to Weetzie's adventures. Block nails the voice of a middle-schooler without losing that signature Weetzie flair. It's great to get inside her head as a young one and start to understand how she gets to the point she's at in Dangerous Angels. I can't say enough about how inspiring Block's writing is to me. Dangerous Angels changed everything for me the first time I read it, and hasn't stopped changing things for me since. Both it and Pink Smog define great magical realism, and I can already tell this will be a book to red and re-read time and time again. I am excited to dive into Dangerous Angels again after reading this.
jantinore on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I thought the book as a whole was very good and very well written. I would really recommend that the younger adult readers read this novel.
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