Weetzie Bat (Weetzie Bat Series #1)

Weetzie Bat (Weetzie Bat Series #1)

by Francesca Lia Block


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, May 30


“Transcendent.” New York Times Book Review

“Magnificent.” Village Voice

“Sparkling.” Publishers Weekly

Francesca Lia Block’s dazzling debut novel, Weetzie Bat, is not only a genre-shattering, critically acclaimed gem, it's also widely recognized as a classic of young adult literature, having captivated readers for generations.

This coming-of-age novel follows the eponymous Weetzie Bat and her best friend Dirk as they navigate life and love in a timeless, dreamlike version of Los Angeles. When Weetzie is granted three wishes by a genie, she discovers that there are unexpected ramifications….

Winner of the prestigious Phoenix Award, Weetzie Bat is a beautiful, poetic work of magical realism that is perfect for fans of Laura Ruby, Neil Gaiman, and Kelly Link.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060736255
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/06/2004
Series: Weetzie Bat Series , #1
Edition description: Anniversary
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 586,158
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.12(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 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.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

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 and her moccasins and a pink fringed mini dress.

"Thanks. I made it," she said, snapping herstrawberry 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.

"Weetzie, I have something to tell you," Dirk said.


"I have to wait till we get to the Odyssey."

At the Odyssey, Weetzie and Dirk bought a pack of cigarettes and two Cokes. Dirk poured rum from the little bottle he kept in his jacket pocket into the Cokes. They sat next to the d.j. booth watching the Lanka girls in spandy-wear dancing around.

"What were you going to tell me?" Weetzie asked.

"I'm gay," Dirk said.

"Who, what, when, where, how — well, not how," Weetzie said. "It doesn't matter one bit, honey-honey," she said, giving him a hug.

Dirk took a swig of his drink. "But you know I'll always love you the best and think you are a beautiful, sexy girl," he said.

"Now we can Duck hunt together," Weetzie said, taking his hand.

Table of Contents

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Weetzie Bat (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 92 reviews.
rockerbabyfi12 More than 1 year ago
This book is straight up weird. Underneath all the hippy fantasy is a message about love and family and staying together and being happy. But that sort of gets lost is how out there the plot is.
Tysheema Holmes More than 1 year ago
I liked the characters and their names. I also liked the authors style but thought it lacked plot and end abruptly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I discovered Weetzie Bat after reading a favorable review by Nick Hornby. I rarely read YA novels, but this book has the ability to crossover into an adult market. It was such a fun read. The book flies by--it's less than a hundred pages. I loved reading about Weetzie's L.A.. As soon as I finished this book I went looking for more works by Francesca Lia Block!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Weetzie Bat is a definite recommended book because the author covers all issues the society is going through now. Gays, teenage pregnancy, divorce. Weetzie has to go through a lot to find her happily ever after. She works so hard through all of the problems life throws at her, and she relizes that it was all worth it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This has to be one of the weirdest books I have ever read. At first it was good, but then it just kept getting weirder. Especially how her boyfriend was named My Secret Agent Lover Man. . . .
mrkatzer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Weetzie Bat is not my thing, but I understand why people like it. The characters are interesting enough and it's got that whole magical realism thing going on, so if you like that, you'll like this book. It's also the kind of book that makes some adults cringe when they hear "young adult literature," so it's worth it for that.
kymmayfield on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block was a good book. I wasnt sure about it but had read it was a cute story in some of my groups. I decided to try it. It was a cute and quick read. I read the whole book in one night. I would recommend this one to anyone who needs a little pick me up after reading some tough books.
kellyholmes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Plug into the love current. A great YA read!
hoosgracie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wonderful short story about what it means to love.
kristi17 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've never read anything quite like "Weetzie Bat", but to me it feels like a teenage fairy tale. The characters have a lot of traits that ring very true for many adolescents but then there is a dreamy, fantasy-like quality to the tone of the story. I didn't hate it - I got through it very quickly and it kept my interest - but it's not really the type of book that overly engages me. I did not feel emotionally attached to the characters at all. What I did enjoy about Weetzie's character was that she genuinely appreciated where she lives (she wasn't eager to get out of town as soon as she finished high school) and that she had a lot of respect for the adults in her life (especially Grandma Fifi). Those mature aspects of her personality were balanced out by her naivete when it came to adult relationships. For example, her parents getting back together and her not so great idea of having a baby among three possible fathers.
isabelx on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure why I liked this story so much, but it may be because there is a magical fairy-tale quality to it.
korjon1905 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Weetzie Bat takes you on a wild whirlwind ride through Los Angeles. With her loyal friends Dirk, Dirk's partner Duck, and Witch Baby, Weetzie Bats' dreamlike fairy tale is both bittersweet and wonderful as she tries to discover the meaning of 'happily ever after.'
fanchon33 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I first read this book, I thought it was pure fluff and nonsense. I didn¿t think it really had any substance, at all. However, after discussing it with others and really thinking about what was being said, I realized how much depth it really had. It was actually very clever in saying so much, by not saying anything of consequence. I really encourage you to read this book, and in so doing, really think about what is being said and how it is being said. It¿s worth your time and effort.
JillZH on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
¿You get three wishes,¿ the genie said. ¿I wish for a Duck for Dirk, and My Secret Agent Lover Man for me, and a beautiful little house for us to live in happily ever after.¿ ¿Your wishes are granted. Mostly,¿ said the genie.Weetzie Bat is the story of a misunderstood girl who finds herself, and a home, in the shadow of glitteringly pink Shangri-L.A. Weetzie hates high school because no one understands. No one understands the magic of Hollywood and with her feather headdress, bleach blond flattop, and strawberry lipstick, no one understands Weetzie. No one sees the world the same way she does. That is, until she meets Dirk and his punk-rock-shoe-polish-black Mohawk. Fancesca Lia Block has written a modern day fairy tale that incorporates elements of magical realism into the theme of happily ever after. I love Block¿s artful description of an idealized Hollywood. Her use of pop culture to create a sparklingly bright scene juxtaposed with the harsh realities of life, love, and loss creates an amazingly told story. I highly recommend this book.
Jennanana on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Weetzie and her friend Dirk are anxious to find their one true loves.
compjohn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A joyous, dreamlike fugue, this novel is about a quirky, funky family consisting of the eponymous heroine, her best friend Dirk, her mysterious lover My Secret Agent Lover Man, the leather-clad surfer Duck, her dog Slinkster Dog, her daughter Cherokee, and many other fantastic yet utterly believable characters. Block mixes magical realism, pop mysticism, and a sweet hipster tone to tell of adventures in love, loss, and the strange, wonderful city of Los Angeles. This novel also deals with issues such as homosexuality, AIDS and non-traditional family structures, so it is an excellent choice for LGBT reading lists and discussions about sexual and social mores.
sexy_librarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ms. Weetzie Bat is a law unto herself. She and her best friend Dirk go to concerts, get hot dogs, and ride around in their car. But they are both looking for their ¿Ducks.¿ So Weetzie finds a genie to grant her three wishes, will all her dreams come true? Francesca Lia Block combines fantasy and reality in a book that flies through a young woman¿s
iheartlit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Weetzie Bat has one wish---to fall in love and live happily ever after. She's not afraid to look for love off the beaten path, amongst the "plastic palm tree wallets" of the Los Angeles Farmer's Market, at all-night potato knishes, or the Tick Tock Tea room. Just when she thinks she will never find her Secret Agent Lover Man, Weetzie receives a magical gift and finds that love is sometimes just around the corner. She learns that her family--the ones she loves best--are people who may go unloved by most others: Dirk with his "shoe-polish-black mohawk;" Duck, Dirk's partner; and even a child born of infidelity, known only as the Witch Baby. What we appreciate most about this book is its gentle inclusiveness, and unflinching treatment of teenage problems. Francesca Lia Block's Weetzie Bat tells a deceptively simple story about love, acceptance, and the meaning of "happily ever after."
rebecca_lynn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an odd read for me. It was so incredibly surreal, it was almost dreamlike. This only added to the book's charm though. Very real issues were lying under the surface (AIDS, divorce, homosexuality, etc.), and a lot of them didn't even stand out to me until after I had finished the book. I thought about this book for days after finishing it.
mummybattle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Weetzie Bat is an extraordinary novel of punk rock magical realism. I was only recently introduced to Block¿s work, and it was truly a ¿how have I never read this book before¿ kind of experience. The plot is deceptively simple: Weetzie and her gay best friend Dirk roam through a Los Angeles that seems both real and illusory, searching for their true loves, their own version of ¿happily ever after.¿ Underneath it all, however, Block tackles much darker themes¿infidelity, mistrust, the horrors of AIDS. What ultimately emerges is a beautiful tale of love, hope and family, an inspiration for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider. A favorite moment: ¿She knew they were all afraid. But love and disease are both like electricity, Weetzie thought. They are always there¿you can¿t see or smell or hear, touch, or taste them, but you know they are there like a current in the air. We can choose, Weetzie thought, we can choose to plug into the love current instead¿ (p. 109).
dylemon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Block writes a modern-day fairy tale in this book, dealing with issues such as divorce, sex, drugs, alcohol, and homosexuality.
pinkargyle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Weetzie Bat is almost like a song than a book, and lifts the reader from whatever ordinary world he/she may exist in to a dream-like, nostalgic ¿Shangri-L.A.¿ with Weetzie, Dirk, and Slinkster Dog. I enjoyed this mystical story that was the backdrop for very real issues: love, friendship, longing, regret, death, depression, homosexuality, and true happiness. Weetzie Bat has a wide gamut of emotions and human complexities that would appeal to teens (and all humans.) I absolutely love the last bittersweet line in the book: "I don't know about happily ever after...but I know about happily." I personally like more realistic stories, but I appreciate Weetzie Bat¿s lilting and bittersweet words. This is a must-read classic!
dibiboi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a good book. A few of my favorite things about Weetzie Bat were: 1) How surreal the story is. The descriptions of events lacked transitions, each event melds into the next like an uninterrupted dream. There are also characters of fantasy such as the genie and the witches. Yet despite the elements of fantasy, the themes that the novel covers are serious and real: homosexuality, adolescent sex, drug use, divorce and non-nuclear families, adoption, HIV/AIDS. 2) The absence of adults as a source of guidance. The adults are minor characters who tend to die away and seem to have no effect on the decisions of the characters. The main characters are young adults who must deal with difficult, life-changing situations completely on their own. 3) The writing was unusually creative, even poetic at times: "Weetzie kept falling for the wrong Ducks", who are actually Vultures. These kinds of metaphors are expanded and become themes of the novel (as when Dirk finds [his] Duck). 4) The story challenges the traditional view of the nuclear family as the quintessential family unit. Weetzie has a baby with a gay couple who are her friends. My Secret Agent Lover Man has difficulty dealing this fact at first, but later accepts the baby, Cherokee, as his own child and Dirk and Duck as part of his family. The theme of adoption is also explored when My Secret Agent Lover Man has a baby with a witch and Witch Baby is taken in by the rest of the family. They are presented as a loving and happy family, despite the challenges they face.
ipomoea911 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Weetzie Bat is a classic of YA lit, and it's easy to see why. The text is short, but the story is packed with memorable characters and language, from Weetzie's true love My Secret Agent Lover Man to the line "love is a dangerous angel." Weetzie and her best friend Dirk's journey through Shangri-L.A. is beautiful and appealing. While the story may wander into dark corners, it's always hopeful in its optimism. As Weetzie says, "I don't know about happily ever after... but I know about happily." (p70 in the Dangerous Angels compilation.)
victorianist on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Now begins a phase of young adult literature and I cannot think of a better introduction than the poetic, musical eclectic modern day fairly tale by Francesca Lia Block. It was truly a joy to read!YA566-5Q, YA566-5P