Book Review: Blood Roses by Francesca Lia Block

I don't know if you've ever read a book by Francesca Lia Block. This is my third. Always, I am left with conflicting emotions after reading one of Block's books. First, I am disturbed. For real. Her writing is the creepiest, bloodiest, grossest that I've ever read. It's like her words are fermenting on the page.

But, it's also lyrical. And beautiful. And passion-filled.

And her stories are always bizarre. Blood Roses is a collection of stories that includes:

  • A girl who is so obsessed with an older tattoo artist boy that she starts to grow designs all over her body
  • Sisters who escape a pair of sick child predators
  • A vampire-like, youth-obsessed mother who feeds on her daughter
  • A girl who finds and nurses back to health a boy who's cut off his fairy wings
  • A boy who decides to follow his changeling girlfriend into the otherworld because he can't deal with the pain in his world
  • A girl who keeps growing and growing and growing
  • A girl whose dollhouse was inhabited by Death
  • A horse-loving girl who falls for a Centaur/ gang member
Some of the stories are bizarre. Others are less weird and have more of a message to them. Most include scenes or language that makes me hesitate in recommending this book to a teen under the age of 16 or 17. But, there are pieces that are good for all teen girls.  I particularly loved the story of the girl who was "too much". She is the one who could not stop growing. The story leaves off with this quotation:

"What shall we do, all of us? All of us passionate girls who fear crushing the boys we love with our mouths like caverns of teeth, our mushrooming brains, our watermelon hearts?"