Summer classes can be a real bummer, especially when there is a lot of reading involved. This summer, I took a Young Adult Literature class and spent my July reading a lot of YA novels, some okay, some awful; in this case, a very fast (only 113 pages
), but very enjoyable read.
“‘I don’t know about happily ever after… but I do know about happily,’ Weetzie Bat thought.” Only in a book, could someone be content about not having a fairytale ending. In the book “Weetzie Bat,” by Fancesca Lia Block, the protagonist, Weetzie Bat, lives a life much like a fairytale; only this book has a bit of a twist and takes place not “once upon a time,” but in California in the late 80s (written 1989).
Weetzie Bat comes across her Prince, the best looking guy in school, at the very beginning of the novel. Dirk was a boy who had a shoe-polish black mohawk and drove a ’55 red Pontiac. Instead of falling in love, these two become best friends, but who’s to say that’s not a love story? Dirk will eventually come out as gay, so any hope the reader has that these two will get together is squashed. From here, the story really begins to sound make believe.
Dirk lives with his Grandma FiFi and she adores Weetzie Bat. One day, she gives Weetzie a gift. Weetzie doesn’t realize it at the time, but Grandma FiFi has bequeathed unto her a magic lamp. No, I’m not joking, she really does. As Weetzie is polishing her gift, because it’s old and dusty, a genie appears.
The genie explains, as you would expect, that Weetzie can have three wishes. No, she can’t wish for world peace or an infinite number of wishes, as you would expect. Her wishes were a little surprising and unconventional, to say the least.
Weetzie Bat wishes for love, but not just any love. She wishes for a “Secret Agent Lover Man.” She also wishes love for her best friend Dirk, and a house for them all to live in happily ever after. Not just her and her “Secret Agent Lover Man,” but rather all four of them. While this seems a little odd, Block manages to bring the story together without making it sound even more far-fetched than it already is.
This modern day love story has magic, true love (for all, no matter how the characters sexually identify themselves) and really cute slang that reminds me of dialogue used in “Juno.” Dirk and Weetzie Bat live happily, as she alluded to in the quote at the beginning of this entry, but what does happily actually entail? What I enjoyed about the story is that though it seemed much like a fairytale, Dirk and Weetie Bat lived pretty normal lives and didn’t quite get the picturesque ending. If you enjoy love stories with quirky characters and a realistic twist on fantasy, then you’ll enjoy Weetzie Bat.