Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Review: How to (un)cage a girl - Francesca Lia Block

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 5 stars
Cover Rating: 4.5 stars (I love it, I just wish the photo was a little higher quality.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 1, 2008
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 119 p.

If you were ever a young girl, growing up through adolescence, this book is for you.  Francesca Lia Block lyrically address the ups and downs of being a teenager, and the things that we think about at that age. Some lives are broken, and some lives glitter, but every girl should know they have a voice. This book is one voice among the masses. If you adore Francesca, you know this has to be fantastic.

I love Francesca Lia Block, so really a book of poems about adolescence was a no-brainer for me to pick up. This one definitely did not disappoint. I had read it a few years ago when it first came out, and recently picked it up again to share at out libraries Poetry Night. All of Francesca's early works were written in the same seamless prose as these poems are, so it was such a joy reading these. I just love the magical world that Francesca Lia Block creates within our regular day-to-day lives. Some of these poems are heartbreaking, others uplifting, all of them are beautiful. I loved the poem 'forty-five thoughts for my daughter and my virtual daughters' I think it represents exactly what I hope every young girl gets to know. This poem starts:
"i always believed if i had blond hair, pixie face,
       big breasts
everything would be all right
not realizing that culturally idolized beauty 
is not only foolproof
but potentially dangerous"
I think this is a great little book to give as a gift, for yourself or for that young girl in your life.

First Line:
"i thought my teacher was a nazi"

Favorite Line:
"yxta and francesca decided to start a clique
for frail but surprisingly strong fairies who had lost
        their way above ground
for burned mermaids and sick vampire girls
for wild wolfish women with sharp teeth and leaves
       in their hair"


  1. My favourite author! Weetzie Bat has been my favourite book since high school. I didn't even know this was out. Francesca Lia Block + poetry???? I have to read this!!!

  2. I've read a book by this author before and I'm not sure I liked it much. This one sounds way good though, so I will check it out :) Great review!


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