Saturday, December 8, 2012

Review: The Elementals - Francesca Lia Block

Where I got it: From the library
Rating: 4.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 3 stars (It's okay.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: October 16, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Page Count: 261 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Ariel's best friend went on a trip to visit a college in Berkley, she went missing. Now Ariel decides she still has to go to Berkley, because maybe she'll find her friend. Maybe she'll find out what happened to her friend. The only reason her parents let her go, is because her mother develops cancer and they don't want Ariel around.While in Berkley though, Ariel stumbles upon a party at a strange house. The people responsible for the party are slightly bizarre too. Ariel isn't sure what it is about them, but their weirdness seems to only draw her in. Ariel's world is in a thousand pieces and she just wants everything to come together again.

This is the Francesca I know and love. I'm so glad to have her back AND a murder mystery no less. Although that's not quite an accurate description of what this story is about. It's about everything, but it's really about growing up.

I love how un-eloquent the dialogue is, it makes the story realistic. The characters don't always know what to say or the best way to say it. It's raw. I think dialogue is almost the most important part of the story (unless the story doesn't contain dialogue). The way this dialogue is written I felt much closer to the characters, because there was no stiff speech blocking me out of their heads and hearts.

Ariel was a pretty interesting character. I love coming of age tales, because you get to see a lot of growth in a character over a shorter period of time. Ariel is naive and searching when she comes to Berkley and by the end of everything that happens she's a different girl.

Then you have John Graves. He is interesting to the max. Anyone shrouded in mystery is interesting. The little group he belongs to is just completely removed from the norm, but people don't seem to mind. They are super strange and everyone is still drawn to them, including Ariel.

The writing was perfectly lyrical and full of whimsy like a Francesca Lia Block should be. Every paragraph is crafted in a way to lift up your brain to dance in the sky. The story comes to a perfect conclusion, one that seemed to be lurking throughout the whole story. If you are a Francesca Lia Block fan or a fan of lyrical writing definitely check this out. The story is different from what she usually writes (still great) and the writing is beautiful.

First Line:
"Did you cry, did you scream, did you try to run?"

Favorite Line:
"The sky was filled with stars like pieces of broken jewels and the sea below the precipice was like tatters and shreds of dark silk."

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