DNF: Teen Spirit – Francesca Lia Block

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18054018Francesca Lia Block, critically acclaimed author of Weetzie Bat, brings this eerie and redemptive ghost story to life with her signature, poetic prose. It’s perfect for fans of supernatural stories with a touch of romance like the Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

After Julie’s grandmother passes away, she is forced to move across town to the not-so-fancy end of Beverly Hills and start over at a new school. The only silver lining to the perpetual dark cloud that seems to be following her? Clark—a die-hard fan of Buffy and all things Joss Whedon, who is just as awkward and damaged as she is. Her kindred spirit.

When the two try to contact Julie’s grandmother with a Ouija board, they make contact with a different spirit altogether. The real kind. And this ghost will do whatever it takes to come back to the world of the living.

Francesca Lia Block’s latest young adult novel is a haunting work about family, loss, love, and redemption.

 

 

I had really high hopes for Teen Spirit by Francesca Lia Block. I thought that the writing style was going to be very similar to that of Rachel Hawkins. I expected a lot of paranormal aspects to the book and just a downright good time. I didn’t get any of that. Teen Spirit was very bland, boring, and slightly ridiculous. I ended up DNFing this one.

My major complaint with Teen Spirit was the main character, Julie. Oh my gosh. Julie whined constantly. Like every single scene she was in, she was whining. Under the circumstances, I can see WHY Julie was so whiny. BUT….oh my goodness. There is only so much a reader can take. I was annoyed with her from the get go. Ultimately, she is what made me stop reading the book.

I also found Julie’s mother a little uncomfortable to read about. I almost felt like she was telling Julie to get it on with her friend from school a couple different times. She was also a very neglectful mother. Since the writing style in Teen Spirit leans more toward MG than YA, I found those scenes to be a little too much. It was just one more character that I didn’t like.

Paranormal scenes in this book are lacking. I made it almost halfway through Teen Spirit and not very much had happened. I skimmed a little bit to see what happened at the end, and I still couldn’t see a lot of stuff happening. I feel like the cover and description of this book really called for a bigger paranormal theme. I was disappointed with how mellow and bland it really was.

Another thing that was really obnoxious about Teen Spirit was how repetitive it was. It felt like every page was talking about Julie losing her grandma, her house, her mom losing her job, and just complain, complain, complain. I read about those same things over and over and over again. Stop being so repetitive! I get the point! Julie is sad. We get it. It made it seem like Francesca Lia Block was experiencing some writers block at times and just repeating the same things over and over to get words on the page.

If I had finished Teen Spirit, I probably would have rated it 1 or 2 stars. The storyline fell flat, the characters were unlikable, it was very repetitive, and I just wasn’t captured at all. I feel like Francesca Lia Block has real potential to write a great paranormal book. She has a ton of stories out. Maybe some of those are better than this one? But this is not a book that I would recommend.

 

Pages: 240

Publication Date: February 4th, 2014

Publisher: Harper Teen

Rating: DNF