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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pretty Dead by Francesca Lia Block

Publisher:  HarperTeen, Imprint of Harper Collins
Pages:  195

(Released:  9-11-09)

From the Inside Cover:

People pity me, but mostly they feel envy. I have all the luxury and freedom a girl my age could want.

Something is happening to Charlotte Emerson. Like the fires that are ravaging the hills of Los Angeles, it consumes her from the inside out. But whether it is her eternal loneliness, the memory of her brother, the return of her first love, or the brooding, magnetic Jared--she cannot say. What if it's something more . . .

Something to do with the sudden tear in her perfect nails. The heat she feels when she's with Jared. The blood rushing once again to her cheeks and throughout her veins.

For Charlotte is a vampire, witness to almost a century's worth of death and destruction. But not since she was a human girl has mortality touched her.

In what way will you be transformed?

Until now.

Charlotte Emerson is devastated.  Once a care free teen, twin to Charles, but when he succumbs to rheumatic fever, she loses him... lost to her forever, lost to her parents, and to those who enjoyed his essence.  She's sick and tired, sick with his lost, tired of the pain.  When into her live walk the mysterious William Stone Elliot, he offers takes away the loss and to gives something else in return.

William Stone Elliot, made vampire, has long sought the one to accompany him on his travels through the destruction created by mankind; his art, his muse, his desire.  As bombs fall over Paris he remarks "Isn't it beautiful."  He sees artistry in destruction.  Is Charlotte the one to walk through death with him?

Now Char is irrevocably tied to William who made her what she is today.  Pretty Dead.

Pretty Dead by Francesca Lia Block is a book of what it's like to wake up a teenage forever.  Forever Pretty.  Forever Dead.  Forever the Pretty Dead.  No way to move forward, no way to go back, and after innumerable years as an immortal, Charlotte would like a chance at being human, to undo what's been done.  William is what happened to Charlotte when her brother, Charles, died, when she thought she would die too.  When her parents wanted to die, who forgot she existed.  But, instead of death, William brings another kind of life, immortal life.  William views life (death and destruction) as art, it's always a work of wonder and beauty, what the mortals will inflict upon themselves.  What they will inflict upon the mortals.  And Will's greatest work of art is Charlotte.  Only she doesn't want to be anymore.

Pretty Dead is the tale of what happens when a vampire doesn't want immortality anymore.  When she wants to turn back the clock.  When she wants to grow up, live life, be normal.  It's also the story of a girl jealous of what another has, and when she offered the opportunity to take her friend's place, she does.  Francesca Lia Block is a new author for me, but this won't be her last book I read.  I was impressed with her take on vampirism, if the clock can be turned back, and what if anything can make it happen.  There's this intricate relationship between the characters, Charlotte is hiding from William, and hiding what she is.  Emily is hiding the facts of her life and what she wants to be, what she wants to have, under the guise of Charlotte's best friend.  Jared is hiding from life, especially life after Emily.  If you want to try a different type of YA paranormal romance, try this one.  It's a quick read, approximately two hours cover to cover.  There's some action, emotion twisting loss, and realization of what life's all about.  It's a read YA lovers will not want to miss.  If you'd like more information about Ms. Block or her books, please visit her website.


I received my copy of Pretty Dead in a contest held by Bitten by Books.  All opinions expressed are my own.

2 comments:

Alyssa@Teens Read and Write said...

I remember reading this a while back. I enjoyed it as an interesting take on vamps with fun characters and lots going on. Thanks for the review!

Blodeuedd said...

The cover is so cute :) Great review Dottie. Sounds like good YA

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