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I Was a Teenage Fairy (Ageless Books) by…
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I Was a Teenage Fairy (Ageless Books) (original 1998; edition 2000)

by Francesca Lia Block

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952209,119 (3.72)17
Member:dordahsa
Title:I Was a Teenage Fairy (Ageless Books)
Authors:Francesca Lia Block
Info:HarperCollins (2000), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Young Adult, Censored, Fairies, Pop Culture, Modeling, Beauty Pagents, Magical Realism, Postmodern, Sexual Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Perception, Identity, Materialism, Independence, Support, Love, Honesty, Androgeny, Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, New York, Photography, Homosexuality, Redemption, Art, Pedophile, Revenge, Family, Fantasy

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I Was a Teenage Fairy by Francesca Lia Block (1998)

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» See also 17 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
While there was a lot of really good imagery sprinkled throughout the story, the edgy feel of the writing style did not match the actual content of the story at all. This left the book feeling overly censored, since the style seemed to be attempting to reach a more mature audience then the actual content would appeal to.

I also felt like the author attempted to encompass to much story for such a short book - especially after the jump in time. The story was also not particularly coherent, and I felt like the ending came out of nowhere. That said, I don't think the ending she was setting up was all that much better, but I'm the silly person who actually finished reading it.

Overall one of the only redeeming factors to this book was that it was published before Tithe. So it is apparently not just a cheap ripoff.

Edit: Having now also read a couple of the Bordertowns books I can say this book is a silly redundancy that probably should never have happened. Well, live and learn. ( )
  KingdomOfOdd | Dec 9, 2013 |
Barbie Marks's mother is a former beauty-queen, obsessed with getting her child a modeling career. She even named her after the plastic doll! Barbie doesn't like the modeling, but does it to keep her slightly-terrifying mother happy, even after she is molested by one of the photographers. Barbie becomes a very withdrawn and depressed child, her only friend is a tiny teenage girl, the size of her pinky, Queen Mab.

Part II sees Barbie as a teenager who is too thin, smokes too much and drinks too much. She still hates modeling and the sarcastic, sharp-tongued faerie, Mab, is still her only friend. Barbie meets a young actor, Todd and his friend, the model, Griffin. Griffin is almost a boy-version of Barbie - he is also depressed, hates modeling, does it to please his mother, and was molested by the same photographer that abused Barbie. Griffin is in love with Todd, but Todd is in love with Barbie. Tiny Mab sets out trying to create a happy ending for everyone - but Barbie has to create her own happy ending, by emerging from her shell, coming to terms with her past, and creating her own identity. By the end of the novel, Barbie has reinvented herself on the other side of the camera as the photographer Selena Moon.

I Was a Teenage Fairy is a moving and satisfying story about child beauty contests, abuse and the struggle for identity, with a touch of magic and romance. ( )
  catfantastic | May 27, 2012 |
Female fairy comes to help a young Valley Girl and model deal with tragic family and personal issues before leaving for other adventures. Barbie deals with abandonment and authority issues but they are resolved by deus ex machina via Mab.
  sacredheart25 | Mar 21, 2012 |
Barbie model sexually molested as child by photographer invents fairy

11.01 ( )
  aletheia21 | Mar 18, 2012 |
This is a very difficult book to describe, both in terms of story and writing style. The language is vivid and engaging. But the writing also suffers from odd transitions and poorly explains the passage of time. The main character, Barbie is very shallow and I think it's difficult for the reader to feel empathy in anything more than a vague generality.

I will echo what the reviewer megpyre said. I finished the book quickly and thought there might be a good story buried in there, but it just wasn't told well. ( )
  etznab | Oct 16, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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If Los Angeles is a woman reclining billboard model with collagen-puffed lips and silicone-inflated breasts, a woman in a magenta convertible with heart-shaped sunglasses and cotton candy hair; if Los Angeles is this woman, then the San Fernando Valley is her teeny-bopper sister.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0064408620, Paperback)

Once upon a time, in the bubble-gum-snapping, glitter polish-wearing, lip-gloss-applying San Fernando Valley, a gentle girl named Barbie met a feisty fairy named Mab: "Maybe Mab was real. Maybe there really are girls the size of pinkies with hair the color of the darkest red oleander blossoms and skin like the greenish-white underbellies of calla lilies.... But it doesn't matter if Mab is real or imagined, Barbie thought, as long as I can see her." Mab, with her crabby commentary and no-holds-barred opinions, gives Barbie the strength she needs to face the horrors casting a shadow over her life in sunny, shimmering California. How else could Barbie survive her over-perfumed, over-tanned, overbearing stage mother, dragging her daughter to modeling agencies in the gold-plated hope of reliving her younger days as a beauty queen? Or the "cadaver-pale skin" and "fleshy mouth" of Hamilton Waverly, the "crocodile pedophile" photographer who makes Barbie feel "like the doll she had been named for, without even a hole where her mouth was supposed to be"? Mab glimmers and gabs by Barbie's side throughout her teen years as she becomes a successful fashion model, falls in love, and endures all the troubles that come along for the ride--in addition to facing the black secret of her past.

Francesca Lia Block, author of the magical Weetzie Bat books that are collected in Dangerous Angels, and the empowering, punchy Girl Goddess #9, has once again crafted a mystical tale whose ethereal, original language will wrap readers in its gossamer grip. Block carries us to the weeping heart of despair, but would never be so cruel as to leave us there: Barbie gets a new, skyward-gazing name, Selena Moon, and readers get a glimmersome vision of living happily ever after. (Ages 13 and older) --Brangien Davis

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:55 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A feisty, sexy fairy helps a young girl heal traumas of her past.

(summary from another edition)

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