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Wasteland by Francesca Lia Block
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Wasteland (2003)

by Francesca Lia Block

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Beautiful. Block's allusions to Eliot's "The Waste Land" were so lovely and the story was stunning. ( )
  bookishblond | Oct 24, 2018 |
This is a story about a brother (Lex) and sister (Marina) and the bond they share. When Lex dies, we watch as Marina looses herself to grief. During her struggle the siblings mutual friend West tries to help her come to terms with the loss.

I love the poetic language that Francesca Lia Block uses. The way she describes the thoughts of each character is so beautifully written. I do, however, feel like the ending was just thrown in there. I still enjoyed the book nonetheless.
( )
  hrawluk | Aug 23, 2018 |
There is just something about Francesca Lia Block's writing that makes you want to crawl inside and live within the beauty of her words. Regardless of how you feel about the stories she weaves, there is no denying that she has a gift for the English language. And what a glorious gift it is.

With that being said, sometimes beautiful writing isn't enough to make up for a messy plot. And Wasteland's plot is pretty darn messy. Some may call it a love story, and they wouldn't be wrong, but the players in this love story are...unconventional to say the least. And not in a good way. In a squicky way.

And while revelations come to light in the final pages of the book that attempt to negate those uncomfortable feelings, the fact remains that Wasteland R E A L L Y straddles the line of appropriateness. Yes, I know I'm being purposely vague, but only because I don't want to give away any plot points for those who would like to read this book eventually.

I just recommend that readers brace themselves for some deeply uncomfortable and likely conflicting feelings. And outside of that, let Francesca Lia Block's prose take you away. At the end of the day, that's what we came for, right? I give Wasteland a reluctant 2.5 out of 5 stars ( )
  MeganAngela | Apr 5, 2018 |
Block keeps knocking me out, showing rather than telling. She captures the adolescent voice, to my mind, perfectly. This small book is pure, inevitable tragedy, and I came out of it blinking at the light. Strong subtext of incest, so not for the squeamish. Block's writing is hypnotic, otherworldly, and translucent like an isinglass window in an old stove. There is so much going on offstage that she captures in a few seemingly throw-away lines that it's hardly noticeable until the end, when everything comes together and the fully fleshed out characters are in one's head, whole. Breathtaking. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Exquisite writing, such lyrical prose without seeming try-hard or overwrought. I liked the POV changes, and it was only far into the book when I realized the italicized ones were Lex and flipped back to the beginning to reread parts. And then at the end, when I realized Lex's POV and Marina's later on, after the revelation of Rose-in-May, were in writing. At least I think they were written. I think this is what happened and it's my personal interpretation, though Francesca Lia Block only hints, slowly unravelling her tale but never quite showing you the full thing.

I feel like the ending was such a cop-out. The interesting part about writing about taboos is that they are taboos, and to suddenly reveal that one of them was secretly adopted at the end just feels like cheating. Still, Marina says that it wouldn't have made a difference, because they started out as brother & sister and would always be, that doesn't change, but if that's what the author wanted to say in her book then why didn't she keep them as actual blood-siblings? She could have at least played more on the 'what could have been' and the turmoil of that, but she didn't! And the ending is somewhat of a happy end for Marina but I can't help feeling like she ended up with the wrong guy. I don't know, for a book like this, I feel like I want a depressing ending, I don't want her to be with West-- it's horrible but I want her to be alone and West to be crushed because he never had a chance to start with. I just feel like it suits the book better that way. ( )
1 vote serrulatae | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Thank you Joanna Cotler, Lydia Willis, Tracey Porter, and Suza Scalora
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We keep burning in the brown smog pit.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0064408396, Paperback)

When you were a baby I sat very still to hold you. I could see the veins through your skin like a map to inside you. I stopped breathing so you wouldn''t ... You were just a boy on a bed in a room, like a kaleidoscope is a tube full of bits of broken glass. But the way I saw you was pieces refracting the light, shifting into an infinite universe of flowers and rainbows and insects and planets, magical dividing cells, pictures no one else knew ... Your whole life you can be told something is wrong and so you believe it.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:05 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A brother and sister must deal with terrible consequences when their love for each other stretches past acceptable boundaries.

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