Welcome to “I AM READING THIS SO HARD RIGHT NOW”
In this segment, I will be sharing spoiler-free notable quotables on books I am loving the hell out of. This is my promise: No spoilers and no summaries. Spoilers are mean and heartless (I almost got into a fight on the E train with a tween that wanted to spoil Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I didn’t punch him, I just ran away really fast. It’s super smart not to beat up 11 year-olds over wizard novels, okayyyyy?). Summaries are boring. I just don’t want to write them and you can’t make me. I’m just gonna hit you with a little snippet, a tiny segment, some ittle bitty wordlettes and entice you to gobble this book up like a big old literature-filled cupcake.
While reading Pink Smog, I couldn’t stop thinking of Sarah Michelle Gellar in Cruel Intentions. She’s looking out into the yard at Reese Whatshername boo-hooing over some novel. Buffy says, “Aww, she’s crying. Little baby upset about the big bad book.” Yeah, well, shut up. I spent most of this book crying or almost crying. I also read most of it in the bathtub and avoiding the company of others. I didn’t want it to end and the closer I got to that back cover, the more nervous I became. Weetzie is my ideal, my spirit animal, my muse and my security blanket and I don’t want to let her go. She’s a pink-sugared, feathery rhinestoned confection of perfection. I want to be her or be friends with her or sit on the floor of her kitchen all day. But she went through a whole lotta hurting to get to that first Weetzie Bat book, which makes me feel so much better, oddly enough. No one is born Weetzie. We’ve got to work pretty hard to get there. We’ve got to be brave little creatures. We better “welcome beauty, banish fear.” Beow. That’s a quote right there, suckah. Page 176. Check it out.
Blah, bleh. Picking my favorite chapter or paragraph or sentence is near impossible. It’s all rich and decadent and fecund and sad and hopeful and bittersweet and makes me put on my big brave girl face. This is as close as I can possibly get to a favorite excerpt, because I think it illustrates what Weetzie is capable of when she’s at her best. Pink Smog is about Weetzie’s imperfections and timidity. Here, though, you can see her starting to come into her own:
The next day I went to a craft store and bought a rhinestone gun and multi-colored rhinestones, a bag of pink feathers, and as many fake flowers as I could afford. I gunned rhinestones and sewed flowers and glued feathers all over every piece of old clothing I owned. It might just seem like silly fashion but it mattered. It mattered because I believed it did.
When it got dark I went out and picked a bag full of flowers from the neighborhood gardens. I filled all my mom’s empty liquor bottles with bouquets. Some of the roses were as big as my face. The pale yellow ones smelled like lemons, the purple ones smelled like lavender, and the orange ones smelled like honey. This mattered, too.
In the morning I went to the grocery store and bought ingredients to make pasta with pesto sauce and a spinach salad with walnuts and dried cranberries and balsamic vinegar from a recipe I’d found in one old cookbook that hadn’t been totally ruined in the fire when I was a kid. I found an old damask tablecloth and set the table with roses and candles and our best dishes. Then I put on a waiter jacket I had found in a thrift store and invited my mom to dinner. She wore a yellow dress and I put a rose in her hair…Then I took the candles and roses into the bathroom and got in the tub with some bubbles and scattered petals. The empty feeling that was usually inside of me, like the dark space when the lights go out, wasn’t there at all.
~~Pink Smog: Becoming Weetzie Bat, by Francesca Lia Block, pages 160-161
I hate that this book is over because I still need it. So get it and feel better or if you know someone who’s having a rough go of it and doesn’t want to read some trite-ass self-help book, get this for them. Sleep with it under your pillow. Wake up brave and strong and conquer whatever it is you need to.
And while you’re at it, the goddess that is Francesca Lia Block is in danger of losing her home and this is NOT COOL. She doesn’t know me but she’s definitely been a guardian angel of sorts, so the least I can do is help out in this teeny tiny smidgen of a way. So sign here for crying out loud. The injustice turn my insides gooey and miserable.
~Love and Libraries, Ingrid