Book Review: The Waters & The Wild by Francesca Lia Block

The Waters & the WildIn her Yeats-inspired titled book, The Waters & The Wild, Francesca Lia Block relates the tale of a teenage girl coming of age and embracing her identity with a bizarrely fresh twist to this timeless theme.  Though a quick read, The Waters & The Wild, possesses a depth that many books five times in length are unable to convey.  The characters debunk traditional teenage stereotypes and are each truly unique with their supernatural self-images and ways of approaching adolescence.

Bee is the thirteen-year-old main character with a doppelganger who wants to take over her life.  Haze is a boy who believes he is part alien, and dreamy singing Sarah is a girl who thinks that she’s a reincarnated slave.  Together, these three misfits find the confidence to explore their own mysterious identities and forge new paths towards their chosen futures.

Block’s writing skill far surpasses many of her peers in the young adult fantasy genre.  Her prose is almost poetic, and each word seems deliberate and essential.

Bee sat down on the dirty sand and scowled out over the gray water.  She repressed an impulse to gather the chips of shell, put them in her mouth and crunch them to bits; pop seaweed pods and suck the salt; bury her body in the sand like a corpse in a sarcophagus.

Francesca Lia Block is a Margaret A. Edwards Award winner and the author of Weetzie Bat, How to (Un)Cage a Girl, and Necklace of Kisses.

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