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The Waters & The Wild [Hardcover]

Francesca Block
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

May 25 2009

When Bee woke up, there was a girl standing in her room. "You are me," the girl said. Then she was gone.

I am a thirteen-year-old double Gemini. I get bad grades, write poetry with my left hand, dance in my room, surf the net. I Google images of the tattoos my mom won't let me get. . . .

But my world belongs to someone else. Someone who lives below the concrete of Los Angeles, someone with wild eyes and twigs in her hair.

And I think she wants her life back.


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Review

“Short enough to be read in one sitting, but nonetheless has an impact that will be felt much longer…perplexing and ethereal.” (ALA Booklist)

“Awash in a bruised and aching adolescent sensibility, Weetzie Bat author Block’s new novel doesn’t waste a word… Haunting and thought provoking.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Block’s trippy poetic prose and magical realism will enthrall her fans.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))

About the Author

Francesca Lia Block, winner of the prestigious Margaret A. Edwards Award, is the author of many acclaimed and bestselling books, including Weetzie Bat; the book collections Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books and Roses and Bones: Myths, Tales, and Secrets; the illustrated novella House of Dolls; the vampire romance novel Pretty Dead; and the gothic werewolf novel The Frenzy. Her work is published around the world.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too March 11 2009
Format:Paperback
Bee knows that she is different from other teenagers. She has a strange affinity with the earth, dreaming of eating it in handfuls to be more connected to it. Bee feels more at home in her mother's garden rather than at school or with other people. She never has an appetite and sees people for who they are, their true selves.

There is also the matter of her doppelganger. Bee begins to see her, in dreams and during her waking hours. She wants something from Bee; she wants her life back.

Bee has also befriended two outsiders, very much like herself. Haze is a tall, gangly boy who believes he was fathered by aliens. Sarah, with her braided hair and beautiful voice, tells Haze and Bee that she is the reincarnated soul of a slave girl. Neither one of these confessions shocks or mystifies Bee; she simply accepts them to be fact. Their differences make them unique and bring them together.

With the help of her two eccentric friends, Bee finally discovers who she is and where she truly belongs.

I have had the pleasure of reading many of Francesca Lia Block's other novels, and this one seemed different to me. It was easier to connect with the characters in this novel. They felt more "real" to me than in previous works.

Obviously, there is still that element of fantasy, but it doesn't saturate the story. Block has found a perfect balance of reality and fantasy. Fans of fantasy novels will love this book because of its fantastical elements, but those who are looking for a story about a young girl who is discovering her identity will also enjoy it.

Block has a way of crossing many genres and groups of readers; she has certainly done so with THE WATERS AND THE WILD.

Reviewed by: LadyJay
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Reader Will Feel Lost in a Misty, Symbolic Dream July 22 2009
By Teen Reads - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
For all of her 13 years, or at least for as long as she can remember, Bee (short for Beatrice) has never felt comfortable in her life, as if she doesn't really belong. She keeps to herself, and the isolation has led to loneliness and depression. She doesn't even feel she can confide in her mother, who wouldn't understand. The one place in which she does find a bit of comfort is the gardens, where she can be close to the earth and the growing plants.

One night Bee wakes up to find an exact double of herself standing in her room. The girl whispers one sentence, "You are me," and then disappears. Bee is confused, unsettled and even a bit intrigued. She goes to the one person she believes might have a clue: her strange fellow classmate, Haze, who is rumored to think he's an alien. Haze knows exactly what Bee has seen --- a doppelganger --- and it has been said that to see this is to predict one's death. Bee regrets turning to Haze at all.

But then Haze comes to her to talk, and she starts getting to know him better. She also meets another loner, Sarah, who is a bit of an outsider as well and believes herself to be the reincarnation of a slave from the 1800s. The three begin to form a special friendship, find some happiness, and feel like they do belong in their own unique way. Suddenly, though, Bee gets sick. Haze and Sarah put some clues together and figure out the mystery behind Bee's double and her illness. Their lives will never be the same.

The person responsible for this very unique and unusual book is the renowned Francesca Lia Block, the award-winning bestselling author of numerous titles. Right away I noticed Block's ability to create intensely vivid descriptions using a minimum of words and not wasting space with extraneous material. This approach, though seemingly simple, in fact creates quite intricate results. She also has a mysterious and pensive writing style, giving the reader a feeling of being lost in a misty, symbolic dream. Fans will be happy to know that Block is busy working on many more projects to entertain readers and give them plenty to think about.

--- Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poetry and Life June 9 2009
By Vania Stoyanova - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The Waters and the Wild by Francesca Lia Block is a telling story of life, growth and the everyday struggles of coming into your skin. Bee, a changelings, has to decide where she truly belongs: with the new found comfort and peace with her friends at school or back to her faerie world allowing the fetch, or the real human child, to take her place. Bee struggles with everyday teenage struggles but Block transforms it into a song of hope for all.

Though the story short, and the writing shorter, Block focuses metaphorically on the issues we all face today. Seamlessly she blends in the important points of our time: Global warming, 9-11, and the daily struggles of war. Though at first glance you might miss it, it is that much more powerful once we peer closer into Block's narrative. But above all it is a marvelous story about a girl, her life well lived, and the choice she makes ,which in turn transforms everyone's outlook and appreciation on life.

The story unravels poetically and slowly through the few pages like short story mixed with poems and folklore. Block focuses on Bee's narrative but like the threads in the fabric she sews in images of the times we live in; they are not easy but there is hope! You might be reading his and thinking....."HUH?" But rest assured that these few 120 some pages will leave you grateful but above all else it is a good read. A small book with a big story!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Uh... June 7 2009
By Catt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The Good: The writing style has a certain quality that makes you interested in reading the book and it compels you to turn the page. Also, the characters are very good.

Bee is her own person and though she might not be completely normal, she's sometimes, surprisingly relateable. Also, I adored Haze and Sarah. If I actually met them I'd probably think that they are absolutely crazy. I mean, Haze thinks that he's an alien and Sarah thinks that she's a reincarnation of a 1800's slave girl. But strangely, I really liked them and I absolutely enjoyed reading about them.

The Bad: The beginning attracts your attention, that's for sure. When I first read it, I almost put the book down. Seriously, it creeped me out a little. Maybe creeped is too strong of a word, but if if I was in a book store, I would've put it down.

Also, this book really dissapointed me. The summary looks so interesting and the cover is really pretty... but the book itself just fell flat. Another probably that I had was that it was too short! It's like I blink and the story's over, it's not worth paying 16.99 that's for sure.

Overall: Though the writing is very good, when I finished, I didn't feel satisfied or happy that I finished the book. The first thing that popped into my head after I finished was, "What the heck did I just read?"
5.0 out of 5 stars An Opportunity to Be Enchanted Dec 23 2011
By E. Kristin Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Francesca Lia Block is one of my favorite writers for a reason - her smart, poetic prose easily transports you to an alternate reality, layering real issues with surreal context. In her latest, we explore the possibilities of a doppelganger, as thirteen-year-old Bee has begun to see herself at night, claiming to be the real her. Turning to the weird kid at school, Haze (he's rumored to believe he's an alien) she discovers that she might not belong in L.A. - in more ways than one. Picking up Sarah, a street-singer with a gorgeous voice who believes she's a reincarnated slave girl, the trio embark on a mission to save Bee, and to understand their own realities. Like Block's other works, The Waters and the Wild is tightly written, with an ethereal feeling that leaves you feeling pleasantly disoriented. Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to be enchanted.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very.. Interesting May 20 2010
By S. J. Waldemarsen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. It is a bit dark because of the whole changeling thing but it was compelling and I enjoyed it. I just wish this book was longer!
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