Review Detail

3.7 1
Young Adult Fiction 2712
Teen Spirit
(Updated: January 28, 2014)
Overall rating
Writing Style
I'm a huge fan of Francesca Lia Block's poetic voice which resonates throughout most of her novels. Her latest introduces readers to Julie right after the loss of her beloved grandmother. If that wasn't bad enough, her mother is fired from her job and they have to move to a small apartment. Julie ends up going to Beverly Hills High School and fears she'll never fit in until she meets a kindred spirit in Clark. When she finds an Ouija board in her new apartment she thinks this is a sign that she can reach out to her dead grandmother. Instead it unleashes something else.

What worked: I love Block's words and how she works magic in each of her novels. In TEEN SPIRIT I love how she shows Julie's relationship with her grandmother and how painful it is after her death. The descriptions are very vivid and alive. It reminded me so much of my own grandmother.

When Julie finds an Ouija board in her new apartment she thinks it's a sign from her grandmother. She asks Clark to help but something else happens. Little do they know what they've unleashed. The changes that come over Clark are subtle at first, then downright creepy. This sinister twist I totally loved.

I liked the little quirks throughout too: the Buffy the Vampire mentions; Julie's love of her grandmother's vintage clothing; and the reveals on her own paranormal 'gifts'.

The changes over Clark and the hidden secret isn't obvious at first which I liked. Readers find clues on what's happening and if Julie had accidentally let out something more sinister with her quest to find her grandmother.

I did have a hard time with the voice at the beginning. I'm more used to Block's free verse novels and this one was a little different. I wasn't quite sure on where this story was going. It was only after Julie finds out that her new friend Clark has a secret that the voice really starts to stand out. The paranormal happenings increase as does the tension and suspense. After that, I couldn't put this book down.

Engaging gothic tale with a secret that takes a sinister twist. Paranormal fans will love this latest Block tale.
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