‘The Elementals’ by Francesca Lia Block

The Elementals13538834

by Francesca Lia Block

St. Martin’s Press

272 pages

Pub. Date:   October 16, 2012

Book received from:  Publisher


Genre:  Adult Contemporary Fiction/ New Adult Fiction

Cover:  Beautiful, quiet and a snapshot in time- just like the story

Characters:  Moody, mysterious, and enchanting

Quote:  “So this is how we run [..] We run as quietly as possible, so no one hears us […] We no longer believe in fairy tales.  But we will learn to believe in monsters.”

For Fans Of:  Jeffery Eugenides (Virgin Suicides), Joyce Carol Oates (Foxfire), and Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)

Rating:  4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Worth the read?  Absolutely!  But be ready to be frustrated at times (in a good way).

From the Cover:  From a star YA author Francesca Lia Block—an adult novel about a student, haunted by the disappearance of a friend, who must face the truth.
The Elementals is on one level an intriguing coming-of-age novel about a young woman, Ariel Silverman, facing the challenges of her first years away at college in Berkeley, California, while her mother battles cancer at home in Los Angeles.  But the book takes on deeper, stranger meanings when we realize that Ariel is haunted by the disappearance of her best friend, Jeni, who vanished without a trace a few years before, closing Ariel’s heart and changing her forever.  Ariel wonders if she will ever be fully alive, until she meets three mysterious, beautiful and seductive young people living in a strange old house in the Berkeley hills.  Through them Ariel will unravel the mystery of her best friend’s disappearance and face a chilling choice.

The Short & Sweet of It:   Block makes a very smooth and easy transition into adult fiction in this heart wrenching and cerebral novel.  The tension and sadness is palpable throughout, and the slight nod to mysticism supplies such an intense atmosphere that it is nearly impossible to put down once started.  Although at times it is somewhat difficult to figure out what exactly is really happening, it all makes sense in the end.  And, really, that is what college years are like at times in real life.  Things seem to come into perspective only when looking back, and Block captures the beauty and fragility of one young woman’s journey to find what happened to her best friend who disappeared.  Along the way, she discovers the truth about herself as well.  This is one of those novels that the story and writing haunt you for weeks afterward.  Block has given her longtime Weetzie Bat fans a smooth transition into adulthood, while easily allowing new readers a portal into her world.  I look forward to seeing what she pens next.

For more info & to purchase:

Author Site

St. Martin’s Press (with an excerpt)

Barnes & Noble





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