Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Frenzy ~ Francesca Lia Block review

If you saw my review of ghostgirl: Lovesick by Tonya Hurley, you know I'm posting a few reviews of some books today in celebration of Halloween. Not necessarily scary books, but books that are definitely suitable for Halloween reading (especially if you're home tonight handing out candy!)--or if you're somewhere not celebrating Halloween and just want a good paranormal/supernatural read!!

The Frenzy
HarperTeen
September 28, 2010
272 pages
Buy @ Amazon

Remarkably unlike both her parents--both physically and in her actions, Liv struggles to fit in. Both her parents (and her grandfather when he was younger) are hunters, going out and returning with the smell of blood on them and meat for the family to eat, but Liv's a vegetarian who volunteers at the animal shelter, barely able to stand her weekly dose of those animals' pain.

Her red hair sets her apart from her family, the fact that it covers all of her body, almost like fur, sets her apart from everyone else, too. With a best friend everyone, including her parents, think is her boyfriend, but is really just hiding his homosexuality, and a real boyfriend she hides from her parents because of his ethnicity, and strange murders in the woods her police chief dad can't solve, Liv doesn't need anything else to trouble her.

But she has it. Liv knows she has to avoid getting upset, getting angry. When she does, strange, dangerous things happen. As long as she keeps taking her pills and stays calm, maybe Liv can try to pass for a normal girl in her crazy, small town.

Maybe, but likely not.

The Frenzy is easily on par with (Annette Kurtis Clause's) Blood and Chocolate. It's not long enough after that book came out for this to be a 'this generation's' that book but maybe if you figure based on generations of babysitting or something, then it is ;)

While it's not a werewolf book to turn to if you want a lot of blood and gore or sex, it is one that's beautifully introspective and uses the small town setting as well as Liv's strained relationship with her family to tell quite a bit of the story. As with the other books by Francesca Lia Block that I've read, there aren't a ton of characters but the ones that are there are very integral parts of the story and deeply connected with what's happening.

The Frenzy was a story that was beautifully told. It was a rather different take on werewolf lore than I've read before but I really loved the way the werewolf/beast struggle was juxtaposed with Liv's struggles as a teenager and dealing with being different (granted they overlapped a lot).

It's true that I find Francesca Lia Block's books hard to summarize without giving away too much of the story away, I think this is because of the way they unfold and progress--it makes for great reading but tricky reviewing. I loved reading it, however, and hope you'll give it a try, too.

10/10





thank you to the publisher for this book.

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