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THE FRENZY by Francesca Lia Block

THE FRENZY

By Francesca Lia Block

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-192666-2
Publisher: HarperTeen

Seventeen-year-old Liv has a secret nobody else knows: On her 13th birthday, she got her first period and turned into a wolf. Her parents responded to what they saw as their daughter's anger-management problems with Lexapro and Xanax, and she hasn't changed since. When a family of fierce, nigh-feral brothers moves to town, Liv's carefully protected secret life is endangered. As in most of Block's modern work, constant direct parallels are drawn between adolescence and monstrousness; Liv's lycanthropy parallels with menstrual blood, pubescent hair growth, adolescent anger and feelings of alienation. However, this werewolf story stands up as a strong narrative in its own right, even without the overwhelming metaphor. Liv would be more likable if she weren't so offensively self-centered (she's unwilling to introduce her black boyfriend to her mother, using her gay best friend as a cover boyfriend without considering both boys' distress). A passionate, dreamy, brief paranormal, with a breath-of-fresh-air monstrous heroine and enjoyably surreal set dressing—the best friend and boyfriend deserve better, though. (Paranormal romance. YA)