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PRETTY DEAD by Francesca Lia Block

PRETTY DEAD

By Francesca Lia Block

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-154785-0
Publisher: HarperTeen

Charlotte has been a vampire for 80 years, and for the first time she wants something she thinks she can have: beautiful Emily Rosedale. But Emily kills herself, leaving Charlotte alone but for a growing friendship with Emily’s boyfriend and the terrifying return of the vampire who created Charlotte in 1925. That’s pretty much it for plot, but this being Block, every element of the narrative is really about sex: food, clothes, death, disaster, siblings and, of course, sex itself. Luckily, sex is enough to provoke character growth. Charlotte’s coming-of-age—more apropos for a young woman than for a teenager—may have taken 80 years, but it’s no less satisfying for all that. The people who surround Charlotte are caricatures of need whose actions follow no logic, but Charlotte’s internal journey is what is important, so the senseless plot doesn’t detract significantly. Wine-drinking, brand-name–adorned and gothically tormented, Charlotte provides a nice interlude for those readers who’d rather be a vampire than marry one. (Fantasy. YA)