Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Review - The Frenzy by Francesca Lia Block

Francesca Lia Block's novel 'The Frenzy' features a green-eyed redhead who has a secret even she does not fully comprehend.   Olivia is a werewolf with all the issues of a normal teen taken to the extreme.  The town and family that Olivia grows up in is extremely close minded.  As a result, she feels compelled to hide her interracial relationship, her best friend's sexual orientation, and obviously her "little" moon induced hair problem.  

Block has the beginnings of a wonderful idea; however, the execution fell a tad short.  The character development is sub par.  I had a hard time relating to any of the characters; so much so, that even in the face of complete tragedy I did not feel for those involved.  Simply put, this story is way too short.  Block wove a very detailed action packed plot with many powerful messages; however, those are all lost when connection with characters doesn't occur.  Many times, we are told how the characters have to hide who they are because of the town's ideals; however, there are not many times where we are shown how the town reacts in situations.  The same goes for the characters, we are told through Olivia's words how the people look, how they think, etc but we are never really shown it through enough character and scene interactions.

The premise behind Olivia's curse is a novel one and definitely refreshing.  The way all the characters intertwine is also neat; however, I feel like this story is more of an outline lacking complete detail and fleshing out.  I missed dialogue and more explanations of actions.  I was left feeling like the woods and the other werewolves were never really explained completely.  Most characters only had one side, and presenting more viewpoints would have helped the storyline and character connections.

Sadly I feel that Block missed the boat on this story.  I have heard good things about her other novels, so I suggest picking one of those up instead.  Great outline and plot sequence, just lacks important details.

Rating: 2/5



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