Thursday, January 29, 2004

Wasteland--Francesca Lia Block

Spoilers below (but really obvious in the book)

I'll be honest, I read this book because I was afraid I might get a complaint about it--with the whole incest subject and all... I wound up actually enjoying it. It's different from Block's other work--at least the books I've read. Wasteland tells the story of a brother and sister who are too close. The older brother, Lex, tries to date other girls to keep his mind off his sister. Marina is horrified when Lex suggests she date a mutual friend. She does go out with her girlfriend and a couple of boys, but she never lets anyone get as close to her as Lex is. The two love each other, deeply, and connect in a way that others cannot understand. It is obvious to her classmates how deep their connection is, but Marina remains in denial. At one point, they take a bath together, and while nothing sexual occurs (or is written about), it is implied that the possibility was there...and that freaks the both of them out. Lex deals with his unnatural feelings by committing suicide and forcing Marina to get a life of her own. She reaches out to a mutual friend, and together they investigate the mystery surrounding Lex's death. In an ironic twist, but one that is predictable, Marina discovers that Lex was adopted and not a blood relation to her at all.

Wasteland was a quick read, but not necessarily an easy one. At times it was hard to figure out who was narrating the different parts of the story. Both Lex and Marina referred to each other as "You". Hey, you, what are you doing? But it was a good read. Sad. Not her greatest, not the best YA fiction out there, but worth the time it took to read it.

Just Finished Reading: Wasteland--Block
Reading: Still undecided
On My Nightstand: Oh, many things now

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