Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Frenzy - A Teen Girl Werewolf Novel with a Gay Best Friend

By Francesca Lia Block

Liv had a secret. Since she turned 13 four years ago, it was like her body was not her own. She had rages, that could turn her into... she couldn't even think about it. She took a lot of psychiatrist-prescribed pills to keep herself calm.

There was only one person Liv could share her deepest thoughts with. Her friend Pace.

"Pace wasn't a monster like me. He was just a boy who loved boys."

Liv's boyfriend Corey was perfect, but she was too afraid to tell him the truth about who she was. What if he could no longer accept her? What if he would no longer love her once he knew?

But things were coming to a head. There was a woman watching her. A pack of wild boys in the woods near her home. And then Liv learned the truth about the curse that caused "The Frenzy" in the first place.

Add your review of "The Frenzy" in comments.


Jacob Pauli said...

Although I have no doubts that the author is a friend of the friends of Dorothy, I have to confess the side story of Pace was borderline insulting. Tragic endings for queer characters are no longer interesting to me, and it's a trope I hope to see the end of soon, especially when it comes from a source that I would think to know better.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

thanks for your comment.

***spoiler alert***

I was certainly bummed at the tragic ending for Pace as well, but three things made this book work for me - despite the tragic ending for the queer character.
1. I loved the strong parallel that Francesca draws between the secret of the truth about yourself with both Liv and Pace. The whole being-gay is a secret just like being-a-werewolf is a secret was a really cool angle on homophobia and the whole us-versus-them thing going on in our culture.
2. knowing Francesca is such an Ally to our GLBTQ community, and has given us such amazing and strong gay characters in the past, complete with their own happy endings - I'm thinking of Dirk and Duck in both Weetzie Bat and Baby Be-Bop, I feel that the choices she made in the book as to Pace's storyline were artistic ones, and while I was sad about it, I respect her storytelling. There's also the thing about the ending being tragic as a cry against the tragedy, rather than saying 'this is what happens to gay teens.'
3. I felt that she was strongly hinting at a bittersweet ending for Pace after all - being able to be with the ghost boy he fell in love with. I kind of wished it had been addressed more fully at the end of the book, but there was a hint of hope to the storyline (when Liv passes the mansion and sees TWO lights on) that made me wonder...
Having said all that, I totally hear you, and respect your opinion. I just wanted to share mine.