baby be-bop francesca lia blockBackground information: Baby Bebop is a prequel to Francesca Lia Block’s Weetzie Bat books, now only in print in the compilation Dangerous Angels. A group in Wisconsin is currently suing for the right to publicly burn their local public library‘s copy of Baby Be-Bop. Let’s read it instead, shall we?

Dirk has always known that he’s gay, but he’s never told anyone: not his loving grandmother, nor her gay best friends, nor the young man he falls in love with when they’re teenagers. Full of self-loathing and afraid of anyone guessing, he defends himself with leather, punk music, and black hair-dye. He still gets himself beat up, and in the resulting semi-conscious state he gets a visit from some of his ancestors, telling their stories of love and life.

Francesca Lia Block specializes in an odd sort of Los Angeles flowers-and-fairies dreamy quasi-fantasy, and this is no exception. Plot-wise, there isn’t much to it, but it’s a beautiful book. It does tiptoe into sappiness, but in many ways its more of a love letter to gay teenagers than it is a novel; and love letters are allowed to be sappy.

Baby Be-Bop ~ Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books ~ Francesca Lia Block