Book Review - Frenzy by Francesca Lia Block

Wednesday October 13, 2010

by Francesca Lia Block
September 28, 2010
Goodreads: Love is a werewolf, influenced by the moon and terror, and always about to change. Liv has a secret. Something happened to her when she was thirteen. Something that changed everything. Liv knows she doesn't belong anymore-not in her own skin, not in her family . . . not anywhere. The only time she truly feels like herself is when she's with her boyfriend, Corey, and in the woods that surround her town. But in the woods, a mysterious woman watches Liv.

In the woods, a pack of wild boys lurks. In the woods, Liv learns about the curse that will haunt her forever. The curse that caused the frenzy four years ago. And that may cause it again, all too soon.While Corey and Liv's love binds them together, Liv's dark secret threatens to tear them apart as she struggles to understand who-or what-she really is. And by the light of the full moon, the most dangerous secrets bare their claws. . . .

Review: This book is definitely different than any werewolf-themed book I've read to date. In fact it feels almost like the werewolf aspect of the story is used as a metaphor for just about any characteristic, physical or otherwise, that makes a teen feel like they aren't "normal" or are different than everybody else. 
Liv has always felt different but after her thirteenth birthday everything changes and her only really allies in life are her boyfriend Corey who is African American (which means Liv can't tell her obviously racists parents about him) and her best friend Pace who is gay. Pace must also hide his true self and together he and Liz use their friendship as a mask as they pose as boyfriend and girlfriend. This fact, in addition to the secrets about herself that she is keeping from Corey, is a constant strain on their relationship as he watches Pace and Liz act out their pseudo boyfriend-girlfriend relationship in public.

The plan is that Liv, Corey and Pace will soon escape their "prison" when they go away to college in the big city where they feel their lives will finally start. When mysterious things start happening to Liv and the murders continue in the forests surrounding her house, she feels this future may be in jeopardy. People in her strange little town are keeping secrets from her...including her parents who seem to keep her at arms length. Especially her father who looks at her sometimes with almost disdain in her eyes. Her grandpa tries to help her but are his ramblings the truth or just an old man who is a bit "confused"?

I enjoyed this read because like I stated earlier it is different than most paranormal books and I also think it has a message about how kids feel with being and feeling different than their peers and parents. In other words, I think a LOT of kids will in some ways relate to Liv. There is some pretty emotional stuff here including sex, underage drinking and death. I recommend this book for ages 14 and up.