I Was A Teenage Fairy

Block, F. L. (1998). I was a teenage fairy. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.

A life of a young girl trapped in her mother's dream of being a model - this is Barbie's life. The book starts examining Barbie's life at the age of 11.  Her mother, a woman with a failed dream, drives her daughter to be the model she couldn't be. Barbie continues to model into her teens, and when she is 16 years old meets Todd. Todd is another model who later becomes Barbie's boyfriend.  Griffin, Todd's gay roommate, also becomes very good friends with Barbie.  Barbie is the product of a dysfunctional family.  Her mother forces her to be a part of the modeling world by any means necessary, putting Barbie in harm's way when she meets a photographer, who she and Griffin call a crocodile because they don't like him.  Both Barbie and Griffin have been sexually molested by this photographer, and that's why they both see a fairy named Mab.  Mab talks to Barbie in this incredibly difficult time in her life.  She motivates her and is there for her when nobody else is. Mab ultimately counsels and ensures that Barbie and Griffin find happiness despite all the sexual abuse and heartache that comes from being part of the modeling world.

Franchesca Lia Block presents some intense situations for Barbie and Griffin.  Barbie's ability to overcome these situations with the help of Mab alludes to a scene in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. In Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio vents about one's helplessness because Mab, a fairy, has an effect on how young people live their lives, their feelings, emotions, and on the decisions they make. I connect this with the Mab in this novel because the reader is left to decide whether Mab is real or not. It can be argued that Mab represents Barbie's and Griffin's deepest desires - to be free of that world, to be whole, and to be happy.

Franchesca Lia Block has another excellent novel titled Echo. This book also deals with a female protagonist struggling to find her identity in Los Angeles.

Requirement: work by Franchesca Lia Block
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