Rather than add four individual reviews, I want to review this series in a single post. There are five books – Weetzie Bat, Witch Baby, Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys, Missing Angel Juan, and Baby Be-Bop. The last of these, I read and reviewed in March.
Weetzie Bat focuses primarily on Weetzie and her best friend Dirk. Weetzie and Dirk, who live in LA, want very much to find love, so Weetzie wishes for that after discovering a genie in a magic lamp. I won’t tell you what happens, but this little book focuses much on love, family, loyalty, parenthood, and trust. The prose took me awhile to get in to, even having already read Baby Be-Bop. There’s a lot of skipping in time in the narrative, almost as if this was a cubist painting. I enjoyed it after I got a handle on the way it was written, but it was difficult at first.
Witch Baby was a little easier to understand, possibly because I read it directly after Weetzie Bat and was already used to the prose. The story focuses on a sullen child that lives in Weetzie’s home. She doesn’t think she belongs and doesn’t feel like she has an identity, so she lashes out at everyone. The story is about coming to understand and love yourself for who you are, but also tackles other issues such as coming out to one’s parents, interracial relationships in a time when such things were frowned upon, and immigration issues. I liked this one a little more than Weetzie Bat because it felt like it had a more cohesive narrative. Or maybe it’s just because I understood it from the beginning.
Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys
This third book in the series focuses on the two kids, now teenagers, in Weetzie Bat’s home: Cherokee Bat and Witch Baby, as well as their boyfriends, Raphael and Angel Juan. The families of these four teens are away filming a movie, so they are looking after themselves with the help of a family friend named Coyote. The four form a band called The Goat Guys and then learn what it means to lose your spirit to fame and addiction. Like any time I read a book about addiction, this was a very hard book for me to stomach, but I’m glad I read it. It was the first book in the series that seemed more cohesive, plot-wise, and it didn’t flop around dreamily like Weetzie Bat or Witch Baby. There was more of a single story rather than a whole myriad of stories tied together over long periods of time. I do like seeing how everyone ages and progresses, and I like what the four teens learned in this book, even if it was hard for me to read.
Missing Angel Juan
In this fourth book, Witch Baby’s boyfriend, Angel Juan, goes to NYC to try to find himself. Witch Baby follows after some time, looking for him. It’s a story about letting go of the ones you love, and about finding yourself. Honestly, I didn’t really understand a lot of the plot parts of this book – particularly Cake and the mannequins – not in symbolism or in reality. This book seemed almost too surreal and I didn’t like it as much as the others.
As for the series as a whole, I’m not sure what else I can add. Much of the prose is dreamlike in a way that was difficult for me to understand or really get into. I enjoyed the stories, but I have a feeling the series will fade in my memory pretty quickly.