St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9781250005496, 272pp.
Publication Date: October 16, 2012
From a star YA author Francesca Lia Block an adult novel about a student, haunted by the disappearance of a friend, who must face the truth
"The Elementals" is on one level an intriguing coming-of-age novel about a young woman, Ariel Silverman, facing the challenges of her first years away at college in Berkeley, California, while her mother battles cancer at home in Los Angeles. But the book takes on deeper, stranger meanings when we realize that Ariel is haunted by the disappearance of her best friend, Jeni, who vanished without a trace a few years before, closing Ariel's heart and changing her forever. Ariel wonders if she will ever be fully alive, until she meets three mysterious, beautiful and seductive young people living in a strange old house in the Berkeley hills. Through them Ariel will unravel the mystery of her best friend's disappearance and face a chilling choice.
"Block returns with her distinctively smoldering style. Primarily aimed at young adults, this book may appeal to an adult audience as well, with its shimmering imagery and nimble characterization. Well-paced and lushly written." --Kirkus
"The Elementals [is] a fever dream of a novel, an exercise in the surreal. Few novelists mix reality and magic better than Block, though the magic here is very dark, and the atmosphere she creates with her richly ornamental language is sometimes as purposely oppressive as a greenhouse on a hot summer day. Block has fashioned a novel that is both familiar and original and represents a new and salutary maturity in her evolving work." --Booklist
"Block skillfully weaves an occult thread throughout her thrilling new bildungsroman… Block’s fresh take on the coming-of-age story is a compelling and quick read, and her dark renderings of familiar college types will keep readers engaged and guessing as the pages fly by." -- Publishers Weekly
"The late great Diana Wynne Jones would approve of Lia Block's The Elementals, a hypnotic account of a girl's first years in college following the disappearance of her best friend on a school trip and the diagnosis of her mother's cancer. As a portrait of a troubled and impressionable girl, Ariel Silverman shimmers in the very air between page and eyelashes. Tam Lin meets the tabloids." —Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Out of Oz
“Lia Block has supernatural literary powers, and they glow in The Elementals." —Kate Bernheimer, author of The Complete Tales of Lucy Gold
"You’re going to adore this full-length novel." —Charles De Lint