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Because It Is My Blood (Birthright #2)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  3,888 Ratings  ·  491 Reviews
"Every time I think I'm out, they pull me back in." —Michael Corleone, The Godfather

Since her release from Liberty Children's Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. No high school wants her with a gun possession charge on her rap sheet. Plus, all the people in her l
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Square Fish (first published September 18th 2012)
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Because It Is My Blood takes its name from a twist on a line from the Stephen Crane poem, In The Desert, which is also the epigraph to the novel.

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter-bitter," he answered;

"But I like it
"Because it is bitter,
"And because it is my heart."

It's an almost perfect fit for the second book in Gabrielle Zevin's birthright trilogy, although the full e
Sep 15, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The mafia, chocolate, the near future, the pseudo-end of life as we know it. All these things were what drew me to ALL THESE THINGS I’VE DONE, book one in the Birthright Trilogy by Gabrielle Zevin. In the end, ATTID ended up being one of my top twenty books of 2011 for its well-crafted blend of family drama, romance, action, and chocolate.

By the time BECAUSE IT IS MY BLOOD rolled around, I admit, I had forgotten some of the intricacies of book one (some important details from book one are not r
Maybe even a 5.
And I couldn't even tell you why...Though of course, when I get around to reviewing it, I'm certainly going to try. ;D

I ended up rounding up after consideration. Growth, my friends. Still can't quite put it all into something coherent, but I connect to Anya a lot for some reason.
Review to come closer to the release. :)

After being told about Gabrielle Zevin for years (after having her relentlessly pushed on me by certain people, and 1 in particular, who shal
Apr 02, 2012 Roxy marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
It's a little odd that the cover shows a girl with such straight hair when we're told more than once that Anya's got frizzy curly hair... Just sayin'.
Looking at the synopsis it appears Win has a new girlfriend. I don't like that but I will see where this book leads.

After reading:
I like how the story progressed. Some of the things Anya had to go through were unfair but she made it work. Her trip to learn about cacao was a nice addition. I'm looking forward to the conclusion of the story.
Oct 22, 2012 Shaylee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is going to be a long review, so if you want my overall consensus, skip the the very end.

Lately, I've been growing a little tired of the current young adult books. While this book is not the kind of book that will become a classic ( in my opinion, I would probably have rated this book four and a half stars, maybe even a four if it was for Anya's entertaining character), it's not some typical dystopian or vampire book. The ideas in the book seem realistic enough to me. Where you might read
This book, it did not make me happy. In fact, it did the opposite - it made me mad. Also, irritated.

(view spoiler)

I did enjoy the time in Mexico, specifically, the cacao. I would have liked more of that. Yet, I grew to hate the stupid machete so maybe less of Mexico would have been better? Man, that machete...ugh.

I continue to wonder about the purpose of Mouse. She's going
Book two in the Birthright series, Because It Is My Blood introduces a host of new characters and new intrigues in Anya Balanchine's life. Leo, Anya's older brother, has been safely hidden in Japan, with the help of Yuji Ono. Nataliya, or Nattie, has been sent to a summer camp for gifted children and returns a young woman. Scarlet, Anya's best friend is in a relationship with Gable, much to Anya's dismay. Anya, Leo, and Nattie are still grieving the death of their grandmother Galina. Anya realiz ...more
Nov 17, 2012 Miss rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
La La
I will be reviewing this trilogy as a whole on my blog soon. The first two books I read pre-blogging, and I have a huge list of those early YA books which need to be reviewed. Thank goodness I read mostly series and I can review those early (most of the time library borrowed books) in groupings. I loved this trilogy so much I bought them in hardcover for my shelves! I first found out about this trilogy in a book club on a Harry Potter social site I belonged too. We affectionately called them the ...more
Some people's family problems come from money, power struggles, history. Anya's come from chocolate.

Anya Balanchine's family's involvement in chocolate goes way back. But in a dystopian world where chocolate is an illegal substance, her family name is drenched in infamy. Anya is determined to have a chocolate-free future, to be a model citizen and avoid the conflicts of the year behind her. But like any chocolate lover knows, sooner or later you're back for more. And with Anya, it's in her blood
I liked this more than the first book in the Birthright trilogy. It took me a long time to get on board with a future in which chocolate and caffeine are outlawed because it made no sense to me, especially since alcohol isn't against the law in this imagined future. I'm still not sure the pieces of this dystopian future fit perfectly together, but I like Anya's voice and her story enough, plus many of the supporting characters, that I can shrug through the discordant bits. And she did explain th ...more
What a disappointing sequel this book was. Although the first book had been far from perfect, it still kept me interested, while this one…not so much.
The main problem seems to be how contrived the storyline feels. If it were a marionette show, you’d see the strings being pulled. Everything is too coincidental. The trip to Mexico Anya suddenly takes makes little, if any sense, and the reader can see it was written mainly to get her to the next point in the story. It’s not fun reading books that a
May 20, 2013 Gaby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I worry sometimes that I'm too enthusiastic about the books I review. There are some books that I skim over and am not that fond of - I often opt not to review them as I'd much prefer to spread the word about books that I believe give a good return on the time spent. I've been told that I should write a bit more about these books, if only to show that I am able to discern the good from the bad.

But this time, yet again, I have to enthusiastically recommend the second book in the Balachine novels,
Anna Hakopian t (-_-t)
Like why is chocolate banned in the first place? Unhealthy reasons or conspiracy theories? I don't even think the author knows.

People die, Anya goes to Mexico, she and Win get back together then breakup then reunite then split up. The twist in the book is really confusing. Too many people are involved.

God bless the final book for being way shorter!
3.5 เลมนีสนุกขึนจากเลมทีแลว(จริงๆเลมแรกกสนุกดีนะ มีความนาติดตามแตเราใหดาวนอยเพราะรูสึกวาเนือเรืองมันไมไปไหนสักที) เนือเรืองเขมขนขึน ...more
Het vervolg op All These Things I've Done heeft gelukkig veel meer actie dan haar voorganger. Bovendien vind ik dat ons hoofdpersonage Anya in Because It Is My Blood veel persoonlijke groei doormaakt; ze leert zichzelf en de wereld om zich heen steeds beter kennen. Het veelbelovende einde maakt me bovendien enorm nieuwsgierig naar het laatste boek in deze serie..

Mijn complete recensie vind je op Oog op de Toekomst.
Apr 01, 2012 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved "All These Things I've Done", so I was thrilled with the second installment in the "Birthright" trilogy! Anya really comes into her own in this book, accepting her family's history and embracing her dangerous inheritance. Teens and adults should check out this addictive series!
Anya's time in Mexico is easily my favourite part of the entire series. It's not just because Central and South America are dear to me and I loved reading a book in that setting, or that it was fantastic seeing Anya learn the ins and outs of cacao, it can also be greatly attributed to Theo.

Theo is a very fun, easy-going character, but there is so much more to him than meets the eye. While he acts silly and playful all the time, he's also incredibly smart. He picked up on all sorts of clues as t
I have mixed feelings about this book. It is good at many places, but there were a few times where Anya's decisions got on my nerves. Especially her habit of holding grudges. But keep that aside, the book is really good. This book is not as fast-paced as the first one, which gives the reader a better understanding of things and the writing doesn't seem rushed.

Anya. I liked her and was at some points irritated by her. She is a head-strong protagonist and actually takes actions rather than some of
Mar 09, 2014 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, 2014
4.5 stars. It's been nearly two years since I read the first book in this trilogy, so I didn't remember it in detail, but this follow up did a nice job of filling in the blanks and making me remember why I liked the original book in the first place. This book begins with Anya's release from Liberty, a detention facility where she's been held due to her underworld connections (her family is the head of an illegal chocolate empire) and shady behavior. After her release, she flees the country to Me ...more
I went back to a time where chocolates are illegal and there’s a yummy mafioso I can’t wait to read more about. Because It Is My Blood is the sequel to All These Things I’ve Done and I must say one of my highly anticipated books of the year. Though I didn’t give it a full mark that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it nor it didn’t live up to my expectations (because it did!). Me little self is just a bit frustrated that I didn’t know what happened (or how he was characterized here) to my favorite ...more
Lenore Appelhans
BECAUSE IT IS MY BLOOD opens with Anya in Liberty detention center, about to be released. After the dramatic events of the first book, Anya is determined to go legit and put chocolate and the illegal family business behind her. She has small, immediate goals like finishing high school. Win is now dating someone new and his father Charles' campaign is in full swing. Charles' competitor uses his bitter history with Anya to her advantage and Anya is forced to flee to Mexico where she come to realiz ...more
Melissa Railey
I love this series. I had forgotten just how much I loved it until I picked up the second book (which I've had for nearly a year) and started reading it. Once I started reading it, I absolutely refused to be interrupted until I finished reading the book a couple of hours later. First off, the idea of chocolate being illegal breaks my heart. It my favorite food and I can't imagine living in a world where I couldn't have it. But I just love Anya. She's such a strong character and refuses to let an ...more
Jun 17, 2013 Janina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopian
I thought this was great sequel to All These Things I've Done. I was really happy to see all the positive changes and decisions that Anya was making throughout the story. She really has started developing as a character and becoming more mature. But still Anya continued to go through many struggles and challenges dealing with trust and the law. You root for her to push forward even go she's going through so many difficult things. Being pick on by your ex boyfriend's dad. I mean seriously, how ma ...more
Kirsty (overflowing library)
I have been waiting for what seems like an age for this book. I loved the first book in thes series and had ridiculously high hopes for this one and am glad to say I really enjoyed this instalment too.

Because it is my blood follows on directly after the first book in the series joining Anya after her release from liberty. Throughout the course of the book Anya discovers more about herself, her role in the family business and discovers who has been targeting her family unit over the course of th
Renee Thomas
Oct 23, 2012 Renee Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very worthy sequel. I'm still trying to process some thoughts etc. but it was most certainly as gripping as its predecessor, which is saying something.
I cared about Anya and where her life was headed (which was often in several conflicting directions, the poor girl!) and I still have those side characters to whom I will always be loyal (Mr. Kipling, I love you!)
While I didn't shed any tears, there were certainly some emotional moments contained within these pages, and I applaud Zevin for not
I only just liked All These Things I've Done, but I won an ARC of this one, so I gave it a read. I was hoping for more Leo after the ending events of the first book, but again everything is narrowly focused on Anya. Nothing around her gets much attention, which bothers me. I want to know more about the world and the other characters, not just Anya.

I'm still not sold on this so-called dystopian society. As I said in my review of the first book, the illegal chocolate lost its novelty and just beca
Stefanie Hasse
„Von Kipling & Sons hatte man einen Blick auf den Madison Square Park. Nach Einbruch der Dunkelheit trieben sich dort die Schokoladendealer herum. Als ich klein war, hatte mein Vater mich dorthin mitgenommen. […] Damals hatte ich auf der Welt nichts lieber gemocht als Schokolade, es war die Zeit, bevor sie mein Leben zerstörte und mir alle nahm, die ich liebte.“
(S. 77)

Nur ein kurzer Moment Unachtsamkeit nach ihrer Rückkehr aus der Liberty Erziehungsanstalt. Nach einem endlosen K
Jun 06, 2012 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
This follow up to All These Things I've Done is not quite as good as the first, but it's darn close. The plot doesn't seem quite as tight, but Anya Balanchine is still one of the best, smartest, yet not without her faults, YA heroines around. Anya is the heir apparent to a mob family that controls the black market chocolate trade in a future New York where chocolate and caffeine are illegal in the Second Prohibition. Anya tries to distance herself from the family business and lead a clean life a ...more
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Should there have been more of win? 3 12 Jul 06, 2013 08:50AM  
  • Skipped
  • Spark (Sky Chasers, #2)
  • The Rivals (The Mockingbirds, #2)
  • The Forgetting Curve (Memento Nora, #2)
  •  Magisterium
  • 1.4 (Point 4, #2)
  • Truth (XVI, #2)
  • Dark Destiny (Dark Canopy, #2)
  • After the Snow (After the Snow, #1)
  • Wicked Sweet
  • Glass Heart (Cold Kiss, #2)
  • Anything But Ordinary
  • Scrivener's Moon (Fever Crumb, #3)
  • Thumped (Bumped, #2)
  • The Innocents (The Innocents, #1)
  • Mothership (Ever-Expanding Universe, #1)
  • The Paradox of Vertical Flight
  • Beta (Annex, #1)
Gabrielle Zevin is the New York Times Best Selling author of eight novels. For adults: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (2014), The Hole We’re In (2010), and Margarettown (2005). For young adults: Elsewhere (2005), Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac (2007), and the three books in the Anya Balanchine series, All These Things I’ve Done (2011), Because It Is My Blood (2012), and In the Age of Love and Choco ...more
More about Gabrielle Zevin...

Other Books in the Series

Birthright (3 books)
  • All These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1)
  • In the Age of Love and Chocolate (Birthright, #3)

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“Win interrupted me. "Stop," he said. "I love you, too." He paused. "You underestimate me, Annie. I'm not blind to your faults. You keep too many secrets, for one. You lie sometimes. You have trouble saying the things in your heart. You have an awful temper. You hold a grudge. And I'm not saying this one is your fault, but people who know you have a disturbing tendency to end up with bullets in them. You don't have faith in anyone, including me. You think I'm an idiot sometimes. Don't deny it--I can tell. And maybe I was an idiot a year ago, but a lot has happened since then. I'm different, Anya. You used to say I didn't know what love was. But I think I learned what it is. I learned it when I thought I had lost you over the summer. And I learned it when my leg ached something awful. And I learned it when you were gone and I didn't know if I'd ever see you again. And I learned it every night when I'd pray that you were safe even if I never got to see you again. I don't want to marry you. I'm just happy to be near you for a while, and for as long as you'll let me be. Because there's never been anyone else for me but you. There will never be anyone else for me but you. I know this. I do. Annie, my Annie, don't cry..."

(Was I crying? Yes, I suppose I was. But I was still so awfully tired. You can't possibly hold this against me.)

"I know that loving you is going to be hard, Annie. But I love you, come what may.”
“The heart is so peculiar. How light and how heavy it can feel at the same time.

How light.”
More quotes…