Tania's Reviews > Blood and Chocolate

Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
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's review
Nov 05, 10

bookshelves: contemporary-fiction, fantasy, magic-realism, young-adult, occult
Read in June, 2010

Expertly written with gorgeous, lyrical prose, this book is also more mature and sexually charged than some of the other young adult fiction I have read lately. It's also one of the most “real” in how teens actually think and act, as opposed to many other YA books, whose characters are often much more innocent and sweet.

Vivian Gandillon is a beautiful, strong-willed teenage girl - and a werewolf. She’s proud of who she is. Unlike the protagonists of so many other YA novels, she is self-assured and confident and independent - a welcome change from characters such as Twilight’s Bella. Her problem is that she falls in love with a human boy, or as the werewolves call him, Meat-boy, and this isn’t very well received within her pack.

Meanwhile her pack is undergoing problems of its own - recent murders are threatening to put the pack in danger, and they are also in desperate need of a pack leader.

The story was completely unpredictable - I thought for sure I knew how things would turn out, based on all the other YA books I’ve read. I realized that so many of these books follow a formula - you just expect things to unfold in a certain way. But this book did not play by those rules, and I was even more entertained because of it.

The characters were all so rich, so flawed, and so believable. I already mentioned how much I enjoyed the writing. The author was sure to add many dog-like words to describe Vivian’s behaviors and actions: wriggled, panted, rolled, etc. and describes sights and smells the way a dog might experience things - yet all in a seamless way that fit Vivian’s character and didn’t clash with her human side. Here’s one of my favorite lines early in the book - when I knew I was hooked: "She relaxed on the warm windowsill and chewed on a piece of steak while she waited. Groups of kids were scattered across the quad, eating, talking, and sunbathing. Some of the boys had their shirts off, their flesh golden and slick as if they’d swallowed the sun. They were sweet to look upon. Her eyes lingered on them tenderly as she bit into her meat."

I don’t want to give anything away about the story, but I would highly recommend this book! This is YA fiction done right! There is a movie based on this book, but I’m somewhat hesitant to watch it because I doubt it will capture the beauty of the author’s words. But I will definitely check out other novels this author has written!

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