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Because It Is My Blood

(Birthright #2)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  4,639 ratings  ·  523 reviews
“Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in.”- Michael Corleone, The Godfather

Freed from jail, Anya hopes that things will get back to normal. But life on the outside is even more dangerous than life behind bars. Some of her gangland family want revenge for the crime for which she has done time: the shooting of her uncle. Forced to flee the country, Anya hides out in
Paperback, 350 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Pan Macmillan
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Grace No, it mentions a lot if things from the first book and if you don't read the first book you'll be pretty lost.…moreNo, it mentions a lot if things from the first book and if you don't read the first book you'll be pretty lost.(less)
Noah Carrillo Yes, they will! Just read the book In the Age of Love and Chocolate, it is the sequel for the books after Because It Is My Blood and All These Things …moreYes, they will! Just read the book In the Age of Love and Chocolate, it is the sequel for the books after Because It Is My Blood and All These Things I've Done.(less)

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Average rating 3.91  · 
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Feb 28, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 13, 2012 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
Miss Susan
Mar 11, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abby Spicer
Because It Is My Blood ,written by Gabrielle Zevin, is the second book in a series of three. This book has a lot of action and keeps you on your toes. I really enjoyed getting to know the main character, Anya, along with her insanely weird family and friends. This book really intrigued me due to the cover of it actually giving a picture of what the author wants Anya to look like. This helped develop my idea of what all the characters look like.
This day in age, I feel like a lot of girls could re
usagi ☆ミ
4.5/5 stars.

I'll start off the review by saying that I love this world, these characters, and this series. I really hope this isn't the last book within it. "Because It Is My Blood" is not for the dystopian crowd that demands constant action and ridiculous love triangles, but instead, I'd say it's a quieter, sneakier, and more thoughtful book than many of the YA dystopian books out there at the moment. This one will sneak up on you when you least expect it and hit you right in the feels. There w
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, bea
**As the second in a series, this book (and the review) may contain spoilers for All These Things I've Done. You have been warned.**

Anya Balanchine knows firsthand that being the presumptive heir to an illegal chocolate empire comes with its fair share of complications. After a turbulent year filled with futile attempts to move beyond her criminal reputation and date a truly ill-advised boy--all while caring for her brother and sister--Anya is hoping that the start of autumn and her release from
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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,
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
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
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Bryan Alkire
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable YA novel. It’s interesting, mob daughter setup. It moves along nicely and is fairly short. The writing is readable and compelling, I actually wanted to pick up the book and keep reading when I stopped. Usually I can take or leave reading a book, but this one grabbed me. Granted, the world-building is still weak, but slightly improved from the first book in the trilogy. Still, premise is a bit far-fetched…why make caffeine illegal? Still not explained even as a stupid government aside r ...more
Mar 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
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! ...more
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked this better than the first book! I don't like all of Anya's decisions in this, and even less so, her best friend's taste in guys. It was a fun journey down to Mexico where she got a first hand look and some valuable experience into her family's business. Why is chocolate legal in Mexico but not the US?! I loved Theo's character. He became a fast favorite! This book starts off mild but be forewarned, tragedy will strike! And strike hard! I really felt I could relate more to Anya in this o ...more
Jul 20, 2018 rated it liked it
395 stars
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 favo ...more
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
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
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, young-adult
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
Sinéad Mannion
Sep 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If someone told me there is this book reminiscent of The Godfather but in young adult genre where chocolate and coffee are banned in a dystopian future…I’d have to say no thanks.

But it works; I loved the first instalment of Gabrielle Zevin Birthright series – All the things I’ve Done. Despite the silly premise of a future with no chocolate or coffee, the world Zevin created for Anya Balanchine a 17 year old from a New York maffia family is completely believable.

I was very excited to see what t
Feb 25, 2012 rated it liked it
*Genre* Young Adult
*Rating* 3.0


After being sent to Liberty Children’s Home in “All These Things I’ve Done,” 17 year old Anya Balanchine is now up for release. But, that's not the biggest problem or issue she has to deal with in this, the second installment of Birthright. She knows that her school doesn't want her back because she brought a gun to her school, and it appears that someone is trying to kill her, as well as her sister Natty, and her brother Leo who is still in Japan supposedl
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
Princess Bookie
Dec 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read2012
My Thoughts: We are back with Anya, you may remember her by her family or even as the girl who was dating Win. She’s pretty well known, as being a criminal.

We are thrust back into her life, as she is in Liberty Children’s Facility, serving out her sentence.

She’s released and gets to go back with her family for a limited time. She gets to see her best friend Scarlett who is dating her ex boyfriend. And then there is Win, sweet sweet Win who she must stay away from. Than she is thrown back into t
Shale Brenner
Jan 11, 2013 rated it liked it
The novel Because it is my Blood by Gabrielle Zevin was not what I expected. This being a sequel to her previous book All These Things I've Done, I was expecting a book of similar content. I was surprised to find out the this book was quite different, and in several ways. Her previous novel was a dystopian love story combined with her dealing with her crime ridden family, but this book had far less of the dystopian love story element than her previous book. This one focussed on her escaping pers ...more
Suad Shamma
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 2012
Because It Is My Blood engrossed me just as much as All These Things I've Done. Perhaps even more so, because I felt I was that much more invested in the characters and the Balanchine family.

Anya is such a strong and willful protagonist. She has already sacrificed so much for her family, and is willing to do so much more. The last we saw of her in Book 1 she had ended locked up at Liberty, and we begin this book with her release from the facility. Upon her release, Anya soon realizes that life w
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Should there have been more of win? 3 12 Jul 06, 2013 08:50AM  

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GABRIELLE ZEVIN is an internationally best-selling and critically acclaimed author, whose books have been translated into thirty-eight languages.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry spent several months on the New York Times Best Seller List, reached #1 on the National Indie Best Seller List, was a USA Today Best Seller, and has been a best seller all around the world. A.J. Fikry was honored with the So

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.”
“Oh yes, it's very tragic. Why does everyone always like love stories? What about absence-of-love stories? Aren't they much more common?” 7 likes
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