A few month ago, Random House approached me about featured one of their books that has been banned or challenged in order to bring awareness during banned book week. I jumped at the chance because I feel very strongly that no reader should have to fight in order to have access to any book. Blood and Chocolate, the book I am reviewing today, was one of the most frequently banned books between 2000-2009.
I received this galley in consideration for an honest review.by Annette Curtis Klause
Published by Random House on August 11, 1997
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal
Vivian Gandillon relishes the change, the sweet, fierce ache that carries her from girl to wolf. At sixteen, she is beautiful and strong, and all the young wolves are on her tail. But Vivian still grieves for her dead father; her pack remains leaderless and in disarray, and she feels lost in the suburbs of Maryland. She longs for a normal life. But what is normal for a werewolf? Then Vivian falls in love with a human, a meat-boy. Aiden is kind and gentle, a welcome relief from the squabbling pack. He’s fascinated by magic, and Vivian longs to reveal herself to him. Surely he would understand her and delight in the wonder of her dual nature, not fear her as an ordinary human would. Vivian’s divided loyalties are strained further when a brutal murder threatens to expose the pack. Moving between two worlds, she does not seem to belong in either. What is she really—human or beast? Which tastes sweeter—blood or chocolate?
I think the interesting thing about Blood and Chocolate is that it was written pre-YA explosion. (meaning, pre-Twilight). It’s less shaped by trends and market studies, at least to me, and it was a much grittier style than I think we see a lot of today in young adult. Vivian is not your typical shape shifter/werewolf, in that she loves it. She loves being who she is and she loves being a predator. Falling in love with a human ruins everything (of course – doesn’t it always?) but there are also a lot if problems with the pack. Their leadership issues and the violence surrounding it brings a lot of unwanted attention. The fight scenes and tension surrounding the question of who will lead the pack really drives the pacing of the book. It’s very dark and the romance, while passionate, has a darkness to it, as well, since Vivian realizes that they are up against almost insurmountable odds. While Blood and Chocolate isn’t quite the type of book I usually read, I think that people who love werewolf stories will really enjoy Blood and Chocolate‘s raw and unflinching story.
Random House is allowing me to give away one copy of Blood and Chocolate! Just enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win. You must be 13+ to enter. Open to US residents only.