Saturday, October 15, 2011

Review: Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause



Title: Blood and Chocolate
Author:
Annette Curtis Klause
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publishing Information: 264 pages; August 11th, 1997 by Laurel Leaf
Series: Stand alone

Where I got it:
E-book from the library

One sentence:
Werewolf Vivian Gandillon feels torn between her love for her wolf-body, and her desire to be normal; so when she falls in love with the human Aiden, she finds her loyalties tested to the limit.

Themes:
Urban fantasy, romance, werewolves, mystery, murder, suspense,

Main character:
4.5/5
Vivian was such a different character than what I am used to in YA fiction. She came off initially as arrogant and brusque, simply because she was incredibly self-confident. I loved how passionate she was about who she was- it a refreshing change from the protagonists who based their self worth only on their love interest. Further, her manipulation and sexuality is so different from countless other main characters that I’ve read. I enjoyed how open Klause was about Vivian’s downfalls, which made me enjoy her selfless and sweet moments even more.

Secondary characters:
3.5/5
I’m gonna be honest, I didn’t particularly like any of the secondary characters, except maybe Aiden. Vivian’s mom was ridiculous: over-the-top in her sexuality and attempts to be at the top. The Five were childish and rude. I was turned-off by Gabriel’s ease at letting the women fight over him and at his lack of respect for his elders. Still, I found it realistic with the premise and I didn’t find it distracting to the point where I couldn’t read any more. Each of the characters had their own redeeming qualities which allowed me to see past some of their faults.  Aiden himself was sweet and kind, but also a fully developed character with a background and faults that became obvious.

Writing style: 4/5
The pacing was perfect- the description was light but illustrative, the action was intense and spaced well, and the balance between the two was just right. Vivian’s dialogue fit her character perfectly, and I never had that moment where I scoffed at something. I loved the separations based on the month and moon descriptions, and the wolf-colloquialisms that pointed to a werewolf-culture.

Plot:
4/5
While certainly nothing new, I found Klause’s spin on the werewolf-novel fascinating. In particular, the plot wasn’t necessarily human-centric. While Aiden was an important catalyst of change for Vivian, the novel focused on her and her struggles with being a werewolf. The world-building was also particularly outstanding, and I found that it added another, deeper level to the book that made it all the more enjoyable to read. The clash at the end was also stunning, especially this little character/plot twist, and the solution to the mystery was thrilling.

Ending: 3.5/5
I’m not sure how I felt, just because it was kind of out-of-the-blue. However, it didn’t feel wrong in any way, and I enjoyed the romance.

Best scene:
The final clash at the river

Positives:
Original characters, writing style, plot

Negatives: Plot originality, unlikeable characters, out-of-the-blue ending

First Line: Flames shot high, turning the night lurid with carnival light.

Cover: Pretty! For the ‘90’s. Fits the book particularly well- the moon phases, girl-wolf, chaotic colors.

Verdict:
A fascinating and sexy read that predates many of our YA favorites, but is just as good.

Rating:
7.9 / 10

2 comments :

  1. I read this book years ago and I loved it! I have my own copy. Unfortunately, the movie was WAYYY different, but okay in it's own way if you forget what you read when you watch it. As for the spin on the werewolf novel, well, Klause wrote this over ten years ago, so it might have been on of the first YA werewolf novels. :)

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  2. I once saw a friend at my camp reading this book, and she enjoyed it immensely. It also seems as if Stephanie Meyer and this author had telepathy. Maybe they're twins seperated at birth!

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