Tag Archives: werevolves

Review: Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

12 Apr

Series: No, stand-alone

Published: September 7th 1999 by Laurel Leaf

Details: Paperback, 264 pages

My Rating: 3.5/5

My Summary:

Stand-alone book about a werewolf girl who falls in love with a human boy. Or so I thought. It ends up being about so much more. First half of the book left me unimpressed, as the romance was dull and I couldn’t relate to the main character. But as I read more, it changed, and in the end I loved it! So all in all, a good book.

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A few chapters in:

This is another one of those pre-twilight books that I’ve heard is good.

With pre-twilight I mean paranormal young adult romance published before the Twilight Phenomenon. The first one that captured my attention was Old Magic by Marianne Curley, which despite its many rave reviews (from which age group I’m now wondering?) turned out to be.. well.. not so good.

I’m hoping that Blood and Chocolate will prove to be better, as in aimed not solely at 14 year-old teens (which seemed to be the case with Old Magic). Hence, it’s with a slightly wary feeling that I approach this book.

I’m now a few chapters in. The lead character Vivian is a werewolf. She’s part of a pack of werewolves who, following a terrible fire at their last residence, have been moving around ever since. The restlessness of not having a new place to live combined with the absence of a good leader is making the pack falling apart. In short, we’re meeting a pack in shambles.

Meanwhile Vivian, like any other teenage girl, goes to school. She is, and has always been an outcast in school, a fact that has never really bothered her..until now. In order to pass her free time, she creates arty pictures of her werewolf life, which is published in the school magazine.

One day she discovers that a poem written by some guy named Aiden is accompanying one of her published pictures, a poem that vividly describes the experience of being a werewolf. The fact that Aiden is human, and should know nothing about werewolves, peaks Vivian’s curiosity.

So much in fact, that she decides to contact him, which in turn leads to accepting his proposition to go on a date.

And this is as far as I’ve got. Vivian’s mom has just banned their planned date, because according to the pack, humans and werewolves just don’t mix. I think we can safely assume that Vivian is going to meet Aiden anyway…

 

 

After finishing the book:

Ok, I’ve finished the book and my first thought is this:

Thank god I am a stubborn reader.

Because, if I hadn’t been, I would have quit mid way through. No doubt about that. That first half dragged so much that I almost chastised myself for continuing.

Then somewhere after those first 150 or so pages, I gradually started to care, and before I knew it I was truly engaged in the story, so much that I would have given it a 4, hadn’t it been for the slow unimpressive start.

As for the plot, Blood and Chocolate opens with a setting we are quite familiar with now in the YA paranormal romance genre. A mythical creature (werewolf Vivian) falls in love with a human boy (Aiden) and the pack of mythical creatures (werewolves) do not approve.

Because of such a similar opening to other books I’ve read lately, I think I was expecting a different kind of story than it was. For one, I was expecting the love story between Vivian and Aiden to have been more captivating. I was expecting to watch them fall in love and then see them struggling against the problems that were sure to follow their star-crossed relationship.

So imagine my surprise when I watched Vivian head out on her first date with Aiden, I turned the page and next thing I read was a recap about how they’d now been together for a while. Say what?? No details, barely no conversations, nor explanations of what happened, or why they connected or anything. They saw each other at school, went out on a date (which wasn’t even described) and now that was it, they were a couple!

A lot of make out sessions followed, and I remained clueless of who Aiden was, nor was I very fond of Vivian as I couldn’t grasp her personality, more than that she was quite sure of herself when it came to guys. Meanwhile, we got to follow the pack as they struggled through some problems. Which didn’t help, because I failed to find anything engaging in any of the characters of the pack. In fact, they all seemed quite aggressive, volatile and egoistic, including Vivian’s mom who must be about the worst mom ever portrayed in YA literature. Well, that might not be true (I just recalled Janie’s mom in Wake), but you get my point.

And so that’s how it went on for a large chunk of the book. Needless to say, I struggled.

Then suddenly, it took an unexpected turn, and my interest was awakened ever so slightly, because what was going to happen now? I suddenly found myself having no idea.

Gradually, things started to spiral out of control and in the meantime I found myself caring for Vivian. She no longer seemed so sure of herself, and her thoughts started to make sense to me.  Some of the others in the pack started to stand out as well, in particularly one other person. If you’ve read the book, you know who I’m talking about.

At the end, I could not let go of the book. I really couldn’t. I think I read the last couple of chapters in one heart beat. So yep folks, this is something as unusual as a book that starts on a 2/5 and ends in a 4. How often does that happen?

Problem is now, could I really recommend a book with such a rocky start? Having read the full story now, I’ve almost forgotten how uninterested I was at first. In fact, I think that if I read it again, now that it all makes sense, I would probably enjoy this story so much more.

Finally, I’d say that if you like unpredictable books with a slightly darker tone (yet still hopeful) then yes, I do recommend you to read Blood and Chocolate. Just be prepared for a slow start, that’s all.

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