Review: Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klaus
Blurb from Amazon:
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?
Cover Love: I love the red wolf there. At first, I just thought it was red paint splatter on it. Why? I have no idea, I’m just weird like that.
What I love about this book is the old perspective of werewolves and the “Old Ways.” It feels like the current werewolves have gotten demystify and declaw in favor of more attractive werewolves. The werewolves in Klaus’s novel considered themselves as different from humans, and at points, superior and feel pity towards humans because humans are not wolves. They also called themselves Humus Lupus to signify their difference. It is a different change from the werewolves that crave to be human again. They embrace what they are in life and that is wonderful because people should not hate what or who they are.
Let’s talk about Vivian. She is a wolf who is dating outside her gene pool. She was an interesting character because she was in conflict with her identity. She doesn’t like the current werewolf pack mentality because her father isn’t leading it but it also feels more aggressive than what she is used to. Vivian likes the quick romance with Aidan because it is sweet and non-aggressive.
I didn’t really like Aidan; he felt like those types of rebels that try to rebel without cause and in the end, follow his father’s footsteps. Besides when Vivian was with him, she wanted to be aggressive with him so she was hiding what she wants in order to not hurt him. It was a relationship based on secrecy and I felt that he was too weak to accept what she was.
I definitely like Gabriel as the packmaster of the werewolves. He was strong and assertive. He cares about the pack. The Five is a group of young male werewolves around Vivian’s age and they are not really differentiable. We know their names but never get to know as individuals except for the description that Vivian gives us. Still, they were a fun group; serenading Vivian when she falls ill. It’s cute.
One of the things I find odd with this book is the relationship that Vivian has with her mother, Esme. Vivian always refers to her mother as “Esme.” In very rare instances does Vivian address her as “Mom.” It makes wonder why is there such a huge tension between them. There has to be more than her mother moving on from the death of her husband or maybe it just that. I wonder if it just a style Klaus choose to implement but even if we are reading from the third-perspective, we are still inside Vivian’s head so why is Vivian addressing her mother by her real name. It is just odd to me. Nonetheless, it doesn’t really detract from the novel.
I’m going to give it a 4.5 because I really like the book. I understood where Vivian was coming from in terms of rebelling against the traditions of the werewolves. The werewolves and their beliefs are a breath of fresh air. I also love Gabriel’s short story at the end. It was a bit bittersweet like dark chocolate.
31st in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: Where are you reading?-Virginia