Saturday, 14 December 2013

Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin (Young Adult, 10E/10E)

29th August 2013, Macmillan Children's Books
368 Pages, Paperback
Review copy

Content: Violence, blood, chocolate

Reluctant heir of a Mafia boss. Star-crossed lover. Paparazzi darling. Hitman’s target. Anya Balanchine’s amazing story continues in the second part of the Birthright trilogy.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 a cacao plantation in Mexico. There she learns the secrets of the chocolate trade, a trade that is illegal and deadly in her native New York. There too she discovers that seemingly random acts of violence carried out across the world have a single target: her family. As innocent bystanders get caught in the crossfire Anya must act fast and decisively to stop it, no matter what the danger to herself. 

The Mole's Review
The title and cover of this book look like another vampire story. I am not fond of vampire stories - although there have been some I really like there are many that have failed to delight - and so when I saw this I was dubious... but if you read the synopsis there is no mention of them. When it arrived my wife's reaction was "Sooner you than me." believing it to be a vampire story for the same reasons. So the cover and title do it a huge misjustice because it is nothing like that at all.

I sat down and started to read and became aware that I was all adrift in the story and realised that the cover doesn't explain that it's book 2 of a trilogy (Birthright Trilogy). Although I found I was story missing, the narrator (Anya) recognises that and explains enough for this book. I also found that the entire book was extremely captivating even when things weren't 'happening' - now that's good writing.

Anya is about to graduate (if she can find a high school) and girls of that age can be very 'boy orientated' - but she isn't and that makes this book so much better. She has a boyfriend, yes, but the focus of her life is on the important things in life - chocolate (well the family chocolate business to be more precise). This makes the book, I feel, accessible to both girls and boys of 11+.

My only regret with this book is not starting on book one (All These Things I've Done) because I think the story has progressed so far now that I could no longer read it. A great read - AND NO VAMPIRES! And start on book one please.

Nayu here! Apologies that you had to start at book 2. I loved book 1, but right now book 2 isn't the style I'm looking to read (it's not a super happy read...) I am delighted how much you loved it despite jumping into the trilogy part way. As ever a huge thank you for your reviews ^o^ 

No comments: