[Review] Blood and Chocolate - Annette Curtis Klause

Title of Book: Blood and Chocolate
Author: Annette Curtis Klause
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Year: 2007
Language: English
Format: Ebook
Pages: 184

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? 

Blood and Chocolate is a young adult urban fantasy novel about a girl named Vivian who’s a loup-garou or werewolf. She used to live peacefully with her pack. Until some of them decided to up the game and start killing people. The humans who live near them suspected them and tried to chase them away by burning their home. The fire ended up killing Vivian’s father who’s also the pack’s leader. Now, they’ve left and moved to the suburbs area of Maryland. Without a leader, the pack is beginning to fall apart. Vivian feels that she doesn’t belong to the pack anymore. Instead, she finds her place among the Amoeba. A social group consists of her school friends. The problem is the members of Amoeba are humans and Vivian falls in love with one of them.
I must say I didn’t expect to enjoy reading this book as much as I did. I read some reviews that praise this book. But I haven’t read that many urban fantasy novels especially the one about werewolves; which is why I didn’t put high hope for this book. I ended up liking this book anyway.
Though I haven’t read many werewolves book, I believe that this book’s interpretation of werewolves is the best one yet. Other media’s representation of werewolves usually is just human who happen to have other beastly form. But in this book, the werewolves do have wolf instinct. Their society, the pack, has their own social structure and rules which may make us cringe a bit (because the pack is a chauvinistic patriarchal society). But how the author sort of infused their canine behavior into every aspect of their life is interesting.
The main character, Vivian, if I see her as a human being; I’d describe her as a selfish, mean-spirited, and over sexualized teenage girl. In fact, all of her clan (including Vivian’s mother) behave that way; nasty and vulgar. But then again, these ‘people’ are driven by their animal instinct. All they had in mind is survivals which means food and reproduce (if you know what I mean). Once I had that in mind, I got used to these characters. But the premise of this book is how Vivian got caught in between. She wants to have normal life as a human, but she realizes that she still has this strong animal instinct.
This book has its flaws. For example, Aiden who is Vivian’s love interest. In my opinion, his character is just dull. He seems kind and gentle at first but he’s a coward. He’s like any other teenage boys. He often says how he longs for something different with his life which I suspect is his way trying to act to be cool. I wish the friendship between Vivian and Bingo (if I’m not mistaken) was explored more. It would be interesting to see how the female friendship between werewolf and a human portrayed in this book.
All in all, it was a fun and enjoyable read. Although I don’t recommend this book for young readers as they might take it at face value and think that such behavior depicted in this book is okay.

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