Blood and Chocolate
By Annette Curtis Klause
Ember (August 14, 2007)
The story is of werewolves really, and Vivian the young girl destined to be the Alpha Female of the pack but who instead finds herself falling in love with a human boy named Aiden. Vivian is an amazing, strong girl when she is with him – but that is not all of her and she longs to show Aiden the other part – the part of her that comes from a darker bloodline than he could imagine.
Vivian is forced to make a choice, as she is in line to become the next alpha female and the “mate” of Gabriel, the leader of her pack. But the more Gabriel pursues her, the harder Vivian pushes him away and pursues Aiden. She finally decides to show her transformed self to Aiden, believing he is different and will see her beauty beyond her form. Unfortunately, Aiden reacts with fear and rejection, leaving Vivian broken and rejected.
After a confrontation with her pack, Vivian is wounded when she takes a bullet meant for Aiden and finds herself stuck halfway between her human and her werewolf forms, and unable to fully transform into either. Dejected and isolated from Aiden, who is convinced he can somehow “save” her from the beast inside, Vivian finally gives in to Gabriel and accepts that she cannot give up that half of her soul to become human forever and she cannot trust herself completely as a beast when she is with Aiden, a “meatboy,” and live a human life with him. The story ends with Vivian taking her place along Gabriel as his mate and she becomes the alpha female of the pack.
OK so it is a werewolf love story which is pretty close to a vampire love story. There are differences which made me want to read this book (and not some others on my shelf).My main attraction was to see if there was a real difference in the character motivations and story dynamics. And there are some, primarily that werewolves stick together as a pack; as a family. Vampires may be part of a family, or coven, but usually they hunt alone and are usually fleshed out as solitary individuals. Werewolves are characterized by more unified behaviors in stories like Blood and Chocolate: they hunt together, they breed together, and they protect each other and share to survive. But they must exist in the daylight as humans so they can live as beasts in the night. One form ensures the survival of the other – just like with vampires, witches, and other morphing creatures in fantasy stories.
This book is well written, if you like werewolf love stories where the underlying lesson is “stick with your pack because no one will ever accept beauty in a form other than their own.” I have to admit that I honestly did not care for it myself, but I can see where teens would find it intriguing and tragic.
Vivian is a strong and mysterious girl trying to find her place in the world – a world torn between the two pieces of her beautiful soul: one part human, one part hunter. Fighting back against the rule of the pack to pursue her passion for Aiden, the human who has stolen her heart and might just accept her dark side, forces Vivian to choose between her worlds and decide which part of life tastes sweeter.
Information about the Author
Annette Curtis Klause was born in 1953 in Bristol, England, and is an American writer and librarian, specializing in young adult fiction. She is currently a children’s materials selector for Montgomery County Public Libraries in Maryland. She now lives in Hyattsville, Maryland with her husband and their cats. She holds a B.A. degree in English literature and an MLS degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Genre: Fiction; Fantasy; Horror and Supernatural; Romance; Science Fiction/Fantasy
Awards: South Carolina Book Award for Young Adult Book Award (2000), YALSA Best Books for Young Adults (Top Ten) (1998)
Content Area: Character and Values; Culture and Diversity
P. 170-171 is a great place to read from as Vivian wakes up the morning after revealing her alternate form to Aiden, hoping for his approval and love. She has the taste of blood in her mouth but no memory of anything past the moment he rejected her and she jumped out the bedroom window in shame and miserable disappointment. Something terrible has happened, but Vivian is not sure what or if she is responsible.
Text Measures/Reading Level:
Quantitative: Lexile Measure®:720
Reading Level: 12 and up
Interest Age: 9 and up
Always check the American Library Association website for strategies and tips in handling challenges to library materials at http://www.ala.org/bbooks/challengedmaterials/support/strategies
Film: Blood and Chocolate, (Rated PG-13) released in 2007 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0397044/
Why This Book?
Honestly? Because I thought the cover art was interesting! And because I was were-curious I guess. I am definitely a chocolate girl myself though.