Blood + Chocolate
Author: Annette Curtis Klaus
Young, wild, and free (pretty close to the Wiz Khalifa song, just without the weed), Vivian loves to run under the moon. She had a great life in wild & wonderful West Virginia until the fire that consumed it entirely.
With her father dead, the pack is in ruins and leaderless. Vivian struggles to find anywhere she belongs because it’s not with the pack anymore and it’s certainly not with humans. Not until she meets Aiden anyway. A meat-boy, he sweeps Vivian off her feet and into a life she didn’t think capable. As a wolf, she’s strong and graceful and she worries greatly about accidentally revealing herself to him as they grow closer.
Soon enough it is time to move forward that means electing a new pack leader and many believe Gabriel should step up. Vivian, however, doesn’t. He’s cocky and thinks too highly of himself, in her opinion. His eyes never stray too far away from her though and he warns her to let Aiden go. What could he be hiding?
She has to decide who she is and what she and where she belongs. But who will she choose? Her pack or the sweet and invigorating life she has with Aiden? Blood or chocolate?
I read this book every single summer between June and July and actually had to buy a new copy not long ago to replace a really worn and torn version. This is a book I give five volts to easily. My heart and soul just fall into it and it’s such an easy escape. And, I did tell you that I love werewolves, so that helps.
This coming of age novel puts us in the driver’s seat of what it’s like to be a teenager with Vivian, and then makes it more complicated because she’s a werewolf. She struggles with more than just teenage hormones and boy drama, but also trying not to reveal what she is. All the while she feels forced into a parental role due to the circumstances within her splintered family.
Every inch of detail in the book was laid out with such exquisite beauty. There are several parts I always revel in and let myself pause on just so I can linger in them. Annette Curtis Klaus did a wonderful job of describing the change from human to wolf down to the very follicle of fur as well. Backing it up with beautiful lore and history tied to in depth emotional attachment was really icing on top of the cupcake. I couldn’t get enough.
It’s not that Vivian is a relatable character for me because I can’t say that I’m as confident as her, and I can’t run as fast as her (stupid asthma), and I certainly can’t turn into a beautiful loup-garou under the moon. It’s how she is described as strong and free and how she embraces who she is, but then begins to contemplate it all. We all struggle with our identity and how the people in our life affect that. Being able to be in Vivian’s head and know her thoughts was also amazing. Her inner voice is very different than her real voice. She gives a perfect example of how different a person acts in reality compared to how they truly feel inside.
The comparison between blood and chocolate was beautiful as well. I’m not going to give away too much, but I will say that it really helps you define what you want versus what you need. Vivian’s struggle with this makes it extremely relatable. We all question what we really need.
It’s a fantastic story and yes, I recommend it. Am I biased? Of course, but I think we all get biased over our favorite book.
“I will howl for you, human boy, she thought. I will hunt you in my girl skin but I’ll celebrate as wolf.” (Vivian, p. 31)
“Don’t give that human anything we can’t have or we’ll give him something too.” (Finn to Vivian, p. 42)
“Isn’t midnight magical?” Vivian asked, and stretched her arms to the stars.
“Not real magic.” Aiden said. “I wish it was…I wish something magical would happen.”
You want magic? I could give you magic, she thought.” (Vivian and Aiden, p. 103)
“He was raw and sharp and rich and throbbing with life. He was sweet blood after a long hunt.” (Vivian, p. 263)
P.S. Song today? Howl by Florence + The Machine.
More to come soon…