Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Review- Blood and Chocolate (Annette Curtis Klause)

Blood and Chocolate


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?



As far as werewolf books go, Blood and Chocolate is one I can read again and again (and indeed I have). Written quite some time ago (1997), long before the hype of Twilight and other supernatural books like it. Blood and Chocolate follows the typical path of werewolf girl falling for a human boy, but it’s not all candy and roses.

Our main character Vivian finds kinship in a male teen, Aiden, from her high school, after she reads a poem he’s written for their school newspaper. The poem speaks to her wolf side on many levels and shows an understanding that she would never expect to find from a human. Teen romantic escapades ensue, and Vivian begins to believe that she could actually reveal her true self to Aiden and have a somewhat normal life.

“It's only a game, she told her herself, to see if I can snare him. But she wanted to know what was in a human head to make him write that poem, and she wanted to know why he'd stolen the breath from her lips"
- Annette Curtis Klause (Blood and Chocolate)

Vivian is hard character to empathise with. The author did a great job of giving her a lot of ‘canine’ traits that I would expect to see in a werewolf; aggressive, hyper-sexuality, conceited and drop-dead gorgeous. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make for an easy character to like. There are a lot of instances where her dominant wolf-side comes out and it’s not necessarily pretty or nice. 

“I'd like to feel my teeth in her throat, Vivian thought. I'd like to slit her gullet"
- Annette Curtis Klause (Blood and Chocolate)

Aiden on the other hand is your typical teen boy, who falls for a mysterious, beautiful girl. While his character loses some esteem in my eyes, I really can’t blame him for his faults. A teen boy can only accept so much.

I have a feeling there will be many ill feelings regarding the ending, but for me it makes perfect sense. I don’t want to spoil it, but Vivian learns that having someone who truly accepts and understands you as a mate is better than hiding who you truly are. Unfortunately, this may disappoint some people who were hoping for a romantic ending about love overcoming all obstacles blah, blah.

The wolf pack itself and all the main players really gave off the vibe of a pack. There was hierarchy, fights for mates, dominance, and a hell of a lot of misogyny going on. Which while may be difficult to read in this day and age with equality between the sexes as the ideal, it pretty much nails the principles of pack and canine behaviour on the head.

Overall an enjoyable re-read, that I will more than likely come back to again in the coming years. Definitely one of my favourite romance werewolf novels that appears to grasp the morals and conventions of a wolf pack, without any of the ‘sparkles’.  

My Rating 4/5

1 comment:

  1. Niiiice! I too read this one many many years ago. After 97 of course, and looooooooooong before Twilight was a gleam in Stephanie's eye I'm sure! LOL! I actually really really enjoyed it back then. A re-read might be necessary to see if the same feelings hold after many years, but I'd like to think it would.

    In some ways though, I really liked how things ended. The teen romantic in me might cry, but like you said, it's better to be with someone who truly accepts you for who you are. And I remember that much.

    Of course I shudder at the movie version of this one! Totally, totally wrong. But in a bizarre twist, at least it's like we get to have both HEA endings...though still shudders at all the changes!!

    Nice review! Had to see what someone else thought of one of my beloved early teen reads! ;)


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