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Lunch » Tags » Untagged » Because It Is My Blood (Birthright) » User review

as good as the first

  • Oct 25, 2012
Rating:
+5
**As the second in a series, this book (and the review) may contain spoilers for All These Things I've Done. You have been warned.**

Anya Balanchine knows firsthand that being the presumptive heir to an illegal chocolate empire comes with its fair share of complications. After a turbulent year filled with futile attempts to move beyond her criminal reputation and date a truly ill-advised boy-all while caring for her brother and sister-Anya is hoping that the start of autumn and her release from Liberty Children's Facility will bring with it calmer times.

Unfortunately, nothing about Anya's life after Liberty is calm. Her criminal record makes attending (not to mention finishing) high school nearly impossible.

Her little sister Natty has grown up during Anya's time away. Scarlet, her best friend, seems closer than ever to her odious boyfriend Gable. And Win? The boy who made Anya want to give up almost everything her family stood for seems to have a new love.

Anya isn't sure where she fits into this world where everything and everyone has moved on without her except that she hopes it has nothing to do with her extended family. Or chocolate.

Unfortunately, as ever, Anya's wants are overlooked as she is drawn back into the Balanchine's world of crime, chocolate and intrigue. Taken away from the city and the people that she loves, Anya will have to decide what price she is willing to pay for safety and who she truly wants to be in Because It Is My Blood (2012) by Gabrielle Zevin.

Because It Is My Blood is the second book in Gabrielle Zevin's Birthright series which started with All These Things I've Done.

As exciting as Because It Is My Blood can be, this novel's strength is in its focus on Anya. She is still impetuous and often acts rashly. But she is also circumspect and calculating-as is fitting of a mafiya princess, even a reluctant one.

While Anya struggles with familiar questions about her family and her identity, Zevin keeps the story original with her surprising turns and Anya's wry, eloquent narration. Readers will also notice Anya's continued growth as she moves out from her dead father's shadow (and advice) to begin making her own decisions.

Zevin also continues to delicately build Anya's world in Because It Is My Blood with some tantalizing hints of what readers can expect in the latter half of this series. As our heroine moves beyond the island of Manhattan, Zevin develops the politics of 2083 that surround a country where chocolate is illegal and many other items are in short supply.

Because It Is My Blood proves that Anya still has more to learn and even more tricks up her sleeve making this book another absorbing installment in an already gripping series.

Possible Pairings: White Cat by Holly Black, Strings Attached by Judy Blundell, The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

*This book was acquired for review from the publisher at BEA 2012

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Ranked #204
Reader, writer, blogger.      I have a master's in library science and information systems and am currently searching for a librarian position.      You can … more
About this product

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“An engaging heroine, lots of humor…in this Godfather for teens. B+” —EW.com
 
"Readers who enjoy mob stories and visions of future societies will be pleased. As in the first book, Zevin provokes thought about what we make illegal and why." —School Library Journal
 
"The idea of a world in which chocolate, coffee, and other stimulants have been outlawed is alluring, and Anya is a strong, smart protagonist. Fans will want to find out what happens to her.”—VOYA
 
"Discerning characters’ true motives will keep readers guessing, and the conflicting forces within Anya add an extra dimension of drama to this action-packed sequel. " —Publishers Weekly
 
"This sequel to All These Things I’ve Done (2011) paints on such a broad canvas that readers will be amazed at Zevin’s management abilities...Zevin’s strong suit is characterization, and it shines here. Whatever the nefarious plot, no one becomes a cartoon character—like chocolates, each is delicious in his or her own right." —Booklist
 
“Fans of the first will enjoy the author’s inventive combination of chocolate, crime and politics, as well as finding out Anya’s post-prison fate.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
"Anya's flaws are what make her a complicated, thoroughly human character, one whom readers will enjoy continuing to try to understand...Readers will love her, flawed as she is."
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