The Compulsive Reader: Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin

Anya Balanchine knows what it's like to find herself on the wrong side of the law, and after her latest stint at Liberty Children's Facility, she's determined to follow a straight and narrow path. Unfortunately for her, the family business won't let her go so easily, even if her cousins would rather not have her actively involved. When she's forced to flee New York, Anya discovers just how much her family is influenced by the chocolate they produce, and perhaps she can even find a way to take a hold of the family business in an entirely new way.

In All These Things I've Done, Zevin chronicled Anya's descent into crime as she struggled against forces beyond her reach. But in Because It Is My Blood, Anya begins to fight back. Always looking out for her siblings' best interest, Anya uses her family's shady connections to protect them, even as she gets herself into deeper trouble with the law. In the midst of the cons, schemes, and corruption, Anya tries her best to do what is right, and along the way learns what it is about chocolate that has ensnared her father and the rest of her family for so many years. The unusual narrative is engaging and entertaining, and completely perfect for the story, although it is a little rocky at the very beginning of the book. It doesn't take long for the twisted plotline, shifting alliances, family secrets, and of course, forbidden love, to engross readers, and the story unfolds smoothly. Zevin's conclusion, and Anya's ultimate solution to her involvement in the family business, is clever and exciting, but Anya's story is far from over, and readers will have a lot to look forward to in the third installment of the Birthright series.

Cover Comments: I am not a huge fan of this cover. It does make Anya look edgier and dangerous, more like a rising star in her crime family, but that's not her character. And even though the jungle-like scene fits a setting in the book, it just looks off to me.

ARC picked up at BEA.


The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I had some trouble starting this book but once I was in, I was in. I cannot wait for the third book!

Loraine said...

Gah! I can't wait for the next one. Something about Birthright trilogy is addicting. Here's mine if you don't mind: http://lorxiebookreviews.blogspot.com/2013/02/because-it-is-my-blood-by-gabrielle.html

Thanks and have a nice day! :)