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Because It Is My Blood
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Because It Is My Blood

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1651972,171 (4.01)9
Member:storiesandsweeties
Title:Because It Is My Blood
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Info:Pan Macmillan Childrens, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
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Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin

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» See also 9 mentions

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I still can't wrap my mind around a time where chocolate is illegal in the United States--I'd definitely have to move out of the country! Anya is still having trouble with the law, with her family, and with her love life. At least in this book we see her starting to take charge rather than just letting things happen to her. Can't wait to read book three to see how it all ends. ( )
  TeresaKander | Aug 4, 2014 |
This is Book Two of the trilogy that began with All These Things I’ve Done set in a future New York in which alcohol is legal but chocolate is banned, except for medicinal uses.

In this book, Anya, now 17, escapes from yet another stint at the Liberty Children’s Facility and hides out in Chiapas, Mexico, learning the chocolate trade of her family. She stays at a ranch where cacao is raised and where charming 19-year-old Theo Marquez teaches her all about its growth and cultivation. And of course, the process is a metaphor for Anya’s life. As Theo explains about cacao:

“Attempts to genetically modify her beans have all been complete failures. She needs to struggle or the cacao produced will not be the richest. She needs to face certain death over and over again. ... But ... everything worth loving in this world is difficult.”

Anya works in the fields with Theo, and also learns to use a machete, a skill that will come in handy.

When she returns to New York, she comes up with a plan to capitalize on her new knowledge, and help get herself and her family out of their legal problems. It may not be good for her love life, but it is chocolate that is in her blood. ( )
  nbmars | Jan 4, 2014 |
I have not read but I did read 3 reviews. Maybe another day.
  DeanClark | Oct 18, 2013 |
I wasn't so sure in the beginning of this book, but it redeemed itself by the end. I'm still eyerolling at Anya's insistence on trying to hold onto her highschool sweetheart, but watching the rise of a 17yo mob boss is undeniably enjoyable. ( )
  seekayou | Aug 20, 2013 |
I worry sometimes that I'm too enthusiastic about the books I review. There are some books that I skim over and am not that fond of - I often opt not to review them as I'd much prefer to spread the word about books that I believe give a good return on the time spent. I've been told that I should write a bit more about these books, if only to show that I am able to discern the good from the bad.

But this time, yet again, I have to enthusiastically recommend the second book in the Balachine novels, Because It Is My Blood.

The book is set in the future and it follows the story of Anya Balanchine and her family after her brother has escaped to Japan to avoid incarceration. Anya has survived her stint the NY juvenile facility but finds her future uncertain. She has been expelled from her old school before her senior year. Her best friend is pregnant with her ex-boyfriend's child. Her love and other ex-boyfriend has moved on despite his vows of eternal love.

Anya faces these heartbreaking problems with humor and spirit. Her resilience and grit -those characteristics that had us cheering for her in the earlier novel All These Things I've Done - are back in spades and we find ourselves hoping that Anya beats the odds yet again. This time, she faces larger grown up problems - the loss of her guardian, the threat of assassination, the possible loss of whatever is left of her family.

ISBN-10: 9780374380748 - Hardcover $14.00
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (September 18, 2012), 368 pages.
Review copy courtesy of the publisher. ( )
  gaby317 | May 20, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374380740, Hardcover)

“Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in.”- Michael Corleone, The Godfather

Since her release from Liberty Children's Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. No high school wants her with a gun possession charge on her rap sheet. Plus, all the people in her life have moved on: Natty has skipped two grades at Holy Trinity, Scarlet and Gable seem closer than ever, and even Win is in a new relationship.But when old friends return demanding that certain debts be paid, Anya is thrown right back into the criminal world that she had been determined to escape. It’s a journey that will take her across the ocean and straight into the heart of the birthplace of chocolate where her resolve--and her heart--will be tested as never before.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:40 -0400)

In 2083, seventeen-year-old Anya Balanchine seeks a way to make Balanchine Chocolate legitimate, and although a trip to Mexico gives her new insights and ideas, escaping her mobster family's legacy of violence may prove impossible.

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Gabrielle Zevin is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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