Book of the Week – March 10, 2008
Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause – Characterizing the adolescent experience as monstrous is not exactly a new idea. M.T. Anderson’s woefully confused teen vampire in Thirsty and Jean Thesman’s reluctant young witch in The Other Ones serve as excellent examples of this metaphor set to fiction. But no one really captures how our hormones make us howl as well as Annette Curtis Klause. Blood and Chocolate chronicles the longings and passions of one Vivian Gandillon, teenage werewolf. Her pack family, recently burned out of their West Virginia home by suspicious neighbors, has resettled in a sleepy Maryland suburb. At her new school, Viv quickly falls for sensitive heartthrob Aiden, a human–or “meat-boy,” as her pack calls him. Soon she is trying to tame her undomesticated desires to match his more civilized sensibilities. “He was gentle. She hadn’t expected that. Kisses to her were a tight clutch, teeth, and tongue… His eyes were shy beneath his dark lashes, and his lips curved with delight and desire–desire he wouldn’t force on her… he was different.” But Vivian’s animal ardor cannot be stilled, and she must decide if she should keep Aiden in the dark about her true nature or invite him to take a walk on her wild side. Klause poetically describes the violence and sensuality of the pack lifestyle, creating a hot-blooded heroine who puts the most outrageous riot grrrls to shame. Blood and Chocolate is a masterpiece of adolescent angst wrapped in wolf’s clothing, and its lovely, sensuous taste is sure to be sweet on the teenage tongue (ages 13 and older) — Jennifer Hubert (from Amazon).