The book Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Clause, is an enjoyable spine-tingling thrill. Along with the fantasy in this story comes steamy romance, pleasing girls and boys alike. This fast-paced fantasy/romance book features, Vivian, a female werewolf in contemporary America. During the day she is a strikingly beautiful high school student and by night she is a strong and brazen werewolf. This story is not predictable, has well developed characters and is just a lot of fun to read. The perfect story to be reading around Halloween! Aahhwoo!!!
Vivian lives in a house with her mother and some other werewolf pack members. The bickering and fighting among them dismay her and she longs to be accepted by humans. Her problems start when she challenges herself to make friends with humankind. It leads to a relationship with a human boy, Aiden, who she falls in love and wants to "mate" with. This leads her to a confused state of mind, questioning her loyalty to her werewolf pack and to herself. Does she love blood (werewolf) or chocolate (human)?
The story progresses and she reveals her werewolf self to Aiden, who shrivels back in fear, rejecting her. She leaves his home in a fury, crashing through a window. When she wakes up the next morning with blood stained skin and blood under her nails she is shocked and worried that she has killed a human. She can't remember what had happened the previous night. When a human body is found in a dumpster behind a bar she fears that she committed the crime in her infuriated frenzy. When yet another body is found she worries that she is the one who has been doing the killing and decides she must commit suicide to protect the pack (great responsibility affecting the fate of others.) She douses herself in gasoline, but is unable to light the match. Some pack members show up and reveal to her the truth-- that another female werewolf has been killing, trying to set her up. She is saved in the nick of time, but the outcome of the book is still unknown, intriguing the reader right to the very end.
In the end, Aiden shoots her with a silver bullet that in werewolf folklore is said to kill instantly. However she doesn't die, but remains in a freak half-state of human/werewolf. The newly elected leader of the pack, Gabriel (a parallel drawn with the biblical archangel perhaps?), a hunky stud that wants her for his mate, comes to her and explains that she can choose to change from one to another form, but it is her will that must decide. When they begin to embrace in a physical way, Vivian changes to her wolf form.
The great quest in this book is not one of physical distance but a quest for self-discovery. Vivian must decide who she truly is.The story ends just the right way, satisfying the reader. Vivian comes to terms with whom and what she truly is. Throughout the book she despises Gabriel, the new leader of the pack. As she sees him displaying wisdom and courage as the leader, as well as protection, she begins to feel an attraction for him. She shows a maturing attitude towards her responsibility as a werewolf and the duty that she has decided to take on as Gabriel's queen.
A quote from Publisher's Weekly found on the Barnes and Noble Web site says this: "Though some readers may be alienated by Vivian's self-absorption, and others shocked by her eventual union with Gabriel, most will find this sometimes bloody tale as addictive as chocolate." This statement is so very true. Vivian flaunts her "knock-um-dead" beauty throughout the book, with a brazen attitude. She could be viewed as the "enemy" to an average teenage girl, while others may look up to her seeking to emulate her confidence.Either way though, one someone starts reading this book they won't stop. The reviewer is right. This book and others like it are as addictive as chocolate. See ya-- I'm off to find The Silver Kiss, another one of Klause's books.
Klause, Annette Curtis. 1997. BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers. ISBN: 0-440-22668-6.
Quote taken from Barnes and Noble Web site is available at: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=2WA2BZWTUB&sourceid=00406217247588868876&bfdate=11%2D01%2D2003+02%3A03%3A22&isbn=0440226686&itm=1.