Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause is an
intriguing fantasy story that will capture the reader’s interest from the beginning.
Kirkus Reviews refers to the
book as, “… a fierce, suspenseful chiller.” Klause superbly
weaves a story that involves, romance, horror, the complexities of a relationship, and accepting one’s own self. Told through third person narration
we are introduced to the beautiful and strong Vivian Gandillon. Vivian is not
your typical teenage girl; she is a werewolf, or a loup garou. Vivian has the
power to transform into a wolf like creature, and as it gets closer to a full moon the process becomes easier. On the night of the full moon, the change becomes inevitable. The
loup garou can hold off the change for a few minutes, but not without nausea and fatigue.
If these creatures reveal themselves, they risk extinction.
takes place in the suburbs of Maryland as the clan struggles
to find a permanent home and choose a new pack leader. Vivian has no friends and feels extremely out of place. She stills misses her dead father, the pack leader, whom died in a fire that also killed many other clan
members and has left them displaced and homeless. She is struggling with the
political division of her wolfpack and the typical pressures of being a teenager. Vivian
now finds herself falling in love with Aiden, a “meat-boy,” a human. For
what first began as an innocent flirtation, has now turned into an intense relationship and Vivian longs to reveal herself
to him. Now, she is torn between two worlds and does not feel she belongs
in either of them. “What is she really--human or beast? Which tastes sweeter--blood or chocolate?”
to reveal herself to Aiden with the thought that he would surely understand and appreciate her dual nature. As Klause describes Vivian’s change Booklist states that, “Klause’s imagery is magnetic, and her language fierce, rich, and beautiful.” “The change came fast then. Her
arms lengthened, her legs shortened, her joints reformed. She uttered a guttural
cry of pleasure as her spine extended into tail, the bone quickly wrapping itself with flesh, then fur. She felt the creaking, crunching as her jaw extended, and her eyes now saw the rainbows around each candle
flame. …Aiden’s face was white in the flickering candlelight, his
eyes large. He drew his limbs close to his body.
…His mouth opened in a gash and from it came a hideous whining sound. Naked
and wormlike, he cowered on the bed like a nightmare view of an asylum inmate. (P.168)
horrified by Vivian’s transformation and she flees through the window. Revealing
herself had proven to be a horrible mistake and has put her clan in serious danger.
Vivian is tormented by murders that are occurring in their community. She
thinks to herself, “ I tried to be what I wasn’t, and now I can’t even be what I should. I’m a freak! … and now because of me a boy is dead.”
(P. 254) Eventually, Vivian
discovers her place and realizes that her loyalties lied with her pack and that she was most complete when she was with her
the book are somewhat graphic and there is quite a bit of sexual content. However,
Klause has done a superb job of creating a plot line with all of the characteristics that create a suspenseful and powerful
novel. Booklist states, “This violent, sexy novel is a seamless, totally convincing blend of fantasy and reality
that can be read as feminist fiction, as smoldering romance, as a rites of passage novel, or as a piercing reflection on human
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