This is a review of the book “Blood and Chocolate” by Annette Curtis Klause.
Vivian Gandillon loves the change from human to wolf, and at sixteen she’s a strong, confident and beautiful with all the young werewolves on her tail. But a disaster year ago threw the pack into chaos and she longs to escape it and live a normal life, and Aiden, a human boy, gives her that chance. Surely he, who dreams of witchcraft and magics, would understand her and love her for what she is and not fear her. But then disaster strikes. Humans are being ripped apart and the werewolves are in danger and Vivian’s choices will put everyone in danger.
This is set in a normal world like our own, in a Maryland suburb. It is a hot, warm place and one can almost feel the heat when reading the book. There are wooded areas close enough for the wolves to occasionally run, and when the full moon comes there are state parks close enough to reach with a two-hour drive.
The main character, Vivian, thinks and acts like a born and raised werewolf. She is strong, she is confident and she enjoys being a werewolf. She doesn’t try to hide that part away or conform to human standards even if she does worry about it a bit occasionally. I enjoy that about her, but I do kind of think that she is a bit annoying in her stereotypical teenager-ness and with her daydreams of a white-picket-fence and then, later, her stalking of Aiden. I suppose that when one puts all this together it makes her a surprisingly well-written character.
The other characters in the book are also surprisingly well-developed despite being secondary. The Five are jerks and Rafe is just stupid, Vivian’s mother is on-and-off and hot-and-cold all the time. The rest of the werewolf pack is a squabbling mess. Aiden, the human lover, and his friends are almost stereotypical and annoying in their teenage innocence and daydreaming which, I suppose, was why Vivian was so enamoured with him and his human life. I did enjoy Aiden at the very end. That made me like him as a character.
Gabriel is just about the only main character who isn’t annoying in any way, although I am not completely certain if I understand the romance between him and Vivian – though that is mostly from Vivian’s side. She both is and isn’t abrupt in her growing to like him, if that makes sense. But still, their story together is good.
The book is excellent compared to the movie that came out in 2007. The movie butchered the book completely and even if I hadn’t read the book when I watched the movie, I could see that. I could easily notice the bad script and that there was something grossly wrong with the ending. It simply didn’t fit. The movie should be burned and forgotten. Read the book instead which certainly doesn’t try to soften up or hide the true, raw viciousness of the wolf – which is in contrast with most fiction of this type that has appeared in the past few years. I really enjoyed that.
Despite this not being my type of book, I think that it was a good story and an okay read, and I do recommend it.