Monday 1 October 2012

275. Birthright Trilogy Book 2: Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin

Birthright Trilogy Book 2: Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin
Published October 2012 Macmillan

From the publisher:

Reluctant heir of a Mafia boss.
Star-crossed lover.
Paparazzi darling.
Hitman's target.
Anya Balanchine's amazing story continues in the second part of the Birthright trilogy.
Gabrielle Zevin is one of my favourite authors, and Elsewhere is one of my favourite books.  This book is the second in what has now been called the Birthright Trilogy.  The first book came out in 2011 called All These Things I’ve Done.

The setting of this story is New York City in and things are a little different to what we know today.  For one thing, and the big thing in this story, is that chocolate is illegal.  You need a license to use Facebook and other social media, there are very few ‘paper books’ left and there is a city wide curfew for under 18s.

This book is like The Godfather, where the characters are teenagers, and the thing that the family is fighting over is chocolate. The Balanchine family is famous in the world of chocolate, more specifically the world of illegal chocolate supply.  This series follows the trials and tribulations of Anya, her sister Natty and their brother Leo as they navigate the family business and figure out where their future lies.

This book is the second in the series, as I mentioned, and it wouldn’t really work as a stand alone title.  In fact if you have the chance you might like to re-read the first one to refresh your memory, because I know I struggled to remember exactly where we left off!

While the first book is set solely in New York, Anya travels to Mexico in this story, to see the other side of chocolate.  She visits and works on a Cacao farm.  The facts about growing, harvesting, fermenting and drying are all accurate and interesting when you think of the issues surrounding cacao farming today i.e.: child labour, fair trade etc. 

In this book Anya starts to question why chocolate is illegal, when there are many health benefits as well as the fact that it just tastes so good.  The mention of chocolate being used for its medicinal properties, starts Anya thinking of a way she can change the face of her family business. For those of you that love a recipe in a book, there is also a recipe for Casa Marquez Hot Chocolate at the front of the book.  This recipe is also a key element in what will be a new business opportunity for Anya…which we will see in book 3.

As well as all of the chocolate talk, there is also a love story between Anya and Win that began in book one, and ended with Win being shot.  And there’s the introduction of Theo, whose family farm she world on while in Mexico, I think Theo may reappear on book 3!  There’s also a lot of Mafia type activity with car bombings, bribery, corruption prison time and not knowing who exactly you can trust…especially within your own family.

If you have read and loved All These Things I’ve Done I highly recommend you go and find this book, you will like it, but it will leave you desperate for book 3…which is kind of how I feel about chocolate!

If you can’t get enough about chocolate: here’s a link you may find interesting

Who will like this book: Girls age 14+
Read it if you like: 
All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin

1 comment:

  1. Gah! I can't wait for the next one. Something about Birthright trilogy is addicting. Here's mine if you don't mind:

    Thanks and have a nice day! :)