Blood and Chocolate Annette Curtis Klause
The main reason that sparked my interest was that the protagonist was a female werewolf. Which, to me, was something I’ve never read about before and I was curious as to see how the author portrayed her; trying to blend in the femininity and sentimentality with the animalistic, brutal traits of a loup-garou.
In the beginning, all I was thinking was… this protagonist, Vivian… is too perfect. But I mean, pretty much all heroines in YA novels were Mary Sues so I shouldn’t have been surprised. It’s just that she flaunted it, she was confident in her looks. In retrospect though, I think that even though she was just perfect outside, there was definitely an inner turmoil about her pack, her nature and humans around her. She had insecurities about her place in the world and they weren’t trivial shallow ones. Which made me like her more, but I can’t say she’s a favourite character.
I felt that the novel focused a lot on the sentimentality, emotional life that Vivian was going through and I guess I wanted some more observations on the characters around her and her past. But then I realized that it’s a third person limited omniscient narrative… I have definitely underestimated this novel because I feel like that perspective is a hard one to execute well and consistently (which Klaus did). Taking that into consideration, Klause portrayed each and every character well given the small amount of “screen time” she gave them through the eyes of Vivian.
I also liked the rather sensual narration; it wasn’t superfluous, it wasn’t perfect throughout but it was done quite aesthetically. I liked the development and pacing of the story. The plot isn’t particularly original, it’s the generic premise in many werewolf fiction but it was definitely executed well. I was thoroughly satisfied with the ending, it’s definitely not a typical happy ending, there was a slight twist.
I felt like maybe sometimes I have too much expectations for YA novels, I keep expecting more stylistic narration or exploration of themes and setting but I forget that I’m already 18 and these books are meant for 14~16 year old who are just looking for a thrill not profound literature. All in all, it’s one of the better written YA novels about werewolves I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Gabriel. I liked how he was portrayed as a bad guy at first, and through and through I thought he might stay as a bad guy (oh how naive I was, I should’ve seen it coming, I mean, it’s a YA novel after all) because he was Esme’s lover (briefly) and it seemed he was all lewd and pedophilic over Vivian (they’re 8 years apart damnit and she’s still in high school and he wouldn’t take the hint!) But I liked how things turned out. He suddenly became a tenfold more attractive when he started being more caring and all… the change in opinion that Vivian had for him was done very well through the narration.
Oh gosh, it’s just the characters were actually all logically constructed and developed and interesting. Although the entire time, I felt like Esme was such a b**** and a horrible mother but I can sort-of see where she’s coming from… she’s the “queen” and thus spoiled and her husband which she adored died… her course of actions made sense. I disliked Rafe and Astrid but they were intriguing characters nonetheless. I didn’t like Aiden all that much but I could see why Vivian liked him and why he fell for her and their relationship made sense.
- UNFINISHED (I think)