Review Detail

(Updated: June 24, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart

A beautiful story about following your dream!

Good Points
Aventurine the dragon is determined to prove that she is ready to leave her family's mountain cave. To do this, she sneaks out and captures a human. The human fools her into drinking magical hot chocolate that transforms her into a human girl! Although she struggles to make her way as a human, she is determined to follow her newfound passion for chocolate. Aventurine travels to the city of Drachenburg to get an apprenticeship at a chocolate house. She is turned away by two chocolate houses, but a bold girl named Silke helps her find her way to The Chocolate Heart - a chocolate shop in desperate need of an apprentice. Aventurine is hired on the spot. The mayor, angry with Aventurine's employers, tries to shut the chocolate shop down. Aventurine and Silke fight back, but their attempts are futile. The situation worsens when dragons are spotted flying overhead. The king is intent on killing them, but Aventurine realizes they are her family who have come searching for her. Aventurine has to confront her fears, stop an approaching war and do what it takes to follow her passion.

Aventurine was a strong and relatable character. She didn't feel understood by her family, who scorned her wish to explore the world. After she became a human, her love for chocolate kept her going even though she was rattled. Although she faced internal conflicts, her determination to follow her passion was inspiring. It taught a great lesson about never giving up. Aventurine didn't lose her spunk when she became a human, and her dragon-like confidence showed up in her personality. She never lost sight of herself as someone who could achieve everything she wanted to. If a human got in her way, she knocked them down (literally). Her fierce and courageous attitude made her all the more likable as she learned the true meaning of friendship.

Aventurine's narration was humorous and insightful. It was a fun way to see bustling city life. She compared her surroundings with what she was familiar with as a dragon, her remarks witty and ironic. Lucid descriptions increased the vividness of the setting and gave the story a fresh, unique feel. I enjoyed learning about how chocolate was made, and Aventurine thoroughly explained the process without making me feel as if I were enduring a lecture.

There was a great cast of characters. Each one was flawed, but I could identify with their personalities and understand their behavior. Marina was one of my favorite supporting characters. Her curt and dismissive attitude hid a woman devoted to her craft. I admired how she didn't let other people's opinions affect her.

I loved the mood of the story. Chocolate always triggers a fun memory of hot chocolate during a frigid winter's day, or snacking on candy after Halloween. I could relate to the joy Aventurine felt whenever she was around chocolate. I associate dragons with pride and staunchness, which reflects Aventurine's character. The sweetness of chocolate and fieriness of dragons blended together to make a thrilling book.

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart has a lovely cover, beautiful illustrations at the beginning of each chapter, and a length readers will not be daunted by. It has great messages about following your dreams and the power of friendship. It is a touching story perfect for any library. Chocolate, dragons, and a strong protagonist will make this an appealing book for anyone. I highly recommend it.
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