Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1965
There's more to life than chocolate.
Overall rating 
 
2.3
Plot 
 
2.0
Characters 
 
2.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
I only just liked All These Things I’ve Done, but I won an ARC of Because It Is My Blood, so I gave it a read. I was hoping for more Leo after the ending events of the first book, but again everything is narrowly focused on Anya. Nothing around her gets much attention, which bothers me. I want to know more about the world and the other characters, not just Anya.

I’m still not sold on this so-called dystopian society. As I said in my review of the first book, the illegal chocolate lost its novelty and just became annoying. There’s no real reason why it’s illegal, except that it makes a unique setting and clearly pulls readers in. Anya must escape New York, and she does so by heading to a cocao farm in Mexico. The whole plot ends up being about chocolate, much to my annoyance.

I was definitely interested at first though, because I thought we’d get some actual world building as the US is compared to Mexico. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Instead we get a lesson in growing and harvesting cocao, and a lame explanation that chocolate was expensive and is therefore illegal. The author had some missed opportunities to really make this world feel solid. It would have been more interesting to get details of Anya’s second and third stay in Liberty, which are again glossed over. At least then we’d get to learn something about the legal system.

“Anya you know I support you, but aren’t there bigger problems in the world than chocolate.”

Obviously not.

Even when Anya is back in the city, it’s still chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! There is more action, mystery, mafia stuff happening but the focus was still on Anya running the chocolate business. Occasionally, there’s a random tidbit that I’m sure was meant to be shocking, but those felt like they were simply stuck in there to be shocking, not to add to the plot.

Maybe it was just a case of mid-trilogy syndrome, but I liked Because It Is My Blood less than the first book. Since there’s only one book left, I’ll read it, but only because I am curious to see if Anya’s idea works.
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