Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Published in 1997
Recommended Age Group: 14 and Up
Summary: Blood and Chocolate is the story of a sixteen-year-old werewolf named Vivian. After the death of her father, who was also the pack leader, the pack moved to the suburbs of Maryland. They have a difficult time deciding on who should be the new leader and the pack fights and bickers constantly. At her new school she meets a human boy named Aiden who is sweet and hangs out with a group of people who rarely bicker and accept Vivian readily. Vivian welcomes the change and spends more time with them than with the pack.
Eventually Vivian realizes she is in love with Aiden and wonders what this will do to the already struggling pack. She wants to reveal herself to Aiden, who loves things like werewolves in books, but at the same time doesn’t want to put the pack in danger. On the night she reveals herself there is a brutal murder. Vivian wonders if she is the murderer because she has no memories from the time that the murder took place. It becomes clear that the murderer is a werewolf and the pack must catch the murderer without revealing the murderer or the pack. In the end a pack leader is chosen, Vivian finds love and peace, and the murderer is brought to justice.
Personal Notes: I devoured this book starting and finishing on the same day. There were many aspects of it that were interesting to me. It shows Vivian’s struggles with acceptance and relationships both in and out of her family/pack. I was captivated by the story and loved that it was told from a werewolf’s perspective instead of the human’s. Many of the books I’ve ready about supernatural creatures are from the human’s point of view and it was a welcome twist. There were some parts that made me uncomfortable while I was reading them, Klause was a little explicit in some of her descriptions and maybe took it a step too far for the age group. There was nothing serious (like descriptions of sexual encounters) but some groping and nakedness in descriptions that never lasted longer than a sentence. Overall it was a great book, exciting, romantic and suspenseful, all the right elements for a teen reader.