“Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in.”- Michael Corleone, The Godfather
Since her release from Liberty Children's Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. No high school wants her with a gun possession charge on her rap sheet. Plus, all the people in her life have moved on: Natty has skipped two grades at Holy Trinity, Scarlet and Gable seem closer than ever, and even Win is in a new relationship. But when old friends return demanding that certain debts be paid, Anya is thrown right back into the criminal world that she had been determined to escape. It’s a journey that will take her across the ocean and straight into the heart of the birthplace of chocolate where her resolve--and her heart--will be tested as never before. (from GoodReads)
Can I just say that I love how the titles to this and All These Things I've Done form a sentence? "All these things I've done because it is my blood" has a really nice ring to it and I hope the author continues with the sentence for the next book.
I wasn't super enthralled with All These Things I've Done but I definitely enjoyed Because It Is My Blood. There was more back story as to how the United States got to where it is and the reasoning behind the chocolate, paper and caffeine prohibition. That was one of my problems with the first novel in this trilogy. I liked seeing Anya interact with her criminal family because that's the most compelling part of the series. Everyone loves a Mafia story and now we have a teenage heroine who is the heir apparent to a huge crime organization. It's pretty awesome.
New York City is always a great place for a book to be set, but it was nice for Anya to travel to Mexico for a change of pace and scenery. Seeing where the illegal chocolate is grown was very interesting and added depth to the overall story.
The romance with Win continues to occur even with the obstacles between the relationship. I thought the love between Win and Anya occurred a little too quickly in All These Things I've Done but now it didn't seem too unrealistic, especially since more time has passed. I liked Win well enough but it doesn't add too much to the story because I want to read about Anya and her crazy family.
Overall, I think this series is pretty good and I love reading about a strong heroine. There's a bit of twist in Because It Is My Blood and I can't wait to see what's next for Anya. I also can't wait to hear the title for the next book!
Rating: 8 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from the library.
2012/Farrar. Straus and Giroux/350 pages.