Was this meant to be a grin? I certainly hoped not. Cobrawick was at her most dangerous when smiling. Through careful adherence to rules—all but one, all but once—I had managed to avoid the woman for the entire summer. Cobrawick interrupted me. Watching them grow up and make better lives for themselves.

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In the desert I saw a creature, naked, bestial, Who, squatting upon the ground, Held his heart in his hands, And ate of it. I said, "Is it good, friend? This is going to sound like a backhanded clunker of a compliment, but nevertheless, I feel that I enjoy this series in spite of myself. But Zevin makes them work, and I do. I like this series a lot. Accepting that she is not just a daughter of chocolate, she is chocolate.

Cue eye roll. Discriminating readers are exacting when it comes to dystopian or futuristic worldbuilding and rightfully so. I also like to consider myself among their numbers. I need to believe the world in order to feel invested in the story. But for me, this series was never about the logic of outlawing chocolate.

Because I believe that here Zevin is presenting illegal chocolate as more of a symbol than a strict possibility. In this sense, chocolate or cacao may be representative of both the current and future possibility of banning or regulating substances, with exception for certain medicinal uses.

Are you seeing what I see? Ok, good. Also, no government has engaged in a little fear mongering to their own ends. This idea of propagating misinformation to manipulate public opinion is not new, nor is the fact that prohibition of substance use will be always challenged. This is a firmly character driven series.

Though she makes mistakes and is occasionally blinded to the real danger by her own fierce protective instincts and family loyalty, Anya is a character with agency.

The story develops because Anya does. Because she is forced to adapt, scrutinise, fight and make decisions. Above all, she is compelled to question herself - her future, her faith and her very nature.

Or something else entirely? Because It Is My Blood develops existing minor cast members, and introduces several new characters - most notably the Marquez family, with whom Anya takes refuge when circumstances necessitate her flight her from New York. It becomes part of her. I thought this was an interesting direction for the story to take. The theme of family is prevalent once again, and all of the main relationships undergo change.

Because It Is My Blood maintains the direct, confessional style of narration, with Anya occasionally speaking directly to the reader in pointed asides.

This appears to be a hit or miss approach with readers, but I find that I enjoy it a lot.


Because It Is My Blood





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