Title: Blood and Chocolate
Author: Annette Curtis Klause
Review Summary: With unique social norms in place to govern sexual tension and a propensity for violence, these are werewolves done right.
This is primarily a coming-of-age story. As werewolf Vivian’s pack struggles with the loss of their leader, Vivian herself struggles to figure out who she and what she wants. Her confusion is only increased when she falls for a human who she desperately wants to accept her for who – and what – she is. When a murder puts both her pack and her human friends in danger, Vivian is stuck in the middle of the conflict between them.
This is definitely a book with some high school drama, as Vivian starts a new school, goes on dates, and tries to make friends. Through it all, Vivian has typical high school concerns, but also deals with the more challenging problems facing her pack plus her questions about her own identity as both a human and a wolf. Despite her teenage concerns, Vivian is never too angsty. She is ruled by her emotions and makes some extreme, sometimes even stupid decisions, but her heart is always in the right place.
Because of the werewolf element, there’s a second dimension to this story that lifts it above and beyond the typical high school story. There is an element of sensuality, from Vivian’s confident character to the rich descriptions of places and feelings, which makes the book both a little more adult and a lot more fun. Finally, there’s a great twist at the end that just puts the finishing touch on this unusually sexy werewolf story. I loved this as a young adult and was extremely happy with how it held up to a re-read.