Thursday, December 12, 2013

In the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin [Review]

In the Age of Love and Chocolate (Birthright, #3)4 out of 5 Robots!

In the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin
Series: Birthright #3
Genre: YA Dystopian
Release: October 29, 2013
Hardcover: 286 Pages
Publisher: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
All These Things I’ve Done, the first novel in the Birthright series, introduced us to timeless heroine Anya Balanchine, a plucky sixteen year old with the heart of a girl and the responsibilities of a grown woman. Now eighteen, life has been more bitter than sweet for Anya. She has lost her parents and her grandmother, and has spent the better part of her high school years in trouble with the law. Perhaps hardest of all, her decision to open a nightclub with her old nemesis Charles Delacroix has cost Anya her relationship with Win.

Still, it is Anya’s nature to soldier on. She puts the loss of Win behind her and focuses on her work. Against the odds, the nightclub becomes an enormous success, and Anya feels like she is on her way and that nothing will ever go wrong for her again. But after a terrible misjudgment leaves Anya fighting for her life, she is forced to reckon with her choices and to let people help her for the first time in her life.

In the Age of Love and Chocolate is the story of growing up and learning what love really is. It showcases the best of Gabrielle Zevin’s writing for young adults: the intricate characterization of Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac and the big-heartedness of Elsewhere. It will make you remember why you loved her writing in the first place.
(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
In the Age of Love and Chocolate is the final book in the Birthright series.  Fans of this series will be happy that things are wrapped up very well by the end.  But this book certainly takes it time getting there.  Gabrielle Zevin is in no hurry to finish Anya's story, even though this book is only 286 pages.  But this doesn't mean that it is boring.  In fact, there is a lot going on.  Anya's nightclubs take off, old enemies resurface and new allies emerge.  Anya still has to deal with the fallout between her and Win from the previous book and recognize that her little sister is growing into a young woman.  Anya is still her prickly self, but she makes some very big breakthroughs and finally starts allowing people in.

This wasn't my favorite book of the series.  I still think the first book, All These Things I've Done, is the strongest.  But I think it was probably my second favorite.  I enjoyed seeing how the characters change and adapt and live their lives.  And the book ends on a hopeful note.  At least a couple years pass in this short book, so not a lot of time is devoted to events.  Gabrielle Zevin could easily expand these books, but the "short and to the point" writing style fits, in my opinion.  It is a sort of epistle style written by Anya after the events of the series.  The writing is no frills, no fuss, very direct and even blunt.  But it is exactly like Anya and because of that, I liked that it mirrors Anya's personality so well.

Overall, I think this is a dystopian series that deserves more recognition.  It has a unique premise (chocolate and coffee have been outlawed) and combines some Mafia-esque elements.  It is set just far enough in the future that things from the present are remembered in the same way our grandparents remember things.  If you like dystopians, this series should definitely be on your list.

Other books in this series in the order that they should be read:
1. All These Things I've Done
2. Because It Is My Blood
3. In the Age of Love and Chocolate

1 comment :

  1. I'd definitely agree - the first book is by far my favourite, and this one is my second. On rereading the series I'd forgotten how upset I got halfway through the book! Although I do think that Anya's visit to Mexico is probably my favourite part of the entire series.



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