Book Review: Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause




by Annette Curtis Klause

Flames shot high, turning the night into carnival light. Sparks took the place of stars. The century-old inn was a silhouette fronting hell, as everything Vivian knew was consumed in fire.

Talk about annoying purple prose! I don't think this author knew what plain-speaking is. Line after line of description, over colored and annoyingly full of words nobody uses today--phrases like "shivered deliciously" and "obeyed slavishly" and "tangled tawny hair." I rolled my eyes.

Especially at the beginning.

If I wasn't listening to the book on tape (on my 2 hours a day of driving to and from work), I might not have noticed how annoying the purple prose was. It was a good lesson in what not to do and why. Oh, I always try to write in plain language. I try to make my descriptions matter of fact and useful. But now I know I'll be more faithful to this endeavor.

And then the girl gets this crush on some school boy, and the romance was so melodramatic. Teeny-boppery. I rolled my eyes some more. In the movie, I had liked Aidan. In the book, I hated him. He was shallow and weak. And I just wanted to shake Vivian and tell her to wake up. 

But then things began to change, and the book took on some depth that I didn't expect from the way it all started. This was no teeny-bopper romance after all. And Vivian did learn some important things about life. The kinds of things all teenagers need to learn. Like accepting who you are. Like not trying to fit into the mold. Like loyalty and love and family bond. Like what romance is really all about. Like responsibility and listening to your elders.

Hmm, now I understand what the author was doing from the beginning--setting the stage for character growth. Well done, Ms. Klause. Well done indeed.

Then when I got to the last track on the last disc and the reader said, "The End," I didn't want it to be over. Melodroma and purple prose put aside, the characters were well developed, the story well rounded, and the author had captured, not only my interest, but my heart.

I'd give it 4.5 stars out of 5. You can order Blood and Chocolate here on Amazon.com.

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