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Because It Is My Blood (Birthright) Hardcover – September 18, 2012

43 customer reviews

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Because It Is My Blood (Birthright) + In the Age of Love and Chocolate (Birthright) + All These Things I've Done (Birthright)
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-In this sequel to All These Things I've Done (Farrar, 2010), Anya Balanchine's life becomes very complicated not long after she is released from a prison located near a future Manhattan. In her continued attempts to protect her siblings, manage her family's standing in the mafiya world of black-market chocolate, and plan her future, the teen finds herself in Mexico where she sees the cacao business from a different angle. Here she learns about the healing powers of chocolate and its rich folkloric tradition, causing her to wonder why it was outlawed and if it were possible that chocolate isn't dangerous, or even unhealthy. Anya's on-again, off-again romance with Win Delacroix persists in spite of numerous obstacles, including her rocky relationship with his District Attorney father. Threatened by her competitors in the criminal world, she is forced to return quickly to New York to intervene in her family's affairs. Anya finally finds a way to legitimize her family's longstanding ties to chocolate. The sequel is not as strong as the first book-the multitude of characters, plot twists, and conspiracy theories take readers on a bit of a bumpy ride. The romance is downplayed in favor of Anya's familial and political pursuits, but there is a satisfying, friendly relationship between Anya and Theo, a boy whose family is also in the chocolate business. Readers who enjoy mob stories and visions of future societies will be pleased. As in the first book, Zevin provokes thought about what we make illegal and why.-Nora G. Murphy, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, LaCanada-Flintridge, CAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

“An engaging heroine, lots of humor…in this Godfather for teens. B+” —EW.com
 
"Readers who enjoy mob stories and visions of future societies will be pleased. As in the first book, Zevin provokes thought about what we make illegal and why." —School Library Journal
 
"The idea of a world in which chocolate, coffee, and other stimulants have been outlawed is alluring, and Anya is a strong, smart protagonist. Fans will want to find out what happens to her.”—VOYA
 
"Discerning characters’ true motives will keep readers guessing, and the conflicting forces within Anya add an extra dimension of drama to this action-packed sequel. " —Publishers Weekly
 
"This sequel to All These Things I’ve Done (2011) paints on such a broad canvas that readers will be amazed at Zevin’s management abilities...Zevin’s strong suit is characterization, and it shines here. Whatever the nefarious plot, no one becomes a cartoon character—like chocolates, each is delicious in his or her own right." —Booklist
 
“Fans of the first will enjoy the author’s inventive combination of chocolate, crime and politics, as well as finding out Anya’s post-prison fate.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
"Anya's flaws are what make her a complicated, thoroughly human character, one whom readers will enjoy continuing to try to understand...Readers will love her, flawed as she is." —Teenreads.com

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Series: Birthright (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780374380748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374380748
  • ASIN: 0374380740
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.4 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,456,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Gabrielle Zevin is the author of eight novels, including Elsewhere and most recently,The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, which is a New York Times Best Seller.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A girl tries hard to get out of the family business, but it keeps pulling her family back in. For fans of Ally Carter's Heist Society.

Opening Sentence: "Come in Anya, have a seat. We find ourselves in the midst of a situation," Evelyn Cobrawick greeted me, parting her painted red lips to reveal a cheerful sliver of yellow tooth.

The Review:

Anya thought that once she got out of Liberty Children's Facility she would be able to put the past behind her and move on with her life - separate from the Balanchine family business...and Win. But really, it's for the better, or at least that's what she keeps telling herself. But when a picture of Win and her holding hands hits the newspaper, Win's father's wrath comes down, especially with the election for the new DA growing closer. But Win's father isn't the only one after her. A new force is taking hold of the chocolate company - and they have set their sights on Anya. Fleeing to the birthplace of chocolate, Anya creates a new life in the country, but her old life is still waiting for her to come back. New events twist her arm behind her back until the only thing left to do is face the enemy. As if graduating high school is hard enough.

I'm not quite sure what to think of this book. Don't get me wrong - I loved the plot and the characters to death - but was it as good as the first? I think the jury's still out. As far as writing goes, Zevin's voice is still utterly hilarious and witty. Just not as creative and witty as the first book. There weren't as many scenes with witty banter as the first, and "Daddy's sayings" were scarce. But I see why.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Megan @ Book Brats on September 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The mafia, chocolate, the near future, the pseudo-end of life as we know it. All these things were what drew me to ALL THESE THINGS I'VE DONE, book one in the Birthright Trilogy by Gabrielle Zevin. In the end, ATTID ended up being one of my top twenty books of 2011 for its well-crafted blend of family drama, romance, action, and chocolate.

By the time BECAUSE IT IS MY BLOOD rolled around, I admit, I had forgotten some of the intricacies of book one (some important details from book one are not rehashed in book two), but I dove into BECAUSE IT IS MY BLOOD and was not disappointed.

This series is not for the YA reader who demands non-stop balls to the wall action in their sci-fi/sorta-dystopian stories. There is action, yes, but it is more subdued. A lot of the dramatic elements in this story are subdued and left in the familial interactions.

In Anya Balanchine's world, she is a murderer, but she rarely lifts a weapon against another. In BECAUSE IT IS MY BLOOD, she is released from Liberty and tries to form a new life before she fails (thanks to betrayal) and ends up in Mexico learning to farm cacao with a new love interest, the quirky and patient Theo.

To be honest, I think that the first fifty pages could have been cut. Starting the book with Anya's escape from Liberty (on her latest trip) and flee to Mexico would have been a stronger jumping off point, leaving us more time with Theo and his remarkable family. I really enjoy Anya besides her strange asides to the reader. She is strong, crafty, passionate about her life and her family, and she doesn't need a man around. In the YA world, this is especially awesome for me.

But the romance was still there in this tale.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Miss Print VINE VOICE on September 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
**As the second in a series, this book (and the review) may contain spoilers for All These Things I've Done. You have been warned.**

Anya Balanchine knows firsthand that being the presumptive heir to an illegal chocolate empire comes with its fair share of complications. After a turbulent year filled with futile attempts to move beyond her criminal reputation and date a truly ill-advised boy-all while caring for her brother and sister-Anya is hoping that the start of autumn and her release from Liberty Children's Facility will bring with it calmer times.

Unfortunately, nothing about Anya's life after Liberty is calm. Her criminal record makes attending (not to mention finishing) high school nearly impossible.

Her little sister Natty has grown up during Anya's time away. Scarlet, her best friend, seems closer than ever to her odious boyfriend Gable. And Win? The boy who made Anya want to give up almost everything her family stood for seems to have a new love.

Anya isn't sure where she fits into this world where everything and everyone has moved on without her except that she hopes it has nothing to do with her extended family. Or chocolate.

Unfortunately, as ever, Anya's wants are overlooked as she is drawn back into the Balanchine's world of crime, chocolate and intrigue. Taken away from the city and the people that she loves, Anya will have to decide what price she is willing to pay for safety and who she truly wants to be in Because It Is My Blood (2012) by Gabrielle Zevin.

Because It Is My Blood is the second book in Gabrielle Zevin's Birthright series which started with All These Things I've Done.

As exciting as Because It Is My Blood can be, this novel's strength is in its focus on Anya.
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