Minion’s Review: Because It Is My Blood
Adina’s BFF Minion will occasionally be dropping by with a guest review. Here is her debut review. In gratitude I made her a special picture, it’s a little basic but I’m learning 🙂
Because It Is My Blood – Gabrielle Zevin
Series: Birthright #2 Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia Published: September 18th, 2012 Links: Amazon Book Depository
“Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in.”- Michael Corleone, The Godfather.
Since her release from Liberty Children’s Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. No high school wants her with a gun possession charge on her rap sheet. Plus, all the people in her life have moved on: Natty has skipped two grades at Holy Trinity, Scarlet and Gable seem closer than ever, and even Win is in a new relationship. But when old friends return demanding that certain debts be paid, Anya is thrown right back into the criminal world that she had been determined to escape. It’s a journey that will take her across the ocean and straight into the heart of the birthplace of chocolate where her resolve–and her heart–will be tested as never before.
If someone told me there is this book reminiscent of The Godfather but in young adult genre where chocolate and coffee are banned in a dystopian future…I’d have to say no thanks.
But it works; I loved the first instalment of Gabrielle Zevin Birthright series – All the things I’ve Done. Despite the silly premise of a future with no chocolate or coffee, the world Zevin created for Anya Balanchine a 17 year old from a New York maffia family is completely believable.
I was very excited to see what the next instalment Because it is my Blood would have in store of Anya. The second book moves at a fast pace with some nice twists and surprises. Anya the lead protagonist, from whose point of view the story is told, is getting more and more likable to the stage where I may now like her more than Katniss! (from The Hunger Games). She is always going to struggle and fight against it, but we all know she will ultimately become her father (a mafia boss). Anya is wise beyond her years, like Tony Soprano or any mob boss, she is extremely good at strategy, she constantly recalls quotes and phrases her father told her, she seems to me to be made for this life despite how much she tries to avoid it. At the end she may have found a way to marry the two sides of her – there are parallels here with medicinal marijuana.
In this book, old enemies become friends and some friends become enemies. There are some great plot changes which leave Anya’s world and the cast around completely changed – a half-brother, a marriage proposal, a pregnancy, a few deaths and a machete. There is a complex murder-type mystery, that I would have never figured out.
I adored the reference to Twilight recalled by Anya’s cousin to describe the vampire nature that exists in any mafia family in order for them to thrive. I also like that her relationship with Win doesn’t define her, I feel that Win is too much a beta male to make any lasting effect on Anya and I suspect he won’t be around for long. New character Theo is introduced but I can’t see this becoming another Young Adult love triangle.
I’ve always felt that The Godfather was the perfect film and it looks to me from the two books so far in the Birthright series that it may become the perfect Young Adult book…I CANNOT wait for the third book.
Minion’s Rating: 9/10