Book Review – Because It Is My Blood

by Gabrielle Zevin
Started: 28th June 2014
Finished: 1st July 2014

I think by now it’s known that I adore Gabrielle Zevin’s writing (after All These Things I’ve Done and Elsewhere). I have wanted to read the sequel to the first in the Birthright trilogy since I’d put the first installment down. Finally, I have been able to sit and read it.

Because It Is My Blood picks up where All These Things I’ve Done left off. Anya is nearing the end of her time at Liberty, but much has changed in a few months. Throughout the novel we see Anya battling with herself over her father’s business. She doesn’t know what to do and she certainly doesn’t know who to trust. But what she does know is that chocolate is in her blood.

Although it’s been quite a while (2012) since I read the beginning of the series, I had no trouble getting back into the storyline. To me this shows how memorable this trilogy is and how engaging it is. Within the first chapter everything came back to me and it felt like I’d only finished the first book yesterday. It also helps that Zevin adds brief and relevant asides/authors notes to help the reader. They were written from Anya’s perspective and not patronising in the slightest.

Being a sequel there are characters that we are already acquainted with. Well, there are some characters that we only think we know. There are also a couple of new characters introduced; I loved these new characters especially Theo Marques. His personality and interactions with Anya made me smile and brought a welcome gentle humour to the novel. There are some characters that I would have loved to have seen more of, as I loved them so much (although I can’t name names without giving some things away)!

Zevin really knows how to pace and develop plot. The beginning is an introduction and a bit of a recap then there are twists and turns – some bigger than others – but not too many to bombard or confuse the reader. There were many that left me in shock and excited to carry on reading. I hated when I had to put it down. I hate the fact that I’ve finished it and haven’t got the conclusion of the trilogy with me.

I don’t want to give too much away about this novel, as it’s a much better experience if you go in only which information from he first novel. I have fallen in love with the Birthright trilogy and Zevin’s writing. She really knows and understands her characters which makes you cart got them – even if they’re just being mentioned (like Leo).

I cannot wait to get stuck into the final installment of the Birthright trilogy. I just hope it’s sooner rather than later.

Rating: 5/5

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