Title: Because It Is My Blood
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
AR Levels: Interest Levels: 9th-12th grades; Book Level: 4.5; Points: 13.0
Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13163011-because-it-is-my-blood
In a Nutshell: Anya Ballanchine, heiress to an illegal chocolate business, has just been released from a short stay in juvie, and her troubles are only beginning. Her ex-boyfriend and son of the district attorney, Win, is already dating another girl, her father's legacy as the chocolate mob boss is in danger as Ballanchine Chocolate is in disarray, and not one single school in the city will accept her for her senior year. Anya must decide if she will accept her fate as the future face of the Manhattan chocolate black market or try to run while she can. This is a tale of love, finding oneself, loyalty, and crime, and it will grip you every step of the way.
I'd recommend it for grades: 8 to 12. There's some bloodshed. Mob story, remember?
I'd recommend it to: guys who like mob stories (This is like The Godfather with a hot chick.), girls who like star-crossed love stories, teens who still want lots more dystopias, and anyone who likes chocolate or New York City
What I liked most about this book: I adored the first book, All These Things I've Done, and I couldn't wait to read this one. It didn't wow me like the first one, but all the characters I love are still loveable, and all the page-turning suspense is still there too...maybe even amped up a bit from book one. The dialogue is a bit cheesier than the first though, so that made me not like it quite as much. I still wait anxiously for book three though!
Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y): At the very end, the New York Public Library at Bryant Park (one of my favorite buildings in the world) plays an important role in the set-up for book 3. See if you recognize it. Anya and Win also attend a classic movie in the park in the summer, which was something I enjoyed the summer I spent in New York too. It's nice to see that even amid the chaos of future Manhattan, they still show classic movies in the park. :)
Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): 3 stars (Book 1: All These Things I've Done is easily 5 stars. Read it first. It will rock your world.)