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.
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Really good YA read with an interesting twist
I would recommend this book to a friend with children in the 11-17 age range. The story is an interesting one about a girl, who through no fault of her own, is faced with numerous, unpleasant situations. These come about because of the family into which she is born. The way she handles these events is what, in part, makes the story an exceptional one. This book is the follow up to Zevin's original story - All These Things I've Done, which introduces Anya and her life to the reader. I highly recommend both, but the reader should read/listen to All These Things I've Done first in order to get the most from the storyline.Because it is my Blood continues Anya's story. Drawing on lessons passed on to her from her parents (both of whom are murdered), her faith and her refusal to sacrifice her own morals, Anya faces the challenges thrown at her with grace and courage. My daughters are 12 and 14, and we listened to this story on the way to work/school. It is difficult to find books that are both interesting enough to capture their imagination without the other things that I usually find objectionable in much of today's YA offerings. This story hales back to those writers that are talented enough to write a story that doesn't need the objectionable stuff to appeal to young adults today. My daughters literally did not want to get out of the car in the mornings because they wanted to hear what happened next in the story. As a mom, I appreciate the nod towards family loyalty, faith and doing what is right in the face of adversity, even when it is not necessarily the easiest, or fairest, option. As a mother with daughters, I approve of the strength Anya shows in defending herself, as well as those she loves.
It is difficult to find books that are both interesting enough to capture their imagination without the other things that I usually find objectionable in much of today's YA offerings. This story hales back to those writers that are talented enough to write a story that doesn't need the objectionable stuff to appeal to young adults today
Ilyana brought the characters to life. Her performance definitely enhanced the story.
There were many scenarios in the books that had both myself and my daughters laughing. Anya has much to recommend her - she has a wry sense of humor that is entertaining, to say the least. I mean - how many 16 year old girls have a machete as their favorite means of protection. But don't worry, within the content of the story, it does make sense. It is not as macabre as it sounds. Anya originally learns to use it to reap cacao. I do not want to say any more because it could be a spoiler.
- Tera McCown