Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin (Book 2 of Birthright series) Audiobook review

Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin (Book 2 of Birthright series)
Macmillan Audio
Narrated by Ilyana Kadushin
Length: 11 hours (9 CDs)
Released Sept 2012

This month is audiobook month and I have done very little listening. And I must tell you: I MISS it. Audiobooks can bring a story to life with a good narrator, and last year I discovered some awesome narrators. But since I now only commute to work one day a week and work mainly from home, I need to find another way to listen to audiobooks.

After listening to All These Things I've Done, (read my review) I knew I had to listen to the sequel, and I'm glad I did. The story of seventeen-year-old Anya Balanchine continues from where the first book left off. She is released from Liberty Children's Facility with the determination to not get involved in the criminal world from which she wants to escape. She lives in a futuristic world where chocolate is outlawed. But her family business in the manufacture of chocolate.

Once again, Anya has hard choices to make and this time she ends up in Mexico where she learns about how chocolate is grown and manufactured. This only makes her more proud of her family business and fuels a determination to bring chocolate back from its banned and maligned reputation. Once again Anya's responsibility as the firstborn left to care for her siblings make her face hard obstacles.

I loved the first book, and I really enjoyed this one too. Anya continues to be a strong character with moments of vulnerability that make her real. I could relate to her as a firstborn and her attachment to her family. In the first book there is a touch of forbidden romance with Win, who later becomes her boyfriend. The tension between them is not as strong in this book until the end, when she makes a decision that could cost their relationship.

Once again the themes explored in the first book continue here: family ties, to which I could easily relate; following your heart and accepting the sacrifices that go with it; loyalty--to who you are, to your beliefs and to your friends and family. This is one of my favorite dystopian trilogies and I'm happy to say it does not include sex scenes, profanity or extreme violence.

This summer I'm adding the third book In the Age of Love and Chocolate on my reading list. I'm anxious to see how Zevin will bring this trilogy to an end.

Note: This book is rated V = mild. There is a brief scene where a man gets his hand chopped off.

Reviewed by Laura

Disclosure: I bought this audiobook. I was not told how to rate or review this product.

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