From the Publisher
"Klause's imagery is magnetic and her language fierce, rich, and beautiful... [a] powerful, unforgettable novel."
" [A] fierce, suspenseful chiller."
"...as addictive as chocolate."
"Gripping, thrilling, and original."—School Library Journal, Starred
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sixteen-year-old Vivian isn't fiction's most likable heroine, and not only because she's a werewolf. She's preoccupied with admiring her own "full breasts, small waist [and] tawny hair." She's viciously competitive with other girls, gloating, "Look at me.... I've got him. You don't. Too bad." Her pack, temporary leaderless and dislocated after the death of her father, is living in some low-rent Maryland suburbs. Expected to mate with one of the rowdy, blood-hungry werewolves her own age, Vivian rejects them as well as 24-year-old Gabriel, who flirts with her aggressively as he prepares to assume leadership of the pack. Instead, she nourishes a crush on a "meat boy" (human) from school, a retro-hippie poet-type who professes a yen for the supernatural. With the darkly sexy prose and suspenseful storytelling that gave such luster to The Silver Kiss, Klause lures readers into the politics of the pack, their forbidden desire for human flesh and the coming of age of their future queen. Though some readers may be alienated by Vivian's self-absorption, and others shocked by her eventual union with Gabriel, most will find this sometimes bloody tale as addictive as chocolate. Ages 14-up. (Sept.)
VOYA - Beverly Youree
Vivian, a high school student, is torn between two worlds-that of humans and that of werewolves. After her father died in a fire, she and the rest of the "pack" move to West Virginia. When a drawing she submits to the school's literary magazine is published next to a poem by an Aiden Teague, Vivian reads it and is amazed at his depth of understanding of werewolves. She plots to meet him and, eventually, they begin to date. Her mother and the pack warn her of the dangers of this relationship, but she refuses to listen. Vivian feels Aiden could handle, and would relish, the fact that she is a werewolf. However, her happiness ends when Aiden cringes and recoils during one of her transformations. That same night, a human is slaughtered. Since she has no recollection of anything since leaving Aiden's house, Vivian wonders if she is bringing danger to the pack by killing their neighbors. Parallel to this plot is one dealing with choosing a new leader of the pack. Following the "old way," the pack decides that a physical contest between the males will determine the new leader. After the males fight, the females compete to see who will become the winner's mate and earn the title Queen Bitch. When Vivian is tricked into participating, she wins and finds herself pledged to Gabriel, the new leader of the pack. But she thinks she is still in love with Aiden. Both plots merge as more deaths occur, and the pack's existence is threatened by Aiden's knowing Vivian is a werewolf. This tightly woven story is another superb title from a rising author. Teenage girls will understand Vivian's desire for popularity, her rebellion against her mother and other adults, her feeling of invincibility, and her wish to be part of a group. Despite these feelings, Vivian cares for the pack. This book should appeal to horror fans and even those who are not. VOYA Codes: 5Q 4P S (Hard to imagine it being any better written, Broad general YA appeal, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
Klause spins a modern day romance with a twist. Like Romeo and Juliette, or Maria and Tony, Vivian and Aiden are forbidden to be lovers, to share their secrets, to enjoy each other. Their backgrounds and family values are diametrically opposed. In sharing her secret with Aiden, that she is a loup-garou, Vivian alters their relationship as well as that of the whole community. Eventually each realizes that they must be with their own kind. The high school crowd will feast on this sensual tale of romance, mystery, and horror. Librarians and media specialists can pair up Klause's tale with Daniel Cohen's 1996 nonfiction book, Werewolves.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 UpA vivid portrayal of a young female werewolf coming of age. Vivian's father was killed in a fire that was the result of one pack member's thirst for human blood. The pack flees to regroup and select a new leader. At a new school, Vivian is attracted to Aiden, a sensitive human "meat-boy." With the pack in disarray, her mother's grief, and her loneliness, Vivian reaches out to him, believing that he will understand and love her even when she reveals herself "in her pelt." Therein lies the premise for this powerful story. The book is well constructed with visual imagery and deft descriptions. Klause's representation of the pack as a microcosm of society reveals the fragile nature of human behavior and emotions. Teens are shown that they can make mistakes and survive as they test the waters of friendship, love, belonging, and trust. The character's growth and development drives the plot, which sustains and creates moods that move readers from excitement to despair to hope. And throughout, they struggle between fascination, empathy, and revulsion with "werewolf culture." Few recent novels involve readers in such multiple levels of engagement. The climax is bittersweet and poignant. There are sexual overtones, both subtle and overt as Vivian's sexual awareness surfaces in scenarios throughout the book, as she struggles between human flirtation and her animal nature. There is no doubt that Blood and Chocolate is gripping, thrilling, and original. It is delicious and smooth, like chocolate, but only a good novel, like good chocolate, is this satisfying.Molly S. Kinney, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Klause returns to the steamy sensuality of her first book, The Silver Kiss (1990), for this tale of a hot-blooded teenage werewolf who falls for a human "meat-boy."
Grieving for her father and unimpressed by the age-mates in her pack, Vivian defies her mother and fellow lycanthropes by setting her sights on suburban poet-schoolmate Aiden Teague. It's an experiment that's doomed from the start. Vivian may look human (when she chooses), but her attitudes, instincts, and expectations are decidedly wolflike; short-tempered, direct in action and emotion, rough in love and play, shapeshifters make dangerous companions, their veneer of rationality as thin as their senses are sharp. Poor Aidenas a prospective lover he's not so different from prey; to Vivian his smile flashes like heat lightning, and at times he looks so delicious she wants to "bite the buttons off his shirt." When, after a series of sultry but frustrating dates, Vivian reveals herself to him, he responds, not with the pleasure and lust she expects, but stark terror. Extrapolating brilliantly from wolf and werewolf lore, Klause creates a complex plot, fueled by politics, insanity, intrigue, sex, blood lust, and adolescent longings, and driven by a set of vividly scary creatures to a blood-curdling climax. The werewolves' taste for risky pranks and the author's knack for doubleand even tripleentendres add sly undercurrents to this fierce, suspenseful chiller.
Read an Excerpt
The flesh of her arms bubbled and her legs buckled to a new shape. She doubled over as the muscles of her abdomen went into a brief spasm, then grimaced as her teeth sharpened and her jaw extended. She felt the momentary pain of the spine's crunch and then the sweet release.
She was a creature much larger and stronger than any natural wolf. Her toes and legs were too long, her ears too big, and her eyes held fire. Wolf was only a convenient term they had adopted. Those who preferred science to myth said they descended from something oldersome early mammal that had absorbed protean matter brought to Earth by a meteorite.
Vivian stretched and pawed at the ground, she sniffed the glorious air. She felt as if her tail could sweep the stars from the sky.
Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause. Copyright (c) 1997 by Annette Curtis Klause. Excerpted by permission of Delacorte Press, a division of the Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. >