Monday, December 2, 2013
In the Age of Love and Chocolate
Farrar Straus Giroux, 2013
YA Speculative Fiction
No surprise that I highly anticipated this novel. First book All These Things I've Done and sequel Because It Is My Blood have been among my favorite books I've read for the blog. I know not everyone has clicked with the writing style which is done in the style of a memoir with an older Anya narrating her life; however that tends to remind me of my beloved epistolary style so I clicked easily. I also admire Anya's steadfast devotion to family and protective nature as well as having a huge crush on her (ex-)boyfriend Win. When I picked up this book, I figured that my enjoyment would hinge largely on whether or not the pair reconciled.
But it is not as if romance is the only or even the primary focus of this novel. Anya has many concerns such as her younger sister's newly rebellious self, her best friend Scarlet and her child, and most importantly her ambition to go legit with a cacao nightclub that skirts the edge of the law but will finally allow Anya out of the illegal chocolate game when it proves a success. So much happens over the rest of the book (despite its relatively short length) and we cover several years bringing Anya out of her teenage years as she continues her push to overturn the ban on chocolate.
It's pretty hard to talk about this book in too much detail without getting in to spoilers (so I do have a spoiler section below) but suffice it to say that I loved it. Well, I guess you knew that because you saw the five star rating I bestowed on it but I wanted to say that again. I love the writing style, I love prickly Anya and all who surround her, I love the way this ended. I feel like this is especially a trilogy to value and reread. I can't wait to pick up my own copy to complete my collection!
So what about Win? At one point, he says the cruelest things to Anya, making me despair that the two could ever return to their partnership. Anya is of a despondent nature anyway often choosing the pessimistic view so she certainly thinks their high school romance can't last. But dang if Zevin didn't treat us to some beautifully romantic moments before bringing the two back together. Win is one loyal boy and he gets to say some great things that I just want to read over and over again.
Good Books and Good Wine
Jen Ryland/YA Romantics
Lisa Loves Literature