Monday, December 2, 2013

In the Age of Love and Chocolate

by Gabrielle Zevin
5/5 stars
Farrar Straus Giroux, 2013
286 pages
YA Speculative Fiction

Source: Library

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.

Other Opinions:
Good Books and Good Wine
Jen Ryland/YA Romantics
Lisa Loves Literature


  1. Wow! I've had All These Things I've Done sitting on my bookshelf *cough* for years. New years resolutions, read this series in 2014. Great review :)

  2. YES!!!!!
    So happy that you loved this as much as I did. I thought she made some bold choices -- the passage of time, and a few of those other plot developments I won't mention because of spoilers -- but it made for a very moving book and a great ending :)

  3. I'm happy to learn that this series ends well - I can't wait for this one.

  4. I need to pick up this series. Sounds really good and something that I would definitely enjoy. Wonderful review.

  5. I own the first book and I will have to make sure that I find the time to read it soon especially since it comes so highly recommended from you! I am glad to hear that this is another trilogy that ends well.

  6. I'll have to take a look at this series. I don't read much dystopia but this is an original and horrifying vision of the future- a shortage of books and illegal chocolate!

  7. I really enjoyed the first book and I have the second, I just haven't read it yet. I'm really happy to see a positive review for this!

  8. I never heard much about this series after the first one. But if it's so good, I think I need to at least read the first!

  9. You and Jen have raved about this series. I need to get all the books and read it through for start to finish!


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