Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Because It Is My Blood

In All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin, Anya Balanchine ends up in juvie.  She "belongs" there because of all the things she's done to protect her older brother and younger sister.  Worst of all, though, is her relationship with the son of NYC's DA.  The Balanchines have been a crime family for a couple of decades.  Nuff said.

At the beginning of Because It Is My Blood, Anya is released and her life has changed.  Her family is fractured; her Nana dead, her older brother hidden away.  Only her younger sister is still around.  Anya wants her life to go back to pre-crime days when she tried so hard to keep everyone safe.  No school wants her.  The Legalize Cacao Movement is the only group who welcomes her and Anya needs to avoid them.  An indiscretion lands her back in Juvie and suddenly Anya is in hiding in Mexico.  When she, her younger sister and her brother are all threatened on the same night, Anya must return home to a family business in chaos and a bucket of grief.  The peace, freedom and deep friendship that she found in Mexico makes the violence and loneliness of her real life dismal in contrast.

An then there is Win, the ex-DA's son, who has never given up on their love.  And her best friend, Scarlett, has made a "pact" with one of Anya's devils.  It's a mess!  And a fabulous read!

Anya thinks like a very intelligent 17-year-old.  Getting through high school seems like such a HUGE problem to her, when everything else in her life is in shreds.  Anya's tunnel vision is so believable.  I mean, her life is in constant disarray and danger.  And yet, getting into a school and graduating with her class looms so large in her plans.  It overshadows the conspiracies and treachery in the family business that need her attention.  So, tell me, what would YOU do in Anya's place?  I think she's awesome, myself.

So read the book.  It's in bookstores on September 18th.  Pre-order it at your favorite Indie bookstore now.

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