Klause, Annette Curtis. Blood and Chocolate. Read by Alyssa Bresnahan. Maryland: Recorded Books, 1997.
I don’t usually get into werewolf/vampire/warlock stories but this one had me spellbound, if you pardon the obvious (cliche) choice of word. Vivian Gandillon is teenage Rougarou (or werewolf, although Klause doesn’t use the name). She is trying desperately to fit in with other kids at her school when she meets Aiden. Convinced Aiden is a fellow Rougarou based on a poem he wrote, she befriends him only to find he is a sensitive human fascinating with witches and the like. Vivian falls for him even though he is what her kind call a “meat-boy.”. While trying to balance her social life as a human Vivian is also dealing with conflict in her “fur” world. The pack has fallen apart after the death of their leader, Vivian’s father. They are out of control and in need a new leader. The story escalates when Vivian decides to reveal her true identity to Aiden at the same time she is chosen to be the new pack leader’s mate. There are two things that struck me as I read Klause’s werewolf story. One, there is an adult sexual tension with all the characters within this story. Second, Klause does an outstanding job describing the mannerisms of a canine.
As an aside: I didn’t enjoy the actress who read Abide with Me. She couldn’t pronounce the Maine towns (Hallowell is NOT Holly-well). However, Alyssa Bresnahan reads with a sensualness that is almost too adult for this book for teenagers.
Reason read: August is Hero month and there are a few heroes in Blood and Chocolate.
Author fact: I mentioned actress Alyssa Bresnahan reads with a certain sexiness but what you also need to know is that Annette Curtis Clause writes with that same sexiness. The combination is startling for a book written for kids.
Book trivia: the novel was adapted into a movie in 2007.
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Best for Teens” (p 24).