Review: In the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin

Rating: 4 stars
Pub Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Genre: young adult
Format/Source: hardcover, borrowed from the library
Status: Final book in the Birthright trilogy


All These Things I’ve Done, the first novel in the Birthright series, introduced us to timeless heroine Anya Balanchine, a plucky sixteen year old with the heart of a girl and the responsibilities of a grown woman. Now eighteen, life has been more bitter than sweet for Anya. She has lost her parents and her grandmother, and has spent the better part of her high school years in trouble with the law. Perhaps hardest of all, her decision to open a nightclub with her old nemesis Charles Delacroix has cost Anya her relationship with Win.

Still, it is Anya’s nature to soldier on. She puts the loss of Win behind her and focuses on her work. Against the odds, the nightclub becomes an enormous success, and Anya feels like she is on her way and that nothing will ever go wrong for her again. But after a terrible misjudgment leaves Anya fighting for her life, she is forced to reckon with her choices and to let people help her for the first time in her life. 

In the Age of Love and Chocolate
is the story of growing up and learning what love really is. It showcases the best of Gabrielle Zevin’s writing for young adults: the intricate characterization of Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac and the big-heartedness of Elsewhere. It will make you remember why you loved her writing in the first place.

The original title was actually In the Age of Death and Chocolate so that should tell you a little something about this book. I mean, Gabrielle killed off a handful of characters in each installment of the Birthright trilogy so those of you who have read the entire series should understand, but you newbies...well, you have a lot of dark days ahead of you!

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About the Author:
Gabrielle Zevin's writing career began at 14 years old when an angry letter to her local newspaper about a Guns 'n' Roses concert resulted in a job as a music critic. Over several novels for adults and young people, she has written about female soldiers in Irq, mafia princesses in retro-future New York City, teenage girls in the afterlife, talking dogs, amnesiacs, and the difficulties of loving one person over many years. She is probably best known for her first novel, Elsewhere, which has been translated into over 20 languages. She is also the screenwriter of the cult hit Conversations with Other Women.

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