Blood & Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

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Blood & Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Post by Blightwolf » Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:04 am

BLOOD & CHOCOLATE

SYNOPSIS

Vivian Gandillon relishes the change, the sweet, fierce ache that carries her from girl to wolf. At sixteen, she is beautiful and strong, and all the young wolves are on her tail. But Vivian still grieves for her dead father; her pack remains leaderless and in disarray, and she feels lost in the suburbs of Maryland. She longs for a normal life. But what is normal for a werewolf?

Then Vivian falls in love with a human, a meat-boy. Aiden is kind and gentle, a welcome relief from the squabbling pack. He's fascinated by magic, and Vivian longs to reveal herself to him. Surely he would understand her and delight in the wonder of her dual nature, not fear her as an ordinary human would.

Vivian's divided loyalties are strained further when a brutal murder threatens to expose the pack. Moving between two worlds, she does not seem to belong in either. What is she really—human or beast? Which tastes sweeter—blood or chocolate?

LOUPS-GAROUX

Loup-garou (pl. loups-garoux) is the French word for a "werewolf". Loup means "wolf", garou means "man".

The name frequently pops up in the novel, as it is the name for the wolf-like creatures the wolf-kind shapeshifts into in the novel. However, in Klause's novel, the characters do not turn into actual wolves; they are larger and stronger than any natural wolf, and they have got longer toes and legs and bigger ears. Their eye color changes into red, gold or green, and they are described as very glorious and beautiful animals. The wolf-people in the book only adopted the term "wolf", because it was more convenient since their form resembled a wolf. In the book Vivian suspects that they were an alien race that was marooned or that some people believed they descended from something much older, perhaps an early mammal; it is never quite revealed in the book what they really are, all that is known that they are a separate species from humans, and occasionally call themselves Homo lupus.

The loups-garoux have the ability to change form at will, anytime when they want, although when it is the time of full moon, every loup-garou has no other choice but to commit the transformation.

In the novel, silver is found fatal to them and can lead to a severe poisoning and later death; also, fire and, according to Vivian: "anything that severs the spine" will do (meaning, that although they are powerful and heal faster than a regular human being, they are not immortal).

According to the wolf-kind legends in Blood & Chocolate, their ancestors performed rituals and sacrifices in the name of the Forest g-o-d, a great hunter that took the shape of the wolf. In exchange, the Forest g-o-d's mate, the g-o-d-d-e-s-s of the Moon, Selene, blessed them with the ability to change into wolf-like creatures at will. Now with their new ability they could "hunt for themselves using their claws and teeth instead of knives of flint, throw aside the pelts of hunted animals, and grow their own." The ability was hidden in the genetics and it was carried down from generation to generation, but everything was subject to the Moon. The Moon forbid them to hunt and kill humans; if they did so, she could turn her light into silver and punish the loups-garoux for disobeying the Law.

CHARACTERS

Vivian Gandillon - the main protagonist. She is the daughter of the former leader of the pack, Ivan Gandillon, who died in a fire over a year ago from the novel's beginning. She lives in the suburbs with her mother, Esmé, and her uncle, Rudy (Esmé's brother). Vivian is described being tanned, tall and beautiful with thick, and long, tawny hair.

Ivan Gandillon (deceased) - Vivian's father and Esmé's former husband and mate, he lost his live in a great fire while trying to protect and save the members of the pack from the flaming house. In the novel it is revealed that he was a good father and husband and a gentle leader, respected by all.

Esmé Gandillon - Vivian's mother and the ex-alpha female of the pack, the former "queen". She grieves for her lost husband but has taken an interest in the 24-year-old Gabriel, a possible candidate for the next leader of the pack. Esmé is a beautiful woman in her late thirties, with long, blonde hair.

Gabriel - a young man, only 24-years-old and yet chased after by two older women of the pack, Esmé and Astrid. He's handsome and powerful, described as somewhat dangerous-looking, but with humor and patience towards Vivian. He's taken an interest in her, and he's a popular candidate for becoming the new leader of the pack.

The Five - a group of teenage boys, Vivian's "cousins". The fire last year was the Five's fault, and especially Axel's, a boy who killed a human girl at the back of their school. The Five are rowdy and reckless and they consist of five boys; Rafael (Rafe), Willem, Finn, Ulf, and Gregory. Vivian despises them and doesn't want to spend time with them despite the boys' several attempts to befriend and become close to her again.

Astrid - Ulf's mother and a wicked character in the novel, she's a woman with a long red hair and she also wants Gabriel. In the novel, it is stated that Astrid reminds Vivian more of a fox than a wolf.

Persia Devereux - also known as Aunt Persia, the elderly healer of the pack. She is an old woman and highly respected.

Orlando Griffin - the oldest male wolf of the pack, he has a similar status than Aunt Persia, being listened and respected.

Rudy - Esmé's (older) brother and Vivian's uncle. He's got badger-gray hair and he works as a meat cutter. He's calm and somewhat supports Gabriel to become the new leader. The pack usually gathers in his house to discuss about their future and important decisions.

Aiden - Vivian's human love interest, fascinated by magical things and the unknown. He's quite popular in school, and is described to have a tall frame, floppy dark hair, and a crystal stud in his left ear.
The novel was published in 1997, and it's genre is romance/supernatural. It was made into a movie in 2007, but the movie's plot was only poorly based on the novel and the author was not kept in date about the production (according to a rumor, Klause had to research information from the Internet). Personally, B&C is one of the best books that has ever been written and one of my favorite books that I have ever read. It's meant for young adults, for it has some graphic themes in it (violence, language, etc).

Everyone who hasn't read the book but knows about the movie, I'd recommend: Do not watch the movie, grab the book and read it instead.

So, anyone who's read/is reading Blood and Chocolate, feel free to participate in the discussion.
Last edited by Blightwolf on Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Blood & Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Post by Cerbolt » Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:23 am

I really liked the movie. I am still trying to get a hold of the book. Of coarse I herd the book is way better then the movie, like most movies.

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Re: Blood & Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Post by Blightwolf » Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:04 am

To me, the movie was rubbish. There so many many things wrong in the movie, many errors. I would have not even called it "Blood and Chocolate", since it was so loosely based/related to the actual novel ... it made it no justice, at all. I really recommend people to concentrate reading the book and not watch the movie.
  • Mistakes of the movie vs. the novel

    - The general message of the book is that werewolves and humans cannot have stable romantic relationships because humans cannot love all of what a werewolf is; as a result, Vivian chooses her own kind by becoming Gabriel's wife. The movie states the exact opposite, as Vivian kills Gabriel and chooses Aiden over her pack.

    - In the book, all characters are American and the story takes place in Maryland. In the film it takes place in Romania and some characters have English, French or Romanian accents. Vivian and Aiden are the only characters with American accents.

    - In the novel, none of the wolves' eyes change to gold when they smell the scent of blood.

    - Vivian's mother Esmé is alive and her father dies in the novel; in the film both her parents are dead. In the book Vivian is an only child, but in the film it is shown that she had siblings, who were killed along with her parents.

    - In the film Vivian blames herself for her family's death; she explains to Aiden that her paw prints were found by the enemy, leading them to her family. In the book, only her father dies and it was caused, albeit indirectly, by the Five.

    - Aiden, Vivian, and the Five are all high school students in the book. In the film, Aiden appears to be older than Vivian, who is nineteen, and the Five appear to be in their late teens to early twenties.

    - In the book, Astrid and Gabriel were never mates. Rafe is not their son nor is he Vivian's cousin. Astrid is not Vivian's aunt and is actually the main antagonist in the book, but in the movie she takes on the role of Esmé, Vivan's mother in the book.

    - Rafe and the rest of the Five romantically pursue Vivan in the novel, and she and Rafe had dated at some point before the story takes place. This is not mentioned in the film.

    - Rafe and Astrid are lovers in the novel; in the film they are mother and son.

    - In the film there is no Ordeal between the male loup-garoux, and no Ordeal between the female loup-garoux. Gabriel is the leader from the start, instead of participating in the Ordeal as he did in the book. In the film leadership of the pack is based on bloodline rather than triumph.

    - In the beginning of the novel, a character named Axel - a friend of the Five and Vivian's former romantic interest - was mentioned several times. Axel does not appear in the film.

    - In the novel, it was Axel, and not Rafe, who murdered a girl because she rejected him.

    - Vivian has an Uncle Rudy, Esmé's brother, in the novel. In the film, she has no uncle.

    - Vivian works at a chocolate and sweets shop in the film; she has no such job in the book.

    - In the novel, when the pack leader takes a mate, she is his mate for life unless another female loup-garoux challenges and defeats her. In the film, the leader takes a new mate every seven years.

    - In the novel Gabriel is a protagonist and does not permit the pack to kill humans for pleasure; in the film he is the antagonist and encourages the killing of humans.

    - Vivian is presumably a grey and brown loup-garou in the book. However, in the film a white wolf was chosen to depict Vivian in her wolf-form.

    - In the book, there is no prophecy.

    - The book mentions an elderly female loup-garou, Aunt Persia, who cures every ailment the loup-garoux may have including Vivian's silver poisoning. In the film, she is not mentioned and an old pharmacist gives Vivian an antidote.

    - In the book, Aiden gives Vivian a silver pentagram, which he later melts down into the bullets he shot Vivian and Rafe with. In the film, Aiden owns a pentagram necklace that he uses to kill Rafe.

    - In the book, silver can only kill a loup-garou if it enters his blood stream. In the film, a loup-garou need only touch it for poisioning to occur.

    - In the book, Vivian's parents had been the leaders of the pack before Gabriel, but the film never mentions this.

    - When Vivian reveals her secret to Aiden in the book, he is terrified and wants nothing to do with her. In the film, Aiden initially feels that Vivian betrayed him and leaves her, but he reconciles with her after she saves him from the other loup-garoux.

    - In the novel, the pack members shapeshift into their alternative forms. In the film, the transformation is much more spiritual, depicting Vivian and the others as humans who almost seem to ascend into a higher (or at least different) state of spiritual being, glowing mystically as they transform into that of the loup-garoux.

    - In the book, Vivian enjoys changing into her wolf form, and does so frequently. In the film, she struggles to prevent the change and only does so when necessary to save Aiden from the hunt.

    - Gabriel is twenty-four in the novel; in the film he is of indeterminate age, though clearly old enough to have fathered Rafe with Astrid.

    - In the book Gabriel truly loves Vivian, but in the film he wants to marry her to fulfill the prophecy.

    - In the film, Vivian shows a great amount of resistance to pack tradition and to Gabriel's laws, whereas in the book she displays general care and affection toward her pack.

    - In the film the pack participate in special hunts, which take place in a forest. The prey is human, usually one who has done wrong to the pack, and is told that he must run through the forest in order to win his life back - if he passes the river in the forest then he can survive, if he is caught by a loup-garoux then he is killed by it. In the novel, however, there is no such practice since Gabriel does not advocate the killing of humans.
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Re: Blood & Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Post by SolitaryHowl » Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:11 am

I prefer the book over the movie any day.

The movie just had so many things wrong with it - like the things Embry listed.
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Re: Blood & Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Post by Blightwolf » Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:34 pm

Well. The movie wasn't entirely horrible, but still, I got a pretty aghast feeling about when watching it. It was just so wrong. I did like the way how they portrayed the wolf transformation (with the creepy music and the glowing stuff around them, blablabla) and the fact that they used parkour and acrobatics a lot in it, too ... but there is no way the movie could ever defeat the book in comparison. Those mistakes I listed are just one of the few errors, there are multiple more.

It's too bad people don't know a lot about this novel, since it's not mainstream or popular like Twilight, for example. B&C has a very small community of devoted fans, which really is a shame. More people should take a look at the novel and forget about the movie. I get it, it might've been entertaining with them using real wolves and such, but they are not even wolves in the novel. And why was Gabriel like 140 years old in the movie, anyway? It's just ridiculous. Why was the story in Bucharest (beautiful city, though)? Why, why, why?
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Re: Blood & Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Post by -Larka- » Wed Sep 02, 2009 1:37 pm

Lol, I watched that! But I watched it a few years ago so I can't remember all of it. XD

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Re: Blood & Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Post by Blightwolf » Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:40 am

Yeah, the movie came out in 2007, I think. It was lame. I love the novel.
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Re: Blood & Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Post by Dewfrost » Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:19 pm

The movie, in my opinion, was a load of rubbish. They just got so many things wrong and made a great deal of changes, just as Embry listed. The book, on the other hand, is amazing and I never get tired of reading it, even though it was published back in 1997.
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Re: Blood & Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Post by Blightwolf » Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:00 pm

I agree with you, Dewey. It's an "old" book, but still amazing, I'm jealous of Klause's writing skills. It's a very gripping and original story. And for those who say, "I didn't like it because there was so much romance"; the story is supposed to be like that. Vivian yearns to have human friends and have connections outside her pack, which is in disarray; she doesn't feel well amongst her own so she turns to humans and finds Aiden. Then when the murders begin and she accidentally become's Gabriel's mate, her feelings enforcen, she wasn't to proof that she's not some kind of a morbid beast, etc. That is why the romance is involved, I think it gives the book a perfect feature and a theme. And yet, it was romantic but still I found it threatening, impressive and frightening.
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Re: Blood & Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Post by Songdog » Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:52 am

If you think of the book and movie as two entirely separate entities, they're okay. But thinking of the movie as an adaption of the book is a joke.

What I like in the book is that the ending doesn't end with "And despite the difference in species love conquers all and they lived happily ever after." No. The humans runs off terrified. Thank you, book.

However, the book had a lot of teen-romance which, bores me to death. There wasn't as much of that in the movie, but in the end the human and werewolf stay together. Gah.

I read the book, it was okay. I watched the movie, and as a stand-alone movie not related to the book at all, it was alright. The two really are two separate things, under the same name.

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Re: Blood & Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Post by Blightwolf » Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:15 pm

Agreed with Songdog, although even as a separate thing the movie was quite poor. Quite entertaining at some points, but still.... poor. Waste of money, etc. Do not rent it, that's my opinion. x__x

It's lame how things end up differently in the book and the movie; in the book, Vivian realises she belongs to her pack, but in the movie she chooses a human over her own family. I mean, did somebody poke her brains or something? Though it doesn't matter, the movie already ruined to whole plot anyway. But it doesn't erase the fact that it was still irritating.

So, to spark up something new in the discussion:

Who was your favorite character in Blood & Chocolate, and why?

I am going to reveal my favorite in a bit, but I want to hear yours first.
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Re: Blood & Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Post by Songdog » Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:34 pm

I was never a big fan of either really. I actually saw the movie first, so maybe that's why I'm not being so harsh on it. But seriously, the two are so far apart, you can't consider them the same thing.

All of the characters were annoying in my opinion.

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Re: Blood & Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Post by Blightwolf » Sat Sep 05, 2009 4:08 am

Annoying, how? Please explain, I'd like to hear your opinion.

I thought Vivian acted a bit of a snob in the novel; like she was oh-so gorgeous and all the guys wanted her, blablabla. I liked the Five though, especially Willem. Gabriel was extremely irritating in the beginning but my vision of him changed towards the end.
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Re: Blood & Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Post by Songdog » Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:54 am

I don't remember names specifically, it's been awhile since I read the book or watched the movie. I just remember the characters getting on my nerve a good deal of the time. Possibly because I dislike reading.

One thing I didn't like was the somewhat glorification of the wolf. That always nags on me when a book glorifies an animal as being superior to everything else.

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Re: Blood & Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Post by Griffinsong » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:07 pm

I rather enjoyed the book, since it's one of the better werewolf novels I've read.

Haven't seen the movie; I'll probably rent it just to see if all the bad things said about it are true. xD

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