Review Briefs: Because It Is My Blood and This Song Will Save Your Life

Because It Is My Blood (Birthright, #2)Because It Is My Blood
(Birthright #2)
by Gabrielle Zevin
YA Dystopian
September 18th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Goodreads summary:
“Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in.”- Michael Corleone,The Godfather

Since her release from Liberty Children's Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. No high school wants her with a gun possession charge on her rap sheet. Plus, all the people in her life have moved on: Natty has skipped two grades at Holy Trinity, Scarlet and Gable seem closer than ever, and even Win is in a new relationship.But when old friends return demanding that certain debts be paid, Anya is thrown right back into the criminal world that she had been determined to escape. It’s a journey that will take her across the ocean and straight into the heart of the birthplace of chocolate where her resolve--and her heart--will be tested as never before.
What I thought:
I enjoyed the first book in this series, but I really enjoyed this one! I got to listen to it on audio and I would recommend both books on audio or just to be read the usual old-fashioned way. I just really love the way that Anya moves in her world and her character. I did think she was being a little niave with some things and that they would come back to bite her. I still love Win and I loved the new characters we meet, specifically the family in Mexico. So much happens in this book and there are quite a few twists and things that I would have never thought would have happened, such as certain people working together and some people appearing when I thought I wouldn't see them again.

Gabrielle Zevin is really growing on me. I love her style and the way her books are very much character driven. I can't wait for the next book in this series, which comes out later this month!

Content: Some violence and innuendo, but I would consider this clean.
Source: Library

This Song Will Save Your LifeThis Song Will Save Your Life
by Leila Sales
YA Contemporary
September 17th 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Goodreads summary:
Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

What I thought:
I almost didn't rate this one. It was a rough start for me. I think having children of my own really affects me when I read these types of stories. Elise struggles with having any friends, fitting in, and being bullied constantly. This drives her to almost commit suicide. It is really so heartbreaking and sad. Then, as the blurb says, music kind of saves her life.

I really liked so much of this. I loved all the music references, the DJing, Elise's friends, and her family. I especially loved her little half-siblings! They made a lot of this book for me, probably because of how it showed another side of Elise. I really, really wanted to do some damage to all those kids at school who were so unkind. I loved how Elise evolves through the story. She definitely is a flawed character, but I felt her emotions were so legitimate. I liked and really disliked Char. I didn't want Elise to go there because I knew how it was going to end. The ending was fabulous and I wouldn't change a thing about it.

If you love contemporary YA, and don't mind the content, then I would definitely recommend picking this up.

Content: Some violence (suicide and bullying) and non-descriptive sexual content.
Source: Bought

I met Leila Sales at the stop here for the Fierce Reads tour. She has a great personality and I think a lot of that comes through in this book. I'm looking forward to reading her other books. Do you want to win a signed copy? Go enter my monthly giveaway for October!

I just realized that both of these are published by the same company. That is quite a coincidence. :) What do you think? Have you read these? Are you planning to?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase of any type using these links, I receive a small kickback.

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