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This is, hands down, one of the best series enders I have ever read It had a satisfying amount of closure, but didn t resolve everything in a too tidy way There s not really any dramarama, like so many final books are full of, it s quiet and so appropriate for Anya and where she s at as a character And the writing, now that I ve read the entire series, is kind of a marvel Zevin never breaks the memoir style to push the narrative forward, and it just works Love, love, love this series.I ll g This is, hands down, one of the best series enders I have ever read It had a satisfying amount of closure, but didn t resolve everything in a too tidy way There s not really any dramarama, like so many final books are full of, it s quiet and so appropriate for Anya and where she s at as a character And the writing, now that I ve read the entire series, is kind of a marvel Zevin never breaks the memoir style to push the narrative forward, and it just works Love, love, love this series.I ll gather my thoughts and postsoonish Before reading Coolest title ever After reading UGH THEY ARE TOO CUTE 4.5 stars Maybe It must be the year of finishing series, I swear I ve finished reading several series this year and on the whole I am pleased at how the whole slew of trilogies I have read are closing out As a fan of the mob and gangsters, I had a special affinity for Gabrielle Zevin s Birthright trilogy and am MORE THAN PLEASED with how In The Age Of Love And Chocolate wraps up the series Now, I know there are some weirdos out there who just didn t like Anya Ballanchine or this series and while that is tota It must be the year of finishing series, I swear I ve finished reading several series this year and on the whole I am pleased at how the whole slew of trilogies I have read are closing out As a fan of the mob and gangsters, I had a special affinity for Gabrielle Zevin s Birthright trilogy and am MORE THAN PLEASED with how In The Age Of Love And Chocolate wraps up the series Now, I know there are some weirdos out there who just didn t like Anya Ballanchine or this series and while that is totally fine and cool, I loved her and you need to know that bias upfront because it kind of plays into just how much I loved In The Age Of Love And Chocolate Zevin s final Birthright book is darkly romantic, one to be read with chocolate on hand for sure.Read the rest of my review here Review courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick Dirty Chocolate wars, love and death in the Age of Love and Chocolate Opening Sentence I hadn t wanted to be a Godmother, but my best friend insisted The Review Anya is back in the last book of the Birthright trilogy, and she is making moves to open her club, The Dark Room and to legalize some aspect of chocolate so that she can take care of her family Wyn still refuses to understand or get over the choices she made in the second book However, An Review courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick Dirty Chocolate wars, love and death in the Age of Love and Chocolate Opening Sentence I hadn t wanted to be a Godmother, but my best friend insisted The Review Anya is back in the last book of the Birthright trilogy, and she is making moves to open her club, The Dark Room and to legalize some aspect of chocolate so that she can take care of her family Wyn still refuses to understand or get over the choices she made in the second book However, Anya sweeps into adulthood with her decisions and choices in this book Anya faces sabotage while opening her club, she garners new business partners and makes evendifficult decisions In the end, it all comes full circle Usually I talk a bitabout what happens in a book, but I just have so much to rave about in this review that I decided to keep that part short and just focus on the why I love this book I really enjoyed the first book and to be honest I didn t quite get why the series was called Birthright other than they talk a lot about her being a Balachine, but a main part of the first book was Wyn and he was a huge focus in book 2 as well Honestly, I loved them in the first book I was so rooting for that relationship, but by book 2 I was so over them and I felt like instead of focusing on chocolate and the birthright aspect of this series, we got a whole lot of Wyn and Anya and I was not happy However, this book brought it full circle It would be a spoiler to give what happens away but I will say that I was back on board with the romance in this book.Oh yes, I didn t say it was Wyn I guess you will have to read and find out My favorite thing about this series is Scarlet and Anya I adore that friendship, in fact I think I envy that friendship Scarlet is such a great friend and finally things start to go right for her My second favorite thing in this series is Anya and her family I love the relationship she has with Leo and Netty, and even Mr Kipling This book finally brought the birthright aspect home and nailed it I finally felt that Anya got it and not only did she embrace and help her family, she was embraced in turn by them and it was amazing.I will complain that certain aspects kind of felt unresolved, however that didn t diminish my love of this book Anya spent a lot of the first two books with bad things happening to her out of her control and just trying to do the best she could to fix and contain the situations, but in this book even when things happened she was still in charge and it was a thing of beauty to see her grow and change into a capable, intelligent, and loving adult Bonus, I actually adored her relationship with Charles Delacroix It was another full circle in the series.This is was a great change from the normal dystopian There wasn t some evil government oppressing everyone, it was just simply illegal to drink coffee or eat chocolate So refreshing and different If you haven t read this series, start with book 1, you won t regret it Anya is one of my favorite main characters of all time.Notable Scene Pip Balachine continued We ask you today what we should have asked you two years ago Anya, will you lead the Balachine Family into the twenty second century I did not want to lead this family.And yet As I looked down the long stone table at the pasty complexions and light eyes that recalled my father s, my brother s, and my own, and unfamiliar feeling began to stir within me.Obligation.I felt and obligation to those men and women though mainly there were men that I had been born a Balachine had been the defining circumstance of my life FTC Advisory Farrar, Straus and Giroux BYR Macmillan provided me with a copy of In the Age of Love and Chocolate No goody bags, sponsorships, material connections, or bribes were exchanged for my review Thank you Ksenia Winnicki for providing me with a finished copy for review Thank you Gabrielle Zevin for such a wonderful end to this series What I Loved I have to say that I was afraid of how this would end Like, legit scared I would end up in a corner somewhere mumbling about chocolate and coffee, which is why, I did something I rarely do I read the last chapter first Once I saw how it all ends I was able to take a breath and start at the beginning This is one of the best final books I Thank you Ksenia Winnicki for providing me with a finished copy for review Thank you Gabrielle Zevin for such a wonderful end to this series What I Loved I have to say that I was afraid of how this would end Like, legit scared I would end up in a corner somewhere mumbling about chocolate and coffee, which is why, I did something I rarely do I read the last chapter first Once I saw how it all ends I was able to take a breath and start at the beginning This is one of the best final books I ve read this year The character development is so good you feel as if you ve taken this journey right along with them, especially Anya We ve seen her grow and mature over the course of three books and this one spans several years making her story feel that muchreal Her struggles to make the right choices the first time, all the time for both herself as well as her family was often difficult to watch She s so stubborn but she s also selfless, regularly putting the best interest and wants of others before her own Her relationship with Win Delacriox matures too, and even though they spend the majority of this book separated by distance and circumstances, their emotional connection is always there Their text messages were some of my favorite parts I literally LOL d The scene with the strawberries was one of the most heart achingly beautiful things I ve read clutches chest Anya finally learns it s okay to ask for help and to let yourself be loved and the ending was perfect What Left Me Wanting More The only thing that could ve made me happier which is not the same as making the book better is if Win Delacroix had been worked into every single scene Final Verdict Great end this series Favorite quote s Because if you love someone, you love them all the way You love them even when they make mistakes That s what I think So I will wait, because I would rather wait for you than waste my time with someone who isn t you I genuinely enjoyed reading this series, and going through Anya s spectacular development as well as all those around her I love that Gabrielle Zevin was brutally realistic in writing the stories, knowing exactly who she was going to leave us with and who she was going to eliminate, as well as taking us through a somewhat heart wrenching experience with Anya and her family.There were no rainbows and butterflies in this story, just a whole lot of struggle for survival and success We go from m I genuinely enjoyed reading this series, and going through Anya s spectacular development as well as all those around her I love that Gabrielle Zevin was brutally realistic in writing the stories, knowing exactly who she was going to leave us with and who she was going to eliminate, as well as taking us through a somewhat heart wrenching experience with Anya and her family.There were no rainbows and butterflies in this story, just a whole lot of struggle for survival and success We go from meeting Anya as a 16 year old in highschool, to watching her become an adult, a successful 21 year old business woman.We watch her relationship with several of the characters develop in many different ways, some of which would make you cringe with discomfort Her relationship to Win is completely deteriorated since her partnership with his father, Charles a man, which in this installment, I have come to love and respect.This book will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride Anya comes off as such a strong woman, one who will do whatever it takes to look after her family, to survive, simultaneously attempting to do it the right i.e legal way She can come off as really obstinate at times, frustrating you as a reader, but she is also very loyal to those she loves Even though Win was verbally abusive to her at times, she still made an effort to reconcile, to ask about him, to reach out to him when she had no one else to check on her sister Natty Their interactions, although always separated by distance, were always heartfelt at times awkwardly so.I am really trying not to spoil the story here, but I will say that the last portion of the book, when Anya goes through her biggest struggle yet, I internally cheered for Zevin I love that she went there, I love that she took the story there, and I love that she wasn t scared of imperfections It was absolutely beautiful, and what followed was one of the most wonderfully, heart aching scenes between Win and AnyaI ll say this much it involves strawberries Oh my Lord.Great ending to the series One of the best endings to any series I ve read Bravo Zevin .EBOOK ♝ In the Age of Love and Chocolate ♂ 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 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 WinStill, 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 This is a series that has steadily gone downhill for me I loved the first with its original take on the idea of illegal chocolate and the struggles that Anya goes through to both rise above and take advantage of her family s criminal history The second took an unnecessary detour to Mexico, introducing an equally unnecessary love interest, but I had hopes for the final installment Unfortunately, this volume was my least favorite The plotting moved along too swiftly through time to give space This is a series that has steadily gone downhill for me I loved the first with its original take on the idea of illegal chocolate and the struggles that Anya goes through to both rise above and take advantage of her family s criminal history The second took an unnecessary detour to Mexico, introducing an equally unnecessary love interest, but I had hopes for the final installment Unfortunately, this volume was my least favorite The plotting moved along too swiftly through time to give space for the emotions of the characters to become fully realized No sooner is Anya opening her first shop in NYC, then she is opening shops all over the country and the world Huh Same with her romance with Yuji, one of theintriguing characters in the series He definitely deserved better, and as a reader, so did I Okay, this surprised me I put off reading this book for so long because the second in the series had disappointed me so much But I enjoyed the storytelling and characters a lotin this one It was easy to read and get invested again.Looking back, this series offers a great female main character and an epic story of crime and love and friendship Glad I finally picked it up. Actual Rating 4.5 StarsReview posted with formatting on my blog For readers of this series, I believe most will be happy with this conclusion What I like most about this series and specifically this last book is that we really see our characters grow as people There is a chapter entitled I AM WEAK REFLECT ON THE TRANSFORMATIVE NATURE OF PAIN DETERMINE THAT MY CHARACTER IS BUILT that really shows how far Anya has come At the end of this chapter, we have a conversation between Anya and Actual Rating 4.5 StarsReview posted with formatting on my blog For readers of this series, I believe most will be happy with this conclusion What I like most about this series and specifically this last book is that we really see our characters grow as people There is a chapter entitled I AM WEAK REFLECT ON THE TRANSFORMATIVE NATURE OF PAIN DETERMINE THAT MY CHARACTER IS BUILT that really shows how far Anya has come At the end of this chapter, we have a conversation between Anya and Mr DelacroixOne year, I came close to going to Teen Crime Scene Summer, a program for budding criminologists in Washington, DC, but I struck a deal with the acting district attorney that landed me at Liberty Children s instead I imagine the experience was character building for you Oh, it was Enormously I rolled my eyes Though I have had no shortage of character building experiences in my life At this point, he said, I think we can safely consider your character builtIn the Age of Love and Chocolate, 219One thing that separates this series from others is the span of time the books cover We follow Anya for six years She starts off as a teenager 16 years in All These Things I ve Done and we stay with her until she really is a young adult 22 years old I enjoyed this, as I mentioned above we are able to watch her grow as a person Your teenager years up until you become an adult at 21 these are your formative years This was truly a coming of age story Because of the age of Anya in this book, I have classified this book as New Adult too.Anya I ve already touched on her a bit with my coming of age talk She certainly makes mistakes as a person, but what young person doesn t She learns from her mistakes and moves on All that she has accomplished at such a young age truly inspiring She s very mature for her age and enjoyed her voice in this book including the asides she includes to foreshadow for the reader.Loved book 2 s cover much better than this one Maybe they should have come up with a different cover for Because It Is My Blood since it relatesto this book anyway.Now, I don t want to give anything away, so I m not going to include spoilers in this review until the timeline at the bottom I must sound like a broken record I just think almost all of the characters in this book have really grown up Leo and his wife Noriko take over one of the clubs on the other side of the country and succeed Little sister Natty even grows up though there is that silly business with Win Speaking of Win, man does he change I was quite upset with him at the end of book 2 Because It Is My Blood and about the first half of this book I couldn t get past his selfish ways in breaking Anya s heart and not supporting her I have come to terms with this they had to break up and go their separate ways in order to find themselves Anya hardens herself and became an international successful businesswoman More on Win to come.Yuji s story was heartbreaking and Sophia is truly a sociopath Poor Theo I really liked him in book 2 Throughout this book I was rooting for him, but towards the end we don t see much of him understandable given what happens but still sad because he is so lovable and I think he became jaded I think Anya made an excellent decision regarding The Family and Mouse One character I have come to really like is Mr Delacroix He is able to prove that people can change His friendship partnership with Anya is portrayed beautifully and even he gets a happy ending Now for the that half a star away from a perfect scorethe relationship between Win and Anya Just couldn t get over the about face Win does Some people compared their relationship to Romeo Juliet and being star crossed lovers I didn t really buy into that Bad girl meets good boy Ambitious father gets in the middle Girl chooses business over boy That kind of thingIn the Age of Love and Chocolate, 157That quote describes the relationship better To not give the ending away, I find that Win and Anya s interactions seemed unnatural and the ending doesn t really do justice to Anya She deserves a strong man that is his own person and can meet her as an equal I personally don t think that guy is Win One character I don t think we saw enough of was the best friend Scarlet and her son Felix Would have likedon her struggle being a single mom and trying to make it as an actress to boot As everyone probably knows, chocolate is used as an euphemism for a certain illegal drug in our day and age I personally think it was ingenious a bit of chocolate never hurt a soul, and I ll sign my name to that on as many prescriptions as you wantCacao could be used to treat everything from fatigue to headaches, from anxiety to dull skinIn the Age of Love and Chocolate, 37Sound familiar I ll let you draw your own conclusions A spoiler timeline of the series view spoiler Book 1 2082 16 years old Anya meets and dates Win also serves time at LibertyBook 2 2083 17 years old Anya is released from Liberty she then hides out in Mexico and meets TheoBook 3 2084 Anya turns 18 and opens a cacao nightclub 2085 She opensnightclubs enters a relationship with Theo he proposes she refuses2086 Anya turns 21 marries Yuji and is widowed when he dies shortly after almost dies herself at the hands of Sophia2087 Anya recuperates and spends a summer in Niskayuna with Win her sister The Dark Room is shut down and she wins in court attends wedding of Mr Delacroix to his ex wife AWWW hide spoiler