My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I really liked this one. It's shaping up to be a reeeeeeally great series and I'm hoping it continues just as strongly with the next book(s?). The Birthright series is set in a future New York where substances like chocolate and coffee are banned and, like in the prohibition era of the 1920s, these things have given rise to illegal black markets, mob families, and a NYC very different than our present.
Anya Balanchine is a daughter of an infamous chocolate family and in this book we pick up with her after her stint at a notorious juvenile detention center, Liberty Children's Facility. She emerges with a determination to keep her siblings safe and get her life together but it's even harder now that she has a record and a family "business" in chaos. But Anya is a survivor and a girl with true grit. She works her butt off trying to keep everything from falling apart but things go awry, people die, and Anya becomes a fugitive in Mexico! Hence, the recipe for some spicy Mexican chocolate in the book's preface.
I also liked the parallels between Anya's world and our current events (e.g. the NYC bans on big cups of soda, junk food restrictions).
This book was a library copy.