6/28/17

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart, by Stephanie Burgis

I feel a little late to the party on this one; everyone I know seems to have already read and loved The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart, by Stephanie Burgis (Bloomsbury, middle grade, May 2017).  It was a book that I put off acquiring because I knew I'd enjoy it, which is a twisted sort of logic that makes sense only to those who have tbr piles of disastrous proportions.  But ignoring the importunings of the piled books, I bravely sought out Dragon, and did indeed like it lots!

A restless young dragon girl, Aventurine, leaves the safety of her home to actually Do something; she thinks she's pretty much invincible with her brave dragon fierceness.  Turns out she isn't, and instead of being easy prey, a puny human transforms her into a human herself with a magicked up of hot chocolate.  Aventurine is appalled by the transformation, but desperate for more chocolate, she makes her way to the nearest town to find it.

It is not an easy thing to be a dragon transformed into a human, and Aventurine has much to learn.  Fortunately, she soon makes friends with another human girl, who teaches her many valuable lessons (like 'money'), and equally fortunately, she finds a place working at a chocolate house, one of three such chocolate emporiums in the town, though the least economically successful.  The woman who runs it is more interested in the quality of her chocolate than making money, and Aventurine proves to be equally dedicated to the art.  So far, utterly delightful!

The chocolate house is in danger of economic failure, though.  And then the whole town is set on edge when Aventurine's family comes looking for her.  Though these twin difficulties worked well to more the plot along, and give it exciting emphasis, they kept the book from being pure comfort reading; I found it all very tense (I am sensitive).

But happily all ends very well indeed, and subsequent rereadings will doubtless find me less agitated! Aventurine is a delightful heroine, both because of her own strong personality and because of her very interesting conflict between the human world and her draconic nature (which gives rise to many touches of humor).  I found her convincing as both dragon and girl, but most appealing as an apprentice chocolate maker, just because I personally like books in which people learn crafts....The chocolate is also of course delightful, being chocolate.  So I am happy to add my voice to the legions of recommenders!

4 comments:

  1. That makes PERFECT SENSE TO ME. You can't keep messing up the ORDER of the TBR pile, but the books you WANT to read inevitably jump the line... it's a problem, yes.

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    1. A better problem than most, though. Especially when I consider the dark days of c. 1992-1999 when I didn't have enough to read.

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  2. I have done the same thing myself... and have this very book waiting for me at home as soon as I finish the book that was ahead of it in line. (But I'm down to only one book ahead of it!)

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  3. I thought this book sounded a bit silly for me, but since I've read so many great reviews of it, I also want to check it out.

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