Death by Chocolate by Johanna K. Pitcairn0
At seventeen years old, Julie deals with more problems than most teenagers her age. After getting into an argument with her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend, she runs away from school. Quickly homeless and broke, her escape to Las Vegas leads her to an old Gypsy woman she meets outside of a supermarket when begging for food.
Julie’s hungry and heartbroken. She wants to find shelter from the rain and forget a life she has been despising for years. When the Gypsy offers to read her future in exchange for a meal, the challenge sounds like a dare. The tarot cards reveal a great destiny, and a perilous journey. What else can go wrong that hasn’t already happened? Julie finds the whole act entertaining until the Gypsy gives her a red heart shaped box containing twelve chocolates, and orders her to eat one.
Julie wakes up in an unwelcoming world filled with danger. A boy named Evan introduces himself as her guide, but will he really help her when she needs him the most? Demons of a long forgotten past haunt her dreams and seek revenge for something she doesn’t remember. Too many questions receive too little answers.
Reality and fantasy have melted to become one never ending nightmare where failure equals death. Will Julie accept the truth to survive?
I kind of want a sequel? Like... bad. It became one of those stories that left so much unanswered that all I can do is hope for another book to satisfy my curiosity.
Death by Chocolate by Johanna K. Pitcairn, in my mind, is about a girl who is trying to deal with the intense anger issues that she has and the influence it has had on other people's lives. Julie is all about the avoidance of sensitive topics, hardening herself toward real feelings like love, hope, and regret. Her guilt is barely realized by the end of the story and you are left to question what Julie will do with the new found answers she has. Will she change her life? Will she learn to think before she acts? Will she ask for forgiveness from those she has hurt? There are so many questions I have and I think only a sequel will answer them.
Julie is a spitfire, stubborn, and somewhat mean girl. My best friend and this character are cut from the same cloth, I swear. Both of them are stubborn as mules when it comes to someone giving them orders. In her mind, if there are questions unanswered or needs unmet, it is easier to dig in your heels than be patient. The spitfire attitude is always fun to read about especially when Julie gets defensive. After years of conditioning herself, you'd think she might be tired of the facade but the truth is that she embraces it. It's easier to hold up a shield than face the firing squad and ask for forgiveness. The meanness is a defense mechanism that a lot of people have after being hurt by someone or something. It takes years to master the perfect amount of indifference and anger to keep people at arms length. It takes even longer to lower it. This is why I want to see a sequel. It seems like Julie has so much potential for growth. Why leave it alone?
Evan is a quirky character. He brings in a lot of humor and sometimes, he brings in a lot of common sense. It is clear that perhaps he is the voice of reason for Julie that she has never had before. The objectivity of another person can often be immensely helpful. I loved getting to see another person's perspective on all of the issues that Julie carries silently.
Overall, I am extremely curious as to what would happen after the last page. And if you can tell, I am nudging towards the possibility of a sequel. There are so many questions I have! I just need them answered. Anyways, it's a good read. Check it out!