Review: Death by Chocolate by Johanna K. Pitcairn

Author:Johanna K. Pitcairn
Title: Death By Chocolate
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Format: Netgalley
Genre: Thriller, Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication Date: February 5,2013
(Death by Chocolate)
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?


We've all been guilty of letting our emotions get the best of us at times. Some of us swoon over someone we know we shouldn't, other times we get into petty arguments just to prove were right and someone else is wrong. But, What if every action you made had a consequence? Would you live life more cautiously? If Julie had she wouldn't be in this mess. Broke, hungry, tired and alone Julie accepts help from the first kind face she sees. However, the decision costs Julie more than she expected. Now stuck in a world with a hot guy named Evan who annoyingly only speaks in riddles and running from creatures only he can see, Julie must decide to face her fears or be ruled by them. With the fate of the entire world hanging on her shoulders, only she can decide her destiny. Will she choose correctly however remains unseen.

Damn Death by Chocolate was good. I was sucked in from the first page and read the entire book in one sitting. Now maybe I've read way to many Stephen King books but if I was Julie and an old gypsy woman came up to me, I would of turned tail and ran. Nothing good can come of this type of meeting. Julie clearly doesn't read much King or she would of known this!

Speaking of Julie, I know I shouldn't like her character, every fiber in my being knows that. Julie encompasses all the traits I usually hate in female protagonists. Julie is whiny, pessimistic, rude, stubborn, and her inner monologue drove me batty yet.... I rather enjoyed watching her. Julie was a train wreck waiting to happen and when it did I shockingly felt no satisfaction zip zilch. In fact, I felt sorry for her. Karma can be quite a bitch and Julie tasted its wrath with full vengeance. While her comeuppance is completely justified it left me feeling hollow. Instead of anger at her actions, I felt pity. I never expected to sympathize with someone who ruffled my feathers so much, yet I did. Guess that is what good writing does to you.

As for the other character Evan, I completely liked him. Sure, he talked in riddles and his back story was left a mystery but I didn't care. He pushed Julie, without him she wouldn't of achieved her destiny even if that destiny sucked. I am hoping to learn more about him in the future.

Death by Chocolate can be described as a cautionary tale. Thinking before speaking or acting could of stopped Julie from experiencing the world of hurt that she did. Course, then this review would be boring since the book would of been dreadfully short. I didn't want this book to end, it was just so darn good. Which of course brings me to the one flaw this book had, the ending itself. If you could see my glare through the screen it would have you quivering in fear (no lie). I hate it so much when a book just ends with no warning. Cliffhangers I am fine with especially when I can see them coming. The ending to Death by Chocolate however just stops. I mean Wth?!? That ending wasn't satisfying at all it was just last line and then acknowledgements. I really, let me stress really, hope this isn't a standalone novel. Cities will riot, walls will come tumbling down and puppies will lose their cuteness if this book is not given a sequel. OK that might be a lie but still this book demands further exploration. Was Julie dreaming, did the events even happen, why were the chocolates so important? All of these and more were questions I had at the end. Just three more pages could of taken this book from good to great territory, I honestly mean that.

In the end, Am I happy that I read Death by Chocolate? A resounding yes! This book was different and while it might of been frustrating at times it was still a fun read. Plus any book I can read in one sitting denying myself even bathroom breaks must be good. Overall, even with the unsatisfu I'm calling Death by Chocolate a reading win! That is why I will be rating Death by Chocolate by Johanna K. Pitcairn ★★★★.

Now for my questions:

Have you heard of this book? If so, Do you plan on reading it? Do you believe in Karma coming back to you in some way, shape, or form? Let me know your answers in the comments below, I love reading all your responses!


  1. No bathroom breaks! Hehe. So glad you enjoyed it! :)

  2. You had me reeled in hook, line and sinker, well until I read the part about the ending. I don't know if I can tolerate such an abrupt conclusion. I like everything to be wrapped up. I despise cliffhangers, this though sounds even worse. I'm totally curious about this one, don't know if I will brave it though, maybe wait until it comes out at the library?

    1. Oh no, you really should read it even if it is only through a library or borrowed on Kindle. It was really different in a good way.


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