Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: September 6, 2011
In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidently poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.Engrossing and suspenseful, All These Things I've Done is an utterly unique, unputdownable read that blends both the familiar and the fantastic.
Prior to reading All These Things, I'd heard some mixed things about it. But I loved Zevin's other two YA novels, so I was cautiously optimistic. As it turned out, I really enjoyed All These Things I've Done. It wasn't what I was expecting, but still good.
One thing that I liked about this book was that even though it was a dystopian novel, the world wasn't far from our own. At times it was easy to forget that it wasn't just a contemporary novel. The differences were minor. But that doesn't mean that this world wasn't awesome (or awesomely built, I mean).
All These Things also differed from other dystopians in another way. It wasn't action-packed and super-suspenseful. But that doesn't mean that there weren't edge-of-your-seat-moments, either. This book certainly managed to grab me and didn't let go until the very end.
I do have to point out Gabrielle Zevin's writing. She always seems to captivate and intrigue me. Her story-telling abilities amaze me.
And Anya. I loved her loyalty, to her family, to her friends, to those she loves. Even though she is put into some serious situations and has to grow up really quickly, she still manages to act her age at times. She definitely grows a lot over the book. I would consider her selfless, for sure.
All in all, I am very impressed with this book. One thing I am hoping to see more of in the next book is more of the business/ mafia part of it. It was in it in this book, but I think (hope) we will see a lot more of it in the next book.