Title: All These Things I’ve Done
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Genre/Audience: Young Adult fiction, dystopian
Publication: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011
Summary: It’s the year 2083, and New York City is riddled with crime. Chocolate and coffee are illegal, and paper and clothing hard to obtain. 16 year old Anya Balanchine, daughter of a notorious crime boss, is just trying to lead a normal life. She’s fallen in love with the D.A.’s son (the D.A. is none too happy that his son is dating an infamous Balanchine), and is busy taking care of her family after the murder of her parents. Her grandmother is bedridden and dying, and her older brother is mentally challenged, so things are hectic at home. Things get more crazy, though, when her ex-boyfriend is immediately poisoned and hospitalized after eating one of Anya’s contraband chocolate bars. Fingers are immediately pointed at Anya, because her family produces and sells the illegal chocolate, and she is thrown into a juvenile detention center. Anya knows she didn’t poison the chocolate, but now she must figure out who did, and why they are after the Balanchine family.
My Thoughts: This book was AWESOME! Anya was a great character and the writing was phenomenal. Even though the events of the story seemed unrealistic, I was totally wrapped up in it and was rooting for Anya the entire time. I liked her because she was a really strong female who showed no fear, and embraced her responsibilities without ever complaining. She was wise and courageous – definitely a strong character that readers will admire and look up to.
I loved reading about the intricacies of Anya’s crime family, the “mafiya,” (no, not mafia), and hearing all about the “family business.” Even though Anya’s father was a criminal, Anya admired him and he took care of his family, so it was easy to like him as well… a likable criminal – how about that! Even though Anya was brought up in a world of crime, she tries to stay away from it and keep her immediate family out of it, and as safe as possible, which proves to be difficult when her brother gets involved anyway. The romance story line was great as well… a forbidden love sort of thing – very intriguing (and frustrating)! Though it wasn’t really necessary for the story, I am a sucker for some romance, so whatever, I liked it.
I loved this dystopian novel, and the fast pace it moved at throughout the duration of the story. I am anxiously awaiting the sequel that’s due out this September!
My Rating: 4.5/5