Monday, February 13, 2012

My Thoughts: All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin


Published: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (9/6/11)
Pages: 354
Format: Hardcover
Series: Birthright #1
Source: won during Armchair BEA
GR Summary: 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.

My Thoughts: First off, I love the name Anya, so I instantly connected with the character on a completely superficial level. Luckily, she was audacious and spunky enough to back up her awesome name. Secondly, living in a world without chocolate and ESPECIALLY coffee is a world I wouldn't want to live in. And if I had no choice, I'd break the law all the time, assaulting fools for some coffee. I sympathized with the addicts and supported the mafiya.

This book did not disappoint me in any way. It wasn't action-packed or guns a-blazin' or collecting-thumbs-to-get-my-money, but it had just the right amount of subtle suspense to keep me satisfied. I thought Anya's ex-boyfriend was a complete tool, so I'm glad the romance redeemed itself. New love interest, Win (aka Goodwin), was all kinds of cute and fun and sweet and I had a total crush on this couple. And then there's the fact that Anya's a mafiya daughter and Win's daddy is the D.A. Starcrossed lovers. WORD.

OH. And three cheers for the awesome best friend. I think I liked her more than Anya. Not to mention a seriously sad backstory involving Anya's family that makes me want to hug mine tight.

Though the word "dystopia" usually makes me think of cyborgs and bionic arms and technology beyond my wildest imagination, All These Things I've Done is a pretty interesting addition to the genre. It's not so different from the world we know today, except no caffeine or paper and the showers are like 5 milliseconds long and freezing because there's a water ration. Not a fate I'd wish upon anyone, but it was fun to read about.

13 comments:

  1. I loved this book as well and totally agree with everything you said! Also, my niece is Anja so I loved the name too :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I liked this one a lot too! It wasn't a super-intense-can't-put-it-down kind of book, but it was definitely an enjoyable read. I'm curious to see how much more Anya will have to get involved with the mafia in Book #2...

    ReplyDelete
  3. YES! Starcrossed lovahs! <3

    AND I could not exist in a world without coffee. I would be fine without chocolate, but coffee, that would be rough.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This looks like an interesting book, the name Anya is beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your last paragraph is actually why I really want to read this. It sounds like it'll be a lot more fun and easier to understand than most of the dystopians I read.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awesome review! So glad it didn't disappoint. And seriously? No chocolate or coffee? It'd be horrible!! I can't wait to read it myself. It sounds super interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yay for Anya and Win! I kinda sorta wanted this to be a standalone, but the whole mob thing intrigued me enough to want to carry on for the rest of the series.

    ReplyDelete
  8. A world without chocolate?? No, thanks!

    Why are chocolate and coffee illegal? Does the book explain?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I want to read this one so much. I told Lisa the Nerd once, and now I'll tell you...I painted my bedroom walls brown so they'd be the same color as chocolate and coffee. So this book NEEDS to be absorbed by yours truly. I had it out from the library once but didn't get to it before someone else requested it. One day I'll get to it and I think this one might be one we ACTUALLY AGREE ON. Cause I'm pretty sure I might like this one. It sounds like an Asheley book.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's amazing that an author can create such a horrific world simply by making coffee and chocolate against the rules! It definitely has me interested and so does your review :]

    ReplyDelete
  11. This one sounded good a while back. I have it on audio. Reading your review makes me anxious to get to reading it sooner more than later.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I would totally break the law and find some coffee and chocolate too. And this book sounds really good!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm glad you posted the original hardcover and not the gag-tastic PB cover. Star-crossed lovers! I love swooning over star-crossed lovers!

    ReplyDelete