Saturday, October 01, 2011

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Anya Balachine has had a tough life growing up in crime-ridden New York City. The year is 2083, and the prohibition on chocolate and caffeine, along with rations on water, food, and paper, has made her Russian Mafiya family very influential in the city. But since both of Anya's parents are dead due to their Mob ties, Anya want nothing to do with the family business of selling black market chocolate. This is especially important when she becomes friends (and maybe something more) with Win, the son of the Assistant District Attorney and later when she is accused of poisoning her family's chocolate supply. Can Anya ever separate herself from her background, or is she destined to lead the Balachine regime like her father?

I really liked All These Thing I've Done. The novel was set in the future, but it wasn't really a dystopian because it was very similar to today. There weren't really any new technologies, just a lot of rations and caffeine and chocolate are contraband. I was disappointed that All These Things I've Done did not explain why and how these things became illegal. I enjoyed the fact that Anya's family is part of the Russian Mafia; I thought it was very interesting and not something done a lot in YA literature. Anya was a very strong and capable character and if she took over the leadship of her crime family in subsequent novels I think it could really shake things up. I liked the relationship Anya had with Win, especially the fact that their backgrounds are so opposite, but I felt like the romance was rushed. I know there will be a sequel, so hopefully we can get to see their relationship develop further. All in all, I really enjoyed All These Things I've Done and can't wait to see what Gabrielle Zevin has in store for us next.

Reviewer Age: 19
Reviewer City, State and Country: Aston, Pennsylvania United States