Series: Birthright #1
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) on September 6, 2011
Genres: Dystopian, YA
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.
What I Thought…
- Romeo and Juliet vibe (without the tragedy) + mafiya* = awesomeness!
- A world where chocolate is illegal is just wrong. Wrong! There are also a lot of other things that are illegal (i.e. caffeine) but nothing so bad as chocolate. I really loved the world that Zevin created. It was dark and dreary and almost without hope. So much has changed, but the mafiya is still the same. I love how she changed New York, describing current landmarks in their futuristic state.
- I love the style that Zevin wrote in. It was like Anya was telling the story directly to me, even takes a minute to inform me that she wouldn’t omit, because she is a reliable narrator. It was different, but I liked it.
- Anya is essentially a mafiya princess, who doesn’t want to be. Her parents are both dead so her grandmother is her guardian. Anya’s been trying to keep herself and her brother and sister out of that life. But obviously it’s not something you can just ignore…
- I really liked Anya. Even when she made a bad decision her heart was in the right place. She always put her family first, even when it wasn’t what she wanted. Despite her attempts to stay out of the family business she has to deal with it.
- I liked Win as well. He was cute and didn’t much care for all of his dad’s righteousness. He’s exactly the kind of guy that Anya needs.
- I get a little bit of a bad vibe from Win’s dad. He seems all righteous and good but it feels a little off. Either he’s too righteous and good or he’s faking it. I can’t decide.
- There was quite a lot of shady business going on. You have Anya’s cousins, uncle and a competitor all thrown into her life, and not in a good way. They are determined to bring her in to what her “real” responsibilities are.
- I have a soft spot for Leo. He was in a car accident at a young age that impaired him mentally. It’s almost impossible not to feel for him, and understand where his anger is coming from.
- I didn’t really like Anya’s friend Scarlet. At first she was ok, but later she got on my nerves, especially with some of her choices.
- Liberty island and Mrs. Cobrawick are super creepy. Liberty island is where the juvenile detention center is and Mrs. Cobrawick is the woman who runs it. Both of them make me shudder.
Overall I really, really enjoyed All These Things of Done and I’m so glad Because It Is My Blood is already out because I must know what happens next!
“I let myself feel good and sorry for myself, but only for a second. Daddy always said that the most useless of all human emotions was self-pity.”
* Mafiya is how mafia is spelt in the book, cause they’re Russian (which is awesome).