Monday, July 23, 2012

Review: All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

All These Things I've Done (Birthright #1)
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux (BYR)
Publication Date: September 6, 2011
Pages: 354
Source: Hardcover/Library

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.

Review: I thought this book was really interesting and definitely different. Ok, the first thing that really hit me about this book was that Anya's grandma was born in 1995 in it. That's two years younger than me. So that would make me even older than her grandma. That was mind blowing. When you read a book you know is set in the future but it doesn't give you exact dates you don't think about it, but when you have a specific date like that and its really makes you think about your age, then your like OMG NO WAY! Ok, now that I got that out of the way. Chocolate being contraband and Caffeine being illegal! NO! Say it isn't so! Those are things all of us have or have access to all the time and just thinking about them not being legal is also mind blowing. And then on top of that, her family is in the chocolate business. They own a chocolate company and she still has access to chocolate due to that and she has to hide it to get away with it. That's tough. It was also tough because due to certain things that happen in the book (to be discussed in the next paragraph) she ends up being torn between following her heart and what she wants or living up to her birthright and becoming a part of the chocolate company. That's a tough decision for such a young girl. I felt so bad for Anya, she went through so much and it never seemed to get easier for her, just harder and harder no matter how much she tried to make life better.

I really like Win! Win was pretty cool. He found out certain things about Anya and he was ok with those things, and he respected other things he found out about her, like how she felt about certain things due to her religion. I really loved that he stuck by her, even knowing things that could get them both in trouble. He was also very persistent in many instances and I loved it. He wouldn't give up whether it was trying to date her, or just be there for her when she needed someone the most. What happened at the end between them made me sad. I'm still not sure how I feel about Anya's brother Leo her sister Natty. They really didn't make life easier for Anya even when they knew she was trying her hardest and that got on my nerves. I do have to give it to Anya, even though her brother and sister could be massive pains at times she did everything she could in her power to protect both of them even though it caused her to get in trouble for them. She is so dedicated to her family and it amazed me seeing the lengths she'd go to to protect them. I'd be glad to have Anya as my sister any day. I did like Anya's best friend Scarlet. Even though Scarlet got mad sometimes over silly things she was still a pretty good best friend and was always there for Anya and her family and I loved that about her. Overall, I really enjoyed the story!

4 Stars!


  1. My co-blogger Jess has read this book and she liked it. Have you seen the new covers ? What do you think of them ?

  2. I haven't read this one yet, but I do like Gabrielle Zevin's Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac. I like how you described all the characters, and Win sounds like a great guy. It's also interesting to be given such a specific date for the grandmother of the story that hits so close to home. A lot of dystopians take place so far in the future and you're right, we don't really have dates. Sounds like this was put into perspective.
    -Jenna @ Fans of Fiction


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