Wednesday, September 7, 2011

All These Things I've Done review

Anya Balanchine lives in New York City in 2083, where both caffeine and chocolate are illegal. She also happens to be the daughter of the city's biggest crime boss; a man notorious for smuggling both chocolate and caffeine and for being the ringleader of a huge crime ring before his death. In charge of her family, including two siblings and an ailing grandmother is work enough for Anya, but being her father's daughter throws a lot more responsibility on the young girl's shoulders and she often finds herself in situations normal 16-year-olds wouldn't be placed in. 

When Win, a new guy at school, starts to fall for her (and she for him), Anya knows she's in trouble. Win is the son of the assistant district attorney... definitely a many Anya wants her family to stay far away from. And as is dealing with a "forbidden" romance isn't enough, someone is setting Anya up to take the fall for a very serious crime. 

The concept of this novel was unique and fun to get into. I liked the whole "crime daughter" aspect, but I also really appreciated the solid head Anya had on her shoulders. She was definitely a strong, confident female character (always a good thing to me), but she was able to make and recognize her mistakes, as well, making her relatable despite the time period and the whole mafiya thing. 

There were a few things that bugged me about the book, mainly the chapter titles. The book is, for the most part, fairly serious with a few chuckle-worthy moments mixed in, but the chapters are almost corny. Well not almost, I DID find them corny. I also had a bit of trouble suspending my disbelief in a couple of situations, even despite this being dystopian and Anya being a mafiya daughter (and I'm not mispelling that word btw, it's the way Zevin spells it in the book). I was able to connect to the characters more than to the actual story. 

I did find the references to NYC landmarks a lot of fun...in 2083 everything has obviously changed. The museums have all been turned into speakeasies for caffeine fixes and the detention center Anya is sent to in the beginning is actually Liberty Island. Kinda neat. 

I would definitely had this to fans of Ally Carter's "Gallagher Girls" series or those that aren't quite ready for the heavier dystopian books. 

All These Things I've Done
Gabrielle Zevin
368 pages
Young Adult
FSG
9780374302108
September 2011
Review copy

3 comments:

Kailana said...

I have been hearing about this book recently. It sounds interesting.

steve said...

i never heard about this book but after reading this post as i am feeling about this book it seems this is one of the best book.
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Susan said...

I thought this one was lots of fun, even though the story didn't hang together nearly as well as I wanted it to.