Hello Beautiful people, Today I bring you a guest review by one of my gorgeous students, Emilly… Enjoy
My Rating: 5 Stars
Publication Date: September 2011
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Format: Hardcover , 368pp
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Series: Birthright Series
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 accidentally 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.
What I Liked:
There was much to like about All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin. The storyline was like no other I have read before. While the book is more about the characters than the time, Zevin’s careful placement of her characters in a time in the future where there are huge problems with laws and society is genius. It was never a far reach for my imagination to believe that all of the events could actually take place in the world that we live in and it enhanced the story in a big way.
There is a lot going on in the story, but I never felt like it wasn’t all carefully tied in to the important details of the story. While main character, Anya, is only sixteen, she is her families “go to” girl and the one managing her home for her much younger sister, her brain damaged older brother and her dieing grandmother. Add to that a criminal family heritage, trouble with the law, conflict with her mob related extended family and an incredible love story and Gabrielle Zevin has delivered one amazing story that is hard to put down.
What I Didn’t Like:
Although I appreciate that Anya was far from self loathing, I would have liked to have seen a bit more of personal struggle. The fact that Anya has reached a level of maturity, selflessness and understanding that will not be achieved by most adults in a lifetime seemed a little ridiculous at times.
Would I Recommend It:
Abso-stinkin-lutely! I recommend All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin for all young adult fiction fans. It is an interesting read full of conflict and its time and place make it that more interesting. Because this is a first of series book for The Birthright Series and a new release, it is one that you can get in on now, without any catching up to do.