All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
Series: The Birthright #1
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian
Source: Zeitghost Media
Add to: Goodreads
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. - via GoodReads
Anya Balanchine has a lot on her plate for a 16 year old girl. She is the daughter of a mafiya boss. Her mother took a hit intended for her father. The accident rendered her brother mentally handicapped. A few years later her father was murdered in his own study. Anya’s grandmother came to live with them as their legal guardian. Now Nana’s health is slipping and Anya is responsible for taking care of her older brother Leo and her younger sister Natti. Anya and Natti still attend school and Leo has a job at an animal clinic.
Things start to snowball rapidly for Anya and her family. The animal clinic Leo works at is closed down by corrupt government workers. Leo takes a job for the family business. Anya struggles with this because she is worried that people will take advantage of her brother. Then Anya’s ex-boyfriend is poisoned and the source is Balanchine chocolate. He survives but it’s a nasty recovery. Anya is put in government care until her trial. Meanwhile her family must survive without her.
Anya is released later and is determined to get to the bottom of the poisoning. To top it all off she and the new boy at school are sending sparks flying. The only problem is he’s the new District Attorney’s son. The DA who has promised to clean up New York City once and for all.
I have to say that I was intrigued with the premise of All These Things I’ve Done. In a not so distant future water is rationed, there is very little greenery and chocolate and coffee are illegal? I really wanted to know what this world was like. Gabrielle Zevin does a great job creating this bleak future. It’s not so far in the future nor so different from the world we live in now. The rules of society haven’t changed that much. At first I found the idea of a mob boss for chocolate comical but it didn’t take long for me to understand just how serious it was.
I couldn’t help but root for Anya from the very beginning. Her sense of family is quite strong and I loved the way that she took care of them. I also really enjoyed all the secondary characters. Leo and Natti were my favorites. Leo is such a sweet and gentle soul. Win reminded me strongly of someone still trying to find his place in the world. He had his values and priorities but came across as a wandering soul.
All These Things I’ve Done caught my attention from the beginning and held it. Mostly I wanted to know how Anya would respond to the challenges in front of her. My suspect for the poisoner constantly changed. I’m really looking forward to book number two in the series. Overall, if you enjoy futuristic young adult novels you must check this book out!