Book: All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Source: Review copy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
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.If you guys don't know, I read one of her previous books, Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, and I just absolutely adored it! When I was asked to review this, I just knew I would like this from the moment I saw it. So the question is... just why the heck did I wait so long to read this?! (Well, I guess the answer is other books seduced me with their pretty covers and there's the fact that I have so much schoolwork...)
Engrossing and suspenseful, All These Things I've Done is an utterly unique, unputdownable read that blends both the familiar and the fantastic.
All These Things I've Done was just written beautifully and eloquently. Gabrielle has such a distinct story telling voice that truly makes this book unputdownable... I really liked the characters as well. Gabrielle definitely blurred the lines of good and evil in this mafia family, which is a huge plus to me. Each "good" character had their faults and imperfections, while each "bad" character had a legitimate reason for their actions.
Speaking of characters, I loved Anya! She was a wonderful voice to hear throughout the book. She was tough and stubborn with her funny quips and remarks. She was also not perfect, and I think the book focused on her character development which was really nice to read about.
I think Scarlet was also a great supporting character. The relationship between her and Anya was so genuine. They had their ups and downs, but they stick through thick and thin. The relationship between Anya and her siblings was also a great thing about this book. Natty and Leo's conversations and actions with Anya were authentic and at times, I felt I had the same kind of conversations with my own siblings.
And, thank the LAWDY for Win and Anya. I'm a total Winya fan forever. Their relationship was very well-developed, no case of insta-love here. Win was really a nice guy, completely adorable! Usually, things like naivety would annoy the heck out of me, but it worked for Win. He's the kind of a guy that goes, "I don't give a damn about what others think, I want to be with you no matter what" which makes me go squeal "KYAAAA!" and other indistinguishable cries.
The ending was pretty much amazing. It was basically the last act of defiance of Anya for this book, which I really liked. It could have ended with one of those sappy or cliffhanger-like endings, but thank God it didn't.
In all, I cannot wait for the second book (which there are absolutely no details about as of right now)! All These Things I've Done is one hell of a captivating, refreshing read about a very possible future with an impossible romance (and it's also about the mafia, which makes it all the more awesome).