Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Review: All These Things That I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
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.
This was an interesting one. I loved Anya right away. She's tough and doesn't take crap from anyone as you'd expect a mob daughter to act but at the same time there is a vulnerability to her. Her family situation is precarious and she's all too aware of it. She's the glue that is holding her family together and the it's obvious that the stress is weighing on her but she copes the best she can.
Set in 2083, All These Things I've Done paints an interesting picture of the future. One where water usage is heavily regulated and coffee and chocolate are illegal drugs. The government is still intact but things aren't looking good. Crime is rampant and everything is in decline but Anya just plugs along, trying to keep her family together and deal with the stigma of how she is and what her family does. When everything hits the fan is when Anya reluctantly embraces who she is and her legacy.
Though the book could stand on its own, I'm very much looking forward to the rest of the series. I'm excited to see Anya take on her rightful role and see where that takes her.
Posted by Rachel at 11:50 AM