All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Title: All These Things I've Done(Birthright #1)
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Farrar Staus Giroux
Publication Date: September 6, 2011
Hardcover, 354 pages
ISBN: 978-0-374-30210-8
Genre: Young Adult

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.

My thoughts:
I have mixed feelings about this book. I didn't love it nor did I hate it. The premise is really interesting though. A futuristic world where the things we take for granted are rationed or are illegal. If I lived in a society where coffee and chocolate where illegal, they'd have to lock me up because those are two of my favorite things. 
The story centers around Anya. She's sixteen and basically the head of household. She looks after her younger sister and her brother who after an accident was left with a brain injury. Their grandmother, who is basically on life support, is their 'caretaker'. Anya falls for the new kid, Win, who happens to be the D.A.'s son. This is a problem because, Anya's deceased father was a notorious mafia head. Leo, Anya's brother, starts hanging out with other members of their 'mafia family'. Anya worries because Leo is easily manipulated. She's doing her best to distance her past from her future.
The lack of parental supervision in YA books seems to be trending. Although technically there is a parental figure, she's not able to take care  of the children and make decisions. Anya basically does everything  on her own.  I really really don't like this trend. I remember being sixteen. Even though I wasn't helpless, I definitely wasn't mature enough to run things on my own. Even though at the time I probably would have disputed the last sentence. However in this novel there were a few saving graces. Anya made mistakes. She was put in some situations that had a parent been around she probably wouldn't have gotten into. Also there is a nurse that takes care of the grandmother, that helps Anya from time to time.  
The story line is okay. Anya and Win are star crossed lovers. Anya tries not to get involved but of course she can't help her self. Anya and Win have some obstacles to overcome. Anya also has to deal with someone setting her up when her ex is accidentally poisoned. She suspects it's someone from her father's past. The writing is good and the story flowed flawlessly. I just wasn't wowed by the story line. I found it hard to believe that the mob would be worried about a sixteen year old girl wanting to take over. However King Tut became pharaoh at the age of 10, I guess a teenager could rule the underground world of  chocolate. I really wanted to love this book, but I didn't. Despite that, I would still read the next book in the series. I think this series has potential. 

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*I received this book from the publishers for review purpose only. This in no way influenced my review.


  1. Man you're right, unsupervised kids are trending! I would blame it on this being a dystopian novel but I saw an article where the author pushed that this wasn't dystopian.

    I'm with you on not knowing how to feel about the book though! It's still on my shelf, I'm about 80 pages in and I just do not have the motivation to continue. :/ Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Du Livre

  2. @Amber,Maybe futuristic is a better description. U wasn't motivated reading this book either. It didn't really leave me wanting more but I am glad I finished it. There are aspects of the story that I did like though. It wasn't all bad.


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