Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Release Date: September 6th, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
*I received a physical ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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.
I really wanted to give All These Things I’ve Done five stars because it was so darn unique. I mean REALLY original. But in the end I couldn’t, for a couple of reasons. Number one, chocolate and caffeine were illegal and considered as drugs. I thought the idea was pretty cool, but it just didn’t work for me because I couldn’t imagine people clamoring for the stuff like addicts do for cocaine and other serious drugs. It’s just hard to suspend disbelief for things like that. But I can honestly say I appreciate the effort of trying to be original.
The other thing that I didn’t care for was the lack of world-building. As a dystopian novel, I just felt world details were needed and they were severely lacking. I kept waiting and waiting to get more information about the world and what had happened to make it that way, and they never came. Good thing it’s a series and it might get more detailed as it goes on. There’s always that hope.
I really loved Anya/Annie as a protagonist. I just thought she was awesome and I wanted to know her. She is a kick-ass heroine and I loved how loyal she was. I loved her never give up and fighter attitude. She was sexy, smart, and a lot of fun. I loved her voice and adored being inside her head. Her relationship with Win was super-hot and I love them as a couple.
I loved the details of the mob, and how the family worked. I think eventually Annie will end up taking over and being the head of the family and I really cannot wait to see where this story goes, because I think there are so many different directions it could possibly go in.
There wasn’t a whole lot of action in the book, I can honestly say it was a more character-driven young adult novel, and that is truly a rare occurrence in young adult. That was another thing I appreciated. And yet, even though it was character-driven, it was still a quick read. I couldn’t put it down. All in all, I really, really liked it. Yeah there were things that could have been improved upon, but overall it was a lot of fun and I appreciate the originality. I did not intend to read this originally because it didn’t interest me, and I am truly glad that I changed my mind.
To pre-order All These Things I’ve Done from Amazon.com, click the link or the book cover below.