Saturday, July 7, 2012

All These Things 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.
I enjoyed this young adult book quite a lot, which surprised me. From the back, I wasn’t expecting to become so engaged with the story.
The thing about this book is that it doesn’t read quite so much like a young adult title as it does a light adult one. I suppose that’s why I enjoyed it. There is no case of insta-love, and although many scenes take place in a high school, there isn’t lots of “teen” dialogue which can get on the reader’s nerves.
The main character, Anya, was well-constructed, with lots of attitude and a mind of her own which made her stand out from many of the YA heroines out there today. Sometimes, she is a bit too stubborn, as if the author wanted to make sure we got that she was no damsel-in-distress. The other characters were okay, not particularly memorable, but fun. The bit of world-building is also done nicely, never overwhelming the plotline.
The only thing that frustrated me was the author’s habit of “telling” the reader that a character said something. Instead of saying it through dialogue, she just told us, as “I said that he shouldn’t…” It got pretty annoying after a while. She really should have just added the dialogue.
But, overall, it was fun and I’ll be looking forward to the next installment.


Paige said...

I really enjoyed this book too. Something about Chocolate & Caffine being illegal just drew me to it. I can't wait to read the second book!

~Paige @ Comfort Books

Jae said...

Another cool book I hadn't heard of but now really want to read! Where do you find all these interesting books!? :)