13 March 2012

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
Birthright #1
Release Date: April 6, 2012
Publisher: MacMillan
Source: For Review
Rating: No rating

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. - Goodreads

This is another review of a book that I'm not sure how to rate. I enjoyed some of it, but I was also quite disgusted by some characters and the plot kind of veered off course halfway through.

All These Things I've Done is written from Anya's point of view. Anya is the daughter of a deceased mod boss and she has to looks after her siblings and dying grandmother.

I really liked the idea of a world in which chocolate and caffeine had been banned. Who in the world would ban chocolate? Anya's family run an illegal chocolate business, although Anya doesn't want anything to do with them now that her father is dead.

The plot was excellent at the beginning, and kept me hooked, but after the romance started up the entire plot shrivelled away. I was really looking forward to reading about Anya's mafia family, but we didn't get to see much of them. The book became all about Anya and her love interest, and there was no depth there, either. I was looking for something akin to Holly Black's White Cat, which balanced a crime plot with character development wonderfully. But this was as if the two plots couldn't wind together. One had to be abandoned for the other to go ahead.

I also couldn't really relate to Anya. She was a Catholic - which alone I was fine with, of course - yet she wasn't a very 'good' one. She also only turned to religion because of her deceased Catholic mother, which I thought was a bit silly but whatever. Also, she couldn't make up her mind about how she felt about sex. Before she met Win, she didn't believe in sex before marriage, and after she met him she almost jumped on him right there and then. Sigh.

Win, the love interest, was also kind of bland. He didn't have much of a personality and I couldn't relate to him at all. If anything, he was far too sensitive. He acted like an overly hormonal girl at some points when he whined and got his feelings hurt over nothing. Man up.

Like I said at the beginning, I was quite disgusted by some of the characters in this book. Anya's ex-boyfriend tried to force himself on her not once, but twice. She did end things with him after the first time, but after the second time she didn't really do anything. Even worse, HER BEST FRIEND STARTED DATING HIM!! What kind of a friend starts dating a guy who almost date raped their best friend? And what kind of friend (Anya) lets her do that?! And what kind of a boyfriend/love interest takes sympathy on this almost-rapist?! This left such a bitter taste in my mouth and I'm sorry that this was a bit spoilery. I just think it needed to be said.

At random times, Anya started addressing the reader. It was really out of place, and it took me out of the story every time this happened. I would have preferred it if this hadn't happened at all, or at least happened consistantly.

So, yes. That's my choppy review. I was really disappointed in this book, but I did enjoy the beginning. Maybe I need to come up with a new rating "DISGUSTED" because that's honestly what I mostly am at this point.


  1. I'd be sooo miserable if chocolate were banned. I could live without coffee (mabye...), but no chocolate? :D I like the idea for a book though.

    But I'm sad to hear that the characters aren't appealing at all. For me, the characters are probably the most important part of the story and if I can't stand them, I'll end up hating the book. So thank you very much for this warning! :)

    Fictional Distraction

    1. Haha I wouldn't be able to handle it either. I'd probably end up running my own illegal chocolate business XD

      You're welcome! I'm happy to help.

  2. Oh wow... I was thinking about reading this but I think I'll pass after reading your review. The problems you had with this book are the exact problems that usually bug me. Bad romance and characters. Such a bummer since the premise sounds so cool. :/

    1. I know, I was really disappointed because it sounded like a great read. Such a shame :(


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