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young adult book reviews & more

All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin

All These Things I've Done (Birthright)New York City is a very different place in 2083. Crime and poverty are everywhere, and it seems that the only thing that the government is good at doing is banning and rationing items. You’d think that life would get kind of boring since caffeine and chocolate are illegal, but life for Anya Balanchine is always a little more interesting than she’d like it to be. All the excitement probably comes with the family name—the Balanchine crime family is one of the most eminent crime families in the world. Anya would prefer going along with business as usual, a routine of school, taking care of her siblings, and avoiding her ex-boyfriend, but when the ex-boyfriend is poisoned by the chocolate manufactured by her family, routine gets thrown out the door. Now, in addition to all her other responsibilities, Anya has to figure out the truth behind the poisoned chocolate and protect her family name, all while trying not to fall for the son of the new assistant DA. It would seem overwhelming, but Anya was raised a Balanchine—and she’s too smart to go down without a fight.

I enjoyed Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac and absolutely I loved Elsewhere, but I have to say that All These Things I’ve Done is Zevin’s best YA novel yet. I was initially wary of the overall idea of the story, because the first synopsis I read didn’t give a great overview of the book, but I’m so glad I decided to trust my faith in Zevin because All These Things I’ve Done is an incredible story. Anya is a more serious but very intelligent narrator, and as a result, readers gain insight into both Anya’s personal thoughts and the complex system of loyalties associated with the Balanchine family. I don’t think I’d be able to pinpoint the exact point where I became completely invested in this story, but this was not a book I could willingly put down as each new complication was introduced to the story. I loved this novel for so many reasons, because of Zevin’s superb storytelling, the believability and strength of each emotion portrayed, and that although this story is labeled as dystopian, the setting isn’t so outlandish or extreme that readers have to take a big leap to connect our present day with the conditions in Anya’s world. I’m sure I’m not going to be the only reader anxiously awaiting the next installment in the Birthright series.

All These Things of Done is a must read for all fans of Zevin’s earlier YA novels and Heist Society by Ally Carter.

Rating: 4.75

Review copy from publisher Macmillan

6 munch(es) :

Gray said...

You liked it? That means I probably will. Good to know. :D Nice review!

Princess Z said...

Seems like a really interesting read! cant wait to get my hands on it!

Chen Yan Chang said...

This sounds like an awesome book! I love dystopian novels, and I love the idea that this society is rationing things. And that chocolate and caffeine are illegal. It would be interesting to read why these two items are illegal.

Mitzy said...

I love books that are set in the future, whether it's 10 years or 400! It's so interesting to see how different people perceive how our lives will be in that time. Looks like a good one!

holdenj said...

I really liked Memoirs as well, so glad to hear this is good too!

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

Ok, I'm sold-I loved Elsewhere too, so if this is better, I'm going to love it. I loved Memoirs too-she's such a talented writer!

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