This is the review of an uncorrected advance copy. Changes may be made in the final book. The cover shown below may be changed or altered before the book's release.Title: All These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1)
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Cover Designer: N/A
Age Audience: YA
Summary: It's 2083. Chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is increasingly scarce, 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—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 someone in her inner circle ends up 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 mafiya family.
Wow. This book was nothing like what I was expecting. And I mean that in a good way!
I loved how All These Things I’ve Done was set in the near future, so the world hadn’t progressed drastically. I liked being able to recognize things from today. For example, when Anya goes to Liberty Island (which wasn’t a tourist spot anymore), she talks about a statue of feet wearing sandals which I recognized to be the remains of the Statue of Liberty. But things still had changed. Water is rationed, paper books are rare, and caffeine is illegal.
Anya was an awesome protagonist. I loved how she was realistic about relationships; it was something I could relate to. I also loved how her relationship with Win had development, and it wasn’t over-emotional or angsty. But that doesn’t mean it was lacking in the passion which comes in later. (Yay for development!)
I also found the crime-family aspect to be very intriguing. Anya’s father was head of the chocolate mafia before he died, so often his old friends and colleagues showed up to create conflict and suspense that made this book so much more enjoyable.
Original, engrossing, and stunning. This is the first book by Gabrielle Zevin that I’ve read, but it surely will not be the last! I can’t wait for the sequel to All These Things I’ve Done!