Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: September 6, 2011
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: 1st book of Birthright series
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
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. Engrossing and suspenseful, All These Things I've Done is an utterly unique, unputdownable read that blends both the familiar and the fantastic.
I was really excited to read this book when I first read its synopsis and saw that awesome cover. Also, I heard from my friends who had read Gabrielle Zevin's book Elsewhere that she's a great writer. So when I finally got to reading this book, I had really high hopes and expectations for it--and now I am happy to say that I absolutely LOVED it and I can't wait to read the sequel to come out.
The plot of this book had everything--excitement, suspense, action--and the world-building was fantastic and well-developed. I also loved the narration of this book, which was a first-person narration by Anya, the main character. It was narrated as if she were recalling back and telling the story to me in person. The way it was written, with Anya's vivid voice, made the story realistic enough that I would always feel like I was being transported forward in time and then put in Anya's shoes.
Speaking of Anya, I loved her character. She was a really likable character and I somehow got to relate and connect with her, despite how different our lives and personalities are. I liked how she was a determined, strong, intelligent and brave heroine. Although she had her share of flaws, I thought it made Anya's character all the more vivid and like a real person. In fact, all the characters of this book were all well-developed and full of depth. Every time I had picked up this book to continue to read where I had left off, I would feel like I was catching up with old friends.
Another aspect I liked about this book was the relationship between Anya and Wish, the love interest. I liked how it wasn't a big part of the book but it was still mentioned and was even involved in the events of the actual conflict of the book. I thought Wish was a great kind of companion for Anya's character and reading about the parts when they were together was nice and sweet. I rooted for them all throughout the book.
This truly was a fantastic read and was one of my top-favorites from 2011. On the day that I finished it, which was during history class at school, I let my friend borrow it and she ended up liking it too. So I really do mean it when I say that I recommend anyone and everyone to read this book for I think it could spark anyone's attention and interest.