Monday, September 12, 2011

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
From the author of the critically acclaimed Elsewhere comes this brilliant novel about an impossible romance, a family living outside of the law, and the ties that forever bind us.

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.

Engrossing and suspenseful, All These Things I’ve Done is an utterly unique, unputdownable read that blends both the familiar and fantastic.

A couple of months ago a small package arrived on my doorstep. To my amazement, it included not only a copy of the high anticipated All These Things I’ve Done, the newest book by the lovely Gabrielle Zevin, but also some chocolate covered espresso beans. The espresso beans ended up being delicious but the book was even better! Enchanting and engaging, All These Things I’ve Done has to be one of the best books I’ve read so far this year, and given the fact that it’s the first in series, I also think that this may just be the next HUGE series. Mark my words!

All These Things I’ve Done dives right into the year of 2083 with the viewpoint of Anya Balanchine, the daughter of the New York City’s infamous crime boss. Anya’s world hasn’t exactly been easy in the past few years. Not only are both of her parents now dead, but her beloved grandmother’s health is rapidly declining and she’s quickly becoming the prime caretaker of her younger sister and her older brother. That’s not even adding in the fact that some suspicious things have been occurring in her family’s manufacturing business- the one thing Anya would like nothing more than to get away from unscathed. However, everything soon takes a sudden turn when Anya’s ex-boyfriend is poisoned by a chocolate bar from her family’s company…one that she gave him. Now dealing with the police as well as her mysterious and sometimes deadly family, Anya’s life is quickly unraveling, especially when she becomes involved with the son of the new assistant district attorney. Will Anya clear her name, save her family, and get the guy before it’s too late? Or will her life be the next one taken? Only time and more pages can tell in this deliciously creepy and imaginative new dystopian!

Anya is without a doubt one of my new favorite protagonists. Dauntless and fierce yet flawed, Anya was not only easy to root for but extremely likable. I enjoyed seeing her interact with her siblings and grandmother, all of whom she loved to pieces, as well as her friends and foes. Every different relationship showed a different side to her character- the vulnerable side to the fearless side to the innocent one.

However, the best part of this story had to be plot. Fast paced and full of twists and turns, every point to it was fully developed in a fabulously fun way. It was so hard to put this book down at times, and even when I did, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. One of the points I enjoyed the most was the setting. I felt Gabrielle Zevin did a great job of making it come to life through Anya’s descriptions as well as seeing how the characters interacted with it. Plus, this review wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t address the romance between Anya and Win. Win was swoon worthy and just as head strong as Anya, if not more, so when they were together sparks flew in more ways than one!

Romantic and spellbinding, All These Things I’ve Done is one of those books I highly suggest you pick up! Seriously, it’s one of the dystopians I’ve read this year.

Grade: A+ 

All These Things I've Done (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads) is now out!

Source: Publicist at FSG- thanks Ksenia!

Book Trailer:


  1. You've convinced me, Lauren. I'll make sure to read my copy soon, because it sounds like it's fantastic overall!

    Great review! :)

  2. You know, I didn't give this one too much thought before now, but such a strong rating and premise definitely catches my attention now. Fabulous review! :)

  3. this plot definitely sounds like it's right up my alley. nice review!


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