Monday, 7 November 2011

Book Review: All These Things I've Done

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.
"A world where coffee and chocolate are illegal? This must be some kind of twisted horror novel!"
These were my initial thoughts when I first read about Gabrielle Zevin's most recent story, All These Things I've Done. As a lover of dystopian novels and a chocolate enthusiast, I just had to see how things would turn out! Around Chapter 3, however, I realized that while I was certainly enjoying this book, is was not what I expected at all. For one thing, the main character talks a lot about religion, mainly her own Catholic beliefs, throughout the course of the book. While I myself am a Catholic, I found it somewhat out of place in this dystopian world. Although I respect Zevin's choice to make her protagonist religious, it felt a little bit forced and awkward at times.

Despite this small religious undertone, I really did enjoy the novel as a whole. I always love stories that involve mob families and the art of a good con, and All These Things I've Done is no exception. While it didn't blow me away like Holly Black's novel White Cat,  I think this series has the potential to get really good. You can certainly tell that this first book is setting up for some juicy intrigue in the future to come. I'm really interested to see what happens to Anya next, and whether or not she finally decides to embrace the life of crime that she was born into. I'll certainly be reading the next book when it comes out in order to fill my curiosity.

Rating: 3 Stars

P.S. Sorry this review is a little bit short for once! I finished this book about a week ago, and forgot to take down any notes about my thoughts while I was reading it...hence why my review is not as detailed as it normally is. 


Jenny said...

Well, it's on the TBR list. I don't know if any mob book can compare to The Curse Workers series, but I'll try it. ;)

Lena said...

The religious aspect really caught me off guard as well. Still, what a great concept, right? I can't wait to see what happens next. Thanks for the fabulous review!

Natalie said...

Jenny: Nothing can ever compare to Cassel <3

Lena: Ya, it was still a really interesting concept once I got past the shock of how different it was then I expected!

Karen @ Book Light Graveyard said...

Hmmm...I can't quite decide whether I want to read this one or not. I've been seeing fairly mixed reviews for it. But I do want to read "White Cat"--thanks for reminding me to put it on my tbr :)

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