Release Date: September 6th, 2011
Novel: All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Format: Hardcover NovelIn 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.
Source: Austin Teen Book Festival
(Synopsis from Goodreads)
I admit, I have read no other Gabrielle Zevin novels, but since I finished All These Things I've Done, I can't wait to pick up Elsewhere, Memoir of a Teenage Amnesiac and others by this amazing author.
When I got All These Things I've Done, I hadn't really read much about it - I hadn't done my usual research. I basically just based my decision off of the hype this book has gotten and the amazing cover! I mean, seriously. A dripping chocolate heart? Awesome! So, I purchased All These Things I've Done, and got it signed (if you want to see the personalized autograph, check out my ATBF recap) at Austin Teen Book Festival earlier this month. Unfortunately, I only got around to reading it this weekend. And now it's time for the guilty announcement: I read it in four hours.
Now, why did I finish it in four hours? Well, first of all, the pacing of the book is super fast. No descriptions of the grass in this novel. (Refer to the autograph for that joke. Think Willa Cather.) Every chapter some new exciting event has occurred, throwing Anya yet another curve ball. The best part of these constant curve balls is that Anya grows up. She learns more about herself, about her family, and the fate that she must face.
The plot line is incredible, and along the way you learn little details about Anya's world and each hardship Anya has encountered in her life in 2083. She has to hold her family's fate on her shoulders and take care of her older brother, younger sister, and grandmother, all while having a best friend and boy issues. Somehow she still finds time to find trouble, not only at school, but with the law and within her own family.
This tale of family, friendship, romance, and growing up is fast-paced, addicting, and a fantastic read. Gabrielle Zevin does not disappoint.