Tuesday, November 29, 2011

All These Things I've Done (Birthright #1) by Gabrielle Zevin

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.

The thing I liked about this book most is the mafia mystery.  Anya gets caught up in her family's politics, a place she doesn't want to be.  She mostly just wants to fly under the radar, make it to her 18th birthday and keep her siblings safe.  But by virtue of her birth, she is meant to be more in her family's business.  I have a feeling that is where this series is headed.  Unfortunately, the mafia angle is dropped half way through and the romance angle becomes the focus.  It's not necessarily a bad thing.  It's only that the thing that drew me in is swept aside for something a little less compelling. But I'm guessing that it will be explored more in the next book.  Anya is pretty emotionally detached from life expect for the few people she truly loves that it is hard to "feel" the emotions she is feeling as she falls for Win, the Assistant D.A.'s son.  But the book is told from a past perspective and so I guess in the re-telling she is less inclined to become too emotional.   I enjoyed the whole book though I wish it had stuck to one kind of story and I also wish it had explained it a bit more.  The idea that chocolate and caffeine is now illegal is intriguing one. I get wanting to outlaw drugs in the future, but alcohol is still available so that doesn't fit.  The time setting is 2083 but it had a very 1920's Prohibition feeling with the coffee bar speakeasies and the smuggling of chocolate.  That was my favorite part, but it needed more explanation.  I mean why, of all things, chocolate?  I felt like that part was glossed over too quickly.  Still, conceptually, it is pretty awesome.

1 comment:

  1. nice review, I've seen this book on a lot of blogs today.


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