Monday, September 5, 2011

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin Review

Title: All These Things I’ve Done (Birthright #1)
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Future
Page Count: 368 pages
Publish Date: September 6, 2011
Book Type: ARC won from contest
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9780374302108
Picture from Amazon
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 accidentally 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.
My Review: Love this cover! The dripping chocolate heart is just so cool. It made me hungry for chocolate the entire time I was reading this book. I probably ate more than I should have during this time period. I can’t imagine a future where chocolate and caffeine are illegal. I totally need dark chocolate, coffee, and Diet Coke in my life. Although, the idea of a coffeehouse/speakeasy is pretty cool.  
I actually really liked Anya as a character. There were times where I grew frustrated with her (mainly when she was talking with her brother or best friend), but she was “real,” which I always appreciate. By no means is she perfect, but there is something remarkably likable about characters who are not perfect. Contrary to this, I wish Win (the new boy in school/assistant D.A.‘s son) wasn’t so perfect. He needed a few more flaws, which we may find in the second book.
The middle section was my favorite part of the book. The beginning started a bit slow (but still intriguing enough to keep my interest), it peaked in the middle, and then became a bit slower at the end again. I’m definitely invested in these characters enough to want to read the next book in the series, though.
I wish we would have learned exactly why chocolate and caffeine were made illegal, yet alcohol is legal for all ages. It’s an interesting turn of events, but some more world building would have been nice. Maybe more of this will be explained in the next book? I typically like to know WHY the world has ended up this way in the dystopians I read. It allows me to ponder if this future could actually happen and what it would be like. This is one of my favorite parts of reading dystopians. I want to know what it would be like!
Would you be okay with a world where chocolate and caffeine were banned? What is something (superficial) that you can absolutely not live without? 


  1. Totally agree with you; I always want to know why dystopian societies are that way and i don't think it's great world building that we don't know why they're banned in this! still sounds like a great read tho, thanks for the review!

    The Cait Files

  2. @Cait

    Glad someone agrees with me--I love knowing how things came to be. If you decide to read this one, I hope you enjoy!


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