All These Things I've Done

All These Things I've Done
By Gabrielle Zevin
Published September 27th 2011 
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux 

Summary Taken 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. 

I wasn't sure what to think about this book.  I knew it was a sort of dystopian novel and that it was based in the "not too distant future".  This book surprised me mainly because it didn't feel like a dystopian novel- it lacked the sci-fi flavor that most dystopian novels have.

I would consider this a prohibition novel set in the future- that is what I would describe it to when talking to friends about it.  I really did enjoy this book, once I put my misconceptions about it aside.  It was interesting to think of coffee and chocolate as illegal, and was interesting to think about what life is like for someone with family in the mob.  This book was almost like a teen Godfather. 

What made this book were the characters.  I loved Anya and the struggles that she went through because of her parents.  I loved her brother and sister- I thought they were well written and the author handled writing a character who was an adult with a disability very respectfully and thoughtfully.  I do wish I could have gotten to know Anya's friends a little better.

This was a fun contemporary book that had an interesting twist.  I would recommend this to any contemporary fiction fan who wants a fun spin on a normal fiction novel.


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