What: All These Things I've Done
Where: Macmillan Publishing
When: September 6th, 2011
Why: Premise Love!
How: For Review (BEA)
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
Masterfully written, realistic characters, and a kick-ass and mafia boss plot that'll leave you reeling!
All These Things I've Done is about a girl named Anya whose father is --was-- Chicago's number one crime boss when it comes to the sales of chocolate. Because, yeah, chocolate is major illegal. Anya is left as the sole caretaker of her barely alive grandmother, her mentally challenged older brother, and her sassy little sister. Anya has a distinct voice and I admired her for the sacrifices and things she was willing to do just to make sure her family was safe. She's not an idiot, and knew the consequences of all her actions, and I loved how her family went in front of everything else, as it should be! She's also smart, which is noted by much of The Family, especially when it comes to the fact that she's so savvy that it's unfortunate that she was born a girl (The Family making it clear they don't particularly enjoy female bosses).
The pacing and tone of the story is overall fantastic. This dystopian world that you get thrust into grips you from the first page, and Anya's voice carries you through all her experiences. All the things she does (And there are very little titles I love more than this one--it's SO DAMN appropriate!) that lead up to this fantastic climax were well-thought out and genuinely entertaining to read. I never once just wanted to skim.
All the side-characters were awesome. Everyone from her best friend to her little sister were funny, well-rounded, and consistent in personality. Especially her best friend, there was no back stab! No betrayal! She was just a genuinely good friend who cared and wanted to help Anya in what she needed, even when Anya was being completely complicated! Gable, i'm conflicted about. I totally like him from the start, especially since he tries to have sex with Anya on page like 10 even after she says no, but close to the end, I started to feel sympathetic. Win was a sweetheart and really respected Anya and what she wanted (and really, what she needed!), and was so in tune with her that I believed their romance from the start.
And that ending! It's just the right type of ending for a first book in a trilogy: catching enough to make you want a sequel, but not so much I cliffhanger that I want to smack you!