Thursday, August 18, 2016

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

Title: All These Things I've Done (Birthright #1)
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Published by: Square Fish
Released: 2011
Source: Library

Summary: In a world where chocolate and caffeine are illegal, paper and water are luxuries, and oddly, alcohol is okay for everyone!, lives Anya Balanchine. Anya has a lot of responsibility and weight on her shoulders. She comes from a renowned crime family that specializes in the contrabrand substance of chocolate, and is currently an orphan after both of her parents were killed in planned hits, her father right in front of her very eyes. Anya must take care of her mentally handicapped brother and her little sister. Then Anya meets Win, the son of the new D.A. Commissioner. Although the two come from completely different backgrounds, love blooms anyway. But Anya must be careful, something's stirring within the Balanchine family that could put her immediate family in danger. She must also worry about her relationship with Win and keeping him safe, and his father out of her business. An exciting novel of a dystopian world, mixed with organized crime.
My Thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The world Zevin created was so interesting and odd, and I was kind of sucked into it. It was just really weird trying to imagine a place where chocolate and caffeine were contraband. It honestly just made me really crave chocolate. Water and paper were luxuries that were in short supply, and expensive. Just an odd world that was very hard to imagine living in, but interesting nonetheless.
I also really enjoyed the mob/organized crime aspect of the story. It really made me think I was viewing The Godfather or something.
The one con I would have about the story was the main character Anya Balanchine. I understand she was under a lot of stress and came from a different type of family, but she could be really mean sometimes to people who really didn't deserve it. She would lash out and say hurtful things to her friends and family who hadn't done anything wrong. I think Anya was kind of into herself, and she didn't really listen to other people around her, or take into account their feelings. Just throughout the story, I never really felt great affection for Anya.
All in all, a really cool little story. I will definitely be checking out the next one to see what happens with Anya, her family, and Win. If you love a good dystopian world, then I would highly recommend you check this story out.
I'm gonna make you an offer you can't refuse, and then go stuff my face with chocolate!

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