All These Things I've Done: A Novel

All These Things I've Done: A Novel

by Gabrielle Zevin

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All These Things I've Done 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 123 reviews.
Meg-ABookishAffair More than 1 year ago
I was way excited that I was able to get an ARC of this book. I had been hearing a lot of good buzz and you all know I have a thing for dystopian fiction. I was definitely not disappointed. The book takes place in the not too distant future (the grandmother in the book was born during the 1990s) in New York City. The NYC in this book seems both familiar and strange at the same time. It's still a bustling city but many things have changed. Former museums have been turned into nightclubs as a way for the ailing government to make money. Caffeine and chocolate are outlawed as a way for the government to have control while teenagers are able to drink really horrible alcohol. I thought the world building in this book was pretty interesting. Anya is part of a crime family who has specialized in the chocolate business for many years. After Anya's parents are killed, it pretty much falls to her to protect her family. Anya is a pretty interesting character. She's strong yet sort of vulnerable. She loves her family but is sort of disillusioned with her family's infamous business especially since it seems that the business is the reason that both of her parents are killed. The writing is tight and I got sucked into the story. Interestingly enough, I thought this book was a stand alone book but when I went to Goodreads, I found out that this is apparently the first book in the series. I'd definitely be interested in reading the rest of the books in the series and finding out more about Anya and her family. Bottom line, this book did not disappoint and will be great for other dystopian lovers!
SuperBookish More than 1 year ago
Great book with great characters. I loved Anya. Kept me entertained
Cranes_For_Wishes More than 1 year ago
I read this book and found it slightly boring. The whole plot never really caught my attention and it was very anti-climatic. The book never kept me too interested. I did like this book and the characters, but I find that there are other books I'd rather read.
Beguile_Thy_Sorrow More than 1 year ago
This is an AMAZING book! At first it was simply very strange, and when I read Anya's words as she narrates her story I thought to myself, "hmmmm....I don't know if I can believe these are the thoughts of a 16 year old". Then you realize she has internalized everything her deceased father ever told her and that she draws comfort from his adages and parrots them even if she doesn't fully understand them yet. It's her trust in her father's love and past guidance that she leans on for support. We see her repeatedly quote him and return again and again to his words to her, no matter how small the advice. The problem is her father was a crime boss and his death has left Anya and her siblings in a precarious situation because of illegal chocolate connections. Chocolate is an illegal substance in 2083! (It's not so crazy/impossible if you think about it lol) Being so astute and practical, Anya thinks she has little use for typical teen luxuries like romance, dances, or even hobbies. Her free time is instead spent looking after her dying grandmother, her handicapped older brother and her younger sister. She puts all her effort and energy into making sure they are able to stay a family and not separated by child services. What's interesting is how the book takes place in a future time of 2083 and yet its problems are both contemporary and reminiscent of our history at the same time;the illegal status and bootlegging of chocolate have the vintage feel of the 20s and Prohibition era times. Anya does well keeping her head above water and in keeping her family's survival stable until the most unexpected happens: she falls in love. And not just with any boy, but with the D.A.'s son. He makes her feel what she never let herself feel before and this scares her like nothing else. Why? Because Anya needs always to have a clear head if she is to survive. But love is not logical and that is how her story turns even more interesting. I didn't know what this book was about when I started it but I loved it and very much looking forward to next in the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought the book had an intresting premisis, where it was et in the futrue. i thought it was an intresting model of the futrue, with chocolate and coffee illegal. I also thought it was farely close to how we live now, making it relatable. I thought that Anya had depth to her and her conflictions and thought the book was fun and a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was so bad, like so so so bad and boring and a very bad ending, please don`t read the book, it is a wast of time
Sushay More than 1 year ago
It's a really great read
MrsOliveira More than 1 year ago
This book was AMAZING!!!! I would definitely read it again! :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book blew me away! I absolutely loved it and Gabrielle Zevin did an amazing job with Anya. Anya so different from the normal teenage protagonist, she's strong and runs their little family since their fathers awful murder. She's doing a good job until the son of the new assistant district attorney comes to school and someone is sabotages the chocolate supply Anya gives her ex and everyone thinks she's responsible. As the district attorneys closes in and their grandma's condition worse Anya fights to keep there little family together and out of the illegal business dealings of the mob family.
monsterofbooks More than 1 year ago
Immediately I dug into the book and devour it. It was as addictive as chocolates themselves. Sadly I went away for eight months to Taiwan and never got around to reviewing it before it was published. Now all that set aside , I just got to say that I love some of the promotional things they do with novels. The people or person that does them is both brilliant and hard working. I imagine for an author and others involve in the team it takes a lot of work to promote a novel. In this case: Coffee Covered chocolates with the main character's (whose the daughter of a dead mob boss) last name on it's package. Not only was it fun to dig into the book itself, but devouring the chocolates were also a yummy treat. So I just want to say thanks to Ksenia Winnicki @ Macmillan for sending this to me =D I found this novel to be witty, charming and overall a great read. It was easy to dive into the story. There was many circumstances where I could not put the book down. Zevin's did a amazing job with characters. She made each and every one of her character stand out and apart from each other. Every person in the novel had their own little trait about them (Natty; genius, Win;hats, Scarlett; theatre, Gable; Jerk ect;) that set them apart. The story flows flawlessly in first person. It was set in the big apple one of my favourite places. The originality of it was what peak my interest when it first arrived and through out the entire novel. Set in the future where chocolate is illegal. Who would not want to read a story like that? All These Things I've done is definitely a book I will be finding myself read over and over again. Especially since it set in NYC. After I received this novel in the mail I actually went on a vacation in NYC. So I got to see some of the many places that are actually talk about. It was cool reading the novel while actually visiting the places that the characters go to. Annie devotion and love towards her family, even when sometimes she went astray from that path, was mesmerizing and beautiful. I thought the strong sense of family ties and love (and how far you would go for them) was what made the novel more strong. The things Annie did and gave up for her family is what made her a strong protagonist. I felt heart broken every time she had to give up something up (that she truly loved) because of the situation she was in. This novel, though intriguing at every point, was not a hard read. My only complaint was that the ending did not seem satisfying enough. It did not feel like a ending but more of a cut off point. This September 2012 the sequel comes out, Because It is My Blood. I am definitely looking forward to the second novel. This is definitely a novel that readers should read or put on their tbr pile.
IceyBooks More than 1 year ago
Heart-wrenching and heart-warming, All These Things I've Done is an amazing addition young-adult literature. A promising, strong heroine, a unique plot, and characters you'll feel for - Gabrielle Zevin's latest has it all. Anya Balanchine is a character we can all connect to. A young girl just as flawed as the rest of us, but stronger and tortured in a way you can never expect. With her mother and father murdered, Anya has to take care of her family. But she isn't the oldest. Her older brother, handsome Leo, is disabled, her grandmother hangs on to life by a thin thread. As the oldest of four siblings, I know how it is to be responsible. But without my parents, I would most likely be in an asylum. Anya is different. Strong, flawed, no doubt, but strong and willed. Though this novel certainly isn't one for fast-paced action, the story is astounding. The pages will be wet with your sweat, and maybe even your tears. I never knew which way the story would turn, but I could tell there was only pain and sorrow in Anya's life. All These Things I've Done is a novel I have to say I loved. With a strong female protagonist and a life of mafia, Gabrielle Zevin's latest is a riveting must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hairballsrus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The year is 2083. Water is scarce as is paper. Alcohol flows free but chocolate and caffeine are illegal substances. Enter Anya, 16 year old daughter of a murdered crime boss. Her family traffics in illicit chocolate. Anya wants nothing to do with the family business, but the family is hard to escape. And what should she do about the new boy at school, son of the assistant district attorney? This was a lot of fun: The world, the characters, the situation. It was like nothing else I've read all year. Quirky and charming but with dire consequences for characters who step out of line. Part noir, part nonsense. Impossible to classify, sort of dystopian but like nothing else in the pack. Hooray for something new!If I have one complaint, I wish the character Win were better fleshed out. Anya makes many sacrifices for him and he's presented as charming and honest and funny, but he doesn't get nearly enough page time. Hopefully the next two books in the series will give him room to shine.
monsterofbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Immediately I dug into the book and devour it. It was as addictive as chocolates themselves. Sadly I went away for eight months to Taiwan and never got around to reviewing it before it was published. Now all that set aside , I just got to say that I love some of the promotional things they do with novels. The people or person that does them is both brilliant and hard working. I imagine for an author and others involve in the team it takes a lot of work to promote a novel. In this case: Coffee Covered chocolates with the main character's (whose the daughter of a dead mob boss) last name on it's package. Not only was it fun to dig into the book itself, but devouring the chocolates were also a yummy treat. So I just want to say thanks to Ksenia Winnicki @ Macmillan for sending this to me =D I found this novel to be witty, charming and overall a great read. It was easy to dive into the story. There was many circumstances where I could not put the book down. Zevin's did a amazing job with characters. She made each and every one of her character stand out and apart from each other. Every person in the novel had their own little trait about them (Natty; genius, Win;hats, Scarlett; theatre, Gable; Jerk ect;) that set them apart. The story flows flawlessly in first person. It was set in the big apple one of my favourite places. The originality of it was what peak my interest when it first arrived and through out the entire novel. Set in the future where chocolate is illegal.Who would not want to read a story like that? All These Things I've done is definitely a book I will be finding myself read over and over again.Especially since it set in NYC. After I received this novel in the mail I actually went on a vacation in NYC. So I got to see some of the many places that are actually talk about. It was cool reading the novel while actually visiting the places that the characters go to. Annie devotion and love towards her family, even when sometimes she went astray from that path, was mesmerizing and beautiful. I thought the strong sense of family ties and love (and how far you would go for them) was what made the novel more strong. The things Annie did and gave up for her family is what made her a strong protagonist. I felt heart broken every time she had to give up something up (that she truly loved) because of the situation she was in. This novel, though intriguing at every point, was not a hard read. My only complaint was that the ending did not seem satisfying enough. It did not feel like a ending but more of a cut off point. This September 2012 the sequel comes out, Because It is My Blood. I am definitely looking forward to the second novel. This is definitely a novel that readers should read or put on their tbr pile.
FionaRobynIngram on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fast forward to a semi-dystopian 2083, where pleasure items such as chocolate and coffee are banned, paper is in short supply (thus, no more books are printed), water is rationed, and New York City is a hot bed of crime and poverty. Simple things like telephone calls and emails carry a high price tag. Museums, libraries, and cultural centres have closed down, lakes have dried up, and people wear `vintage' clothing because garment manufacture has stopped. You can't even get fruit! Yet, life goes on and people manage...in a way.Anya Balanchine is the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss. The Balanchine family manufactures chocolate, a business that now carries a criminal label. Anya's mother was killed in a botched assassination attempt on her father's life. The incident also injured her older brother Leo, leaving him childlike in an adult body. It's up to Anya to keep the remaining family together, and still shoulder the tasks of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother. Anya is out the family's immediate sphere of activities until a batch of Balanchine chocolate, given to her by a cousin, has fatal consequences. Anya's ex-boyfriend is almost fatally poisoned and the police naturally think she's to blame. At the same time, her new boyfriend's father, the assistant DA, tells her to keep away from his son (Win) or else! Suddenly, Anya finds herself the focus of public attention and that's not good! Things go from bad to worse when gentle Leo, who had started working for the family as a gopher, takes it into his head to shoot his uncle, now the head of the Balanchine family business. Everything spirals out of control and Anya faces a heart-breaking decision in order to save her brother and her younger sister.Told from Anya's point of view, the story unfolds as Anya battles hardships, trying to salvage her life. Anya is feisty and brave, with a slightly hardened attitude to relationships and people. A nice touch is Anya's increasing memories of things her father said, and his words of advice. In this way, the father becomes like a living character. Anya will do anything to protect what remains of her family. She is also loyal to her buddy Scarlet, a wacky, arty girl, who is a good friend to Anya. The author has captured perfectly the emotional highs and lows of the main character and readers will really bond with Anya. The love story between Win and Anya is tender and sweet, but I felt that Anya never truly engages with Win, even though she says she loves him. Given her bad life experiences, it's not surprising she is wary. The book has great pace and action until the high point of Anya's arrest. Then the story slackens and much of what takes place thereafter (exciting in itself) seems almost quickly jammed together to get to the last page. Anya also seems to disengage with readers as she relates these events like a list. I found the ending unsatisfactory and almost cobbled together to reach a point where the story could end. This is the first book in the Birthright trilogy, which could account for a rushed conclusion.
BeguileThySorrow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an AMAZING book! At first it was simply very strange, and when I read Anya¿s words as she narrates her story I thought to myself, ¿hmmmm....I don¿t know if I can believe these are the thoughts of a 16 year old¿. Then you realize she has internalized everything her deceased father ever told her and that she draws comfort from his adages and parrots them even if she doesn't fully understand them yet. It's her trust in her father's love and past guidance that she leans on for support. We see her repeatedly quote him and return again and again to his words to her, no matter how small the advice. The problem is her father was a crime boss and his death has left Anya and her siblings in a precarious situation because of illegal chocolate connections. Chocolate is an illegal substance in 2083! (It's not so crazy/impossible if you think about it lol)Being so astute and practical, Anya thinks she has little use for typical teen luxuries like romance, dances, or even hobbies. Her free time is instead spent looking after her dying grandmother, her handicapped older brother and her younger sister. She puts all her effort and energy into making sure they are able to stay a family and not separated by child services. What¿s interesting is how the book takes place in a future time of 2083 and yet its problems are both contemporary and reminiscent of our history at the same time;the illegal status and bootlegging of chocolate have the vintage feel of the 20s and Prohibition era times. Anya does well keeping her head above water and in keeping her family¿s survival stable until the most unexpected happens: she falls in love. And not just with any boy, but with the D.A.'s son. He makes her feel what she never let herself feel before and this scares her like nothing else. Why? Because Anya needs always to have a clear head if she is to survive. But love is not logical and that is how her story turns even more interesting.I didn't know what this book was about when I started it but I loved it and very much looking forward to next in the series!
SusieBookworm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cozy dystopia. All These Things I've Done is a cozy dystopia, meaning that, for the most part, it's not too suspenseful and thrilling, and everything generally turns out okay, without the protagonist being greatly scarred by anything. (Most dystopias aren't cozy, with the exception of Restoring Harmony). Another comparison to make would be with the recent release Wildefire: most of the book is spent setting up the characters, location, and situations for the rest of the series, with comparatively little time spent on actual plot. There ends up being a lot of ways the story could go, but most are let dropped (personally, I find this rather unsatisfying). Romance is the main path of the story in All These Things, making the novel seem like more of a "contemporary" or realistic fiction book than a science fiction dystopian. Yet I couldn't stop reading it. Somehow Zevin keeps the story exciting, even if there's not really that much going on at times. It helped that I could just breeze through pages in a snap, but I *did* end up staying up late so I could finish the last hundred pages. Will I read the sequel? Yes. Despite my above issues with All These Things, I did enjoy reading it, and I want to see where Zevin is going to go with the rest of the series.
TFS93 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book and read it quickly. Anya is sassy, spunky, smart, and wise beyond her years. I don't normally read mafia style books, but I really enjoyed this story. This is my first book by Zevin, and I would certainly read more. I would like to read the next in this series. I see much potential for Anya and her family and wonder how and where they will all end up. Recommended, If you like Veronica Mars, try this book!
fayeflame on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read the last page, closed the book, smiled and kind of hugged/patted it lol Have you ever gotten that feeling? All These Things I¿ve Done was the ultimate comfort and deliciously good read.I fall in love with Zevin¿s writing. Her characters are PHENOMENAL! Anya Balanchine, she is such an honest. I was with her every step of the way. And even through I didn¿t get I chance to meet her father, he seemed like a wise man(even though he was a notorious crime boss.)Who shaped Anna to be the young brilliant lady she is today. Family and the people close to her mean EVERYthing. She goes through hell to keep everyone safe and protected. They¿re what keeps her going. Loved Win too...he is so sweet, intelligent and honorable. I know some people have expressed how her best friend, Scarlet, kind of ¿betrayed¿ her. But I didn¿t get that impression at all. Yeah she did a ¿girl code no no¿ but who doesn¿t make mistakes every now and then. AND clearly she¿s still Anya¿s BF. She¿s a loyal friend and hopefully it stays that way.You guys should definitely read this, if you like dystopian and a dash of contemporary. Strong female protag, great characters and plot. THEN JUST READ IT! you won¿t regret it, seriously. I¿m so addicted, I don¿t even need the chocolate or caffeine just give me the 2nd book! lol
BookAddictDiary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Set in a semi-dystopian future where chocolate and caffeine have been deemed illegal, All These Things That I've Done evokes the bootlegging Prohibition where alcohol was illegal, but most of the population blatantly ignored the ban, thus the law did nothing accept promote the creation of organized crime. All These Things That I've Done applies the same concept to chocolate and alcohol, complete with mafia princesses and forbidden romances.Anya is the daughter of one of New York's most notorious crime lord, though he died prior to the events of the book. Left alone to manage her family, Anya tries to maneuver through life at her strict Catholic school while juggling her ex-boyfriend (who insisted on perpetuating horrid rumors about their break-up) with her new flame, who happens to be the son of the local assistant DA -who is out to shut down illegal chocolate running. And it doesn't help when Anya's ex-boyfriend is poisoned by the quality chocolate from Anya's family.At the beginning, I enjoyed this book, it had a fun concept and a compelling main character who was incredibly likable -she stood up for herself, was respectable, loved her family and was easy for readers to connect with. The setup had so much promise for me -I mean illegal chocolate-running? Dystopian setting? Mafia? How can you go wrong with so much awesome going on?But that's when the mixed feelings about this book started to settle in...the whole mafia thing never really took off. The characters were somewhat flat and interesting...and the plot never really seemed to get into first gear. But for me the biggest letdown was the fact that there is virtually no description of why chocolate and caffeine are banned, no exploration of this one fascinating social phenomenon that the concept of the entire book hinges on. There's also the fact that I felt like the blurb promised me a really juicy mafia-like drama, but there was hardy a hint of mafia anything in this. Where was the backstabbing and the other great, juicy drama? Instead, All These Things That I've Done ran out of steam to me around halfway through the book and turned from a semi-dystopian mafia drama into a typical teen forbidden romance...thing. While I do have mixed feelings about this book, and I feel a little cheated by the plot, author Gabrielle Zevin is a great author with a very comfortable and honest style that is easy to read and screams of polished, excellent potential and great technical skill.
nbmars on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dystopias are proliferating like weather disasters, and in fact often are set in a world that has endured a great many such weather-related events (in which case the books morph into post-apocalyptic novels). There are enough dystopias being written to generate sub-genres, such as: zombie-inhabited, virus-riddled, ecocidal, sex-repressive, bent on breeding, obsessed with organ-harvesting, anti-female, anti-male, anti-monogamy, plagued by violence, anomie, materialism, commodification, incarceration, avarice, vast disparities between the rich and the poor, inter alia. This particular dystopia is the first I have read in the ¿cozy¿ dystopia category, positing a world in which chocolate and coffee are banned, and one must go to an underground speakeasy for a latte. (One anticipates bakery and knitting circle dystopias to follow.)This cozy dystopia, set in 2083, is lots of fun, and often had me laughing out loud (although whether that was the author¿s intent is another question). It is quite formulaic, with all the usual YA dystopian suspects:It is book one of a trilogy (heaven forbid any author should tell the whole story in one book);It stars a spunky, resourceful teenaged girl; an overly sweet, nice no-flaws boyfriend (with hair that flops over his eyes, another sine qua non); and a more mysterious, dark-haired boy of interest that disquiets the not-so-monogamous-in-her-heart girl;Social privations;Ineffectual government;Cracks in society¿s facades.In 2083, things have changed. Only old people remember the meaning of ¿OMG,¿ and books are rare. Coffee and chocolate are outlawed. Water is rationed. The black market is flourishing. Into this mise-en-scène the author places Anya (¿Annie¿) Pavlova Balanchine, 16, who is the de facto primary caretaker for her 12-year-old sister Nataliya (¿Natty¿) and her brain-damaged 19-year-old brother Leonyd (¿Leo¿). Annie¿s Nana was in charge of them after their parents were killed, but Nana is dying, and is not of much help. In fact, they must have a full-time nurse to care for Nana. They have plenty of money though and even hidden chocolate, since Annie¿s dad was Manhattan¿s crime boss in charge of the black market chocolate business. Annie's time is spent going to high school, gossiping about boys with her best friend Scarlet Barber, going to confession, or caring for her family. Then a new kid arrives at school, Goodwin (¿Win¿) Delacroix, and takes a shine to Annie. Annie reluctantly (but of course!) starts to reciprocate. The only problem is, Win is the son of Charles Delacroix, who is the Assistant District Attorney. He doesn¿t want Win associating with even a dead mob boss¿s daughter. Then there is Annie¿s dad¿s family, the members of whom are still jostling for the position of ¿Godfather¿ now that Annie¿s dad is gone. When the chocolate supply is poisoned, everyone turns on everyone else, and Annie is caught in the middle.Evaluation: This is very silly, but I enjoyed it, since I enjoy silly things more than is proper. I think teens will enjoy it even more than I (since they won¿t share my guilt at silly indulgences). It is only book one of a trilogy, but it actually ends (even though you can see how it could keep going).
renkellym on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
All These Things I¿ve Done explores some fairly new terrain for YA¿it examines organized crime and its complications through the eyes of a smart, involved sixteen-year-old girl. Though the items being trafficked¿namely, chocolate¿are still legal in our world, Gabrielle Zevin¿s imagined future doesn¿t seem too impossible. The story may seem dystopic in theory due to the frequent banning of certain items, but it is more about relations and balancing responsibilities than an oppressive government (something that, by the way, All These Things I¿ve Done doesn¿t really feature).Anya¿s narration is very calm and measured, though almost nothing around her is. She switches back and forth from addressing the reader directly to narrating in first person¿a style that, while occasionally inconsistent, I came to enjoy quite a bit. All These Things I¿ve Done¿s pace kind of glides along as Anya tells the story, and I liked that it doesn¿t really attempt to be too dramatic in order to catch the reader¿s attention; it hooks you well enough with its complexity. From the little romantic sub-plot to Anya¿s dealings with the mafiya, readers won¿t be able to put All These Things I¿ve Done down¿I certainly couldn¿t (it¿s still sandy from lugging it to the beach; I couldn¿t leave it at home!).One of the most enjoyable aspects of All These Things I¿ve Done, I think, is the characters and their relationships with each other. Anya has ties to many, many people, and they seem to pop in and out of the story at the best moments. Anya¿s closest ties are to her family: her damaged older brother, her flirty younger sister, and her dying grandmother, and she is most genuine (and relatable) when she interacts with them. A whole different Anya comes out when she addresses members of the organized crime syndicate (aka her extended family), and it¿s this Anya that I really liked. She¿s cool, collected, and incredibly wise despite her young age.There are so many things that make up All These Things I¿ve Done, which the title reflects perfectly. There¿s a slight romance that occasionally gets left in the dust; there¿s a cast of detailed, memorable characters; and there¿s a really unique and thoughtful premise. All These Things I¿ve Done is about love, and sacrifice, and doing things that need to be done, and its ending is just beautiful. Readers who are looking for something truly different should definitely turn to All These Things I¿ve Done¿it really delivers.
Bookswithbite on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As I read this book, I fell in love with it. I love the way the author created such a world that could be realistic. One were things of today are contraband. I especially loved the whole mafia twist to it. It gave the story a full back round much more enjoyable.What I loved the most is the main character Anya.She is not only courageous, but steps out of her comfort zone for her family and loved ones. I adore her characters traits of strength and honor. There are so many things in this young ladies life that she does out of the goodness of her own heart. The length that she goes for people is beyond awe!I really loved the development of the story. The pacing is great in giving the reader an enjoyable read as well as the processing the back round story as well. I loved how Ms. Zevin weaved in the mafia and Anya dark past. Though it do not happen to her, her bloodline affected her life in many ways. Some ways good and others bad.The love interest is great! I loved seeing these two learn and grow with each other. So many secrets, fights, and many other obstacles holding them back that it makes their love stronger then ever. I loved the ending. It was liked Anya was claiming her place with him. It made me love their relationship more!If you want a world riddled with mafia fights, betrayals, and a strong young women trying to find her place, read this book. There are so many great aspects to the story that held me as I read this book. Filled with tainted chocolate, murders, and a loved fighting to be together, All These Things I've Done left me breathe less.
kmartin802 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an interesting and thought-provoking dystopia with a very well-drawn main character. Anya is the daughter of a chocolate mafioso. You see, chocolate and caffeine have been banned in the US in this future world. She was present, along with her younger sister, when her father was gunned down in their home. They had already lost their mother to a botched hit and had their older brother damaged in the accident such that he would never be mentally older than eight. Now the three kids are living with their dying grandmother. Anya is in charge and she is very bright and very responsible. She worries about both her brother and her sister.When she falls for the new boy at school (or when he falls for her), she doesn't know that he is the son of the new assistant District Attorney who wants to clean up crime and make a name for himself. She tries Not to get involved with Win because she wants to keep a low profile until she is legally old enough to be the guardian for her younger sister but events make this impossible.When her ex-boyfriend becomes ill after eating tainted chocolate, Anya is accused of his attempted murder. Getting her out of the juvenile detention system brings her to Win's father's attention. He makes a deal to help her in return for her breaking up with his son. Anya has to weigh the needs of her family with her heart -- and her heart can't win.The world is well-drawn. It felt very realistic. The hardships of a world with shrinking resources were very clear. Anya's family dynamics were also well-done. She loves her dying grandmother but caring for her is hard. She loves her older brother and wants to shelter and protect him. She idolizes her dead father and frequently remembers things he said to her and uses them to guide her decisions. She tries very hard to be practical and pragmatic. She has had an adult's responsibilities since she was nine years old which makes her rather solemn and cynical. Since the story is told in the first person, we don't get a chance to see Win from the inside. He is persistent in his pursuit of Anya. We hear from his father that he is soft and naive. But he is certainly steadfast in his support for Anya.I enjoyed the story and thing readers who are fans of dystopias and romances would enjoy this one.
gchristianson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
All these things I¿ve done by Gabrielle ZevinThis book is narrated by Anya, the daughter of a deceased crime boss in the year 2083. Generally, I don't care for books written in the first person, it is a difficult style to write. However, I liked it in this case. It was effective and instantly provided a connection between the reader and anya. The author , Gabrielle Zevin, gives voice to Anya that rings true. She is as a 16 year old, with a wonderfully diverse vocabulary and just a touch of humor that remains humerus and not corny, annoying or distracting from the story she is telling.Set in a world that is battling shortages of every type with extremely restrictive laws that are enacted as a result of the shortages, the setting itself should get young adult readers to consider the potential of this future world becoming a reality. While, this sounds ominous, it doesn't translate this way to the reader. Anya deals with these background issues in such a way that the result is not a scary, dark and despairing world, but one that is thought provoking. Other reviews have criticized this book for not being ¿dystopian¿, but you need to remember the audience that this is written for. Think of it as intro to dystopia. There are some religious overtones. Anya is a Catholic and attends a Catholic school. She is not out to convert others, the religion simply provides a basis for her moral code and faith in a world that could seem pretty dim without it.Anya is strong and intelligent, yet flawed and impulsive at times. After all, she is a sixteen year old. She is a character that I hope young female readers will relate to. Anya does quote her deceased Father frequently. Some may find these ¿Daddisms¿ to be annoying, however I felt that they were a reminder of how much she loved and missed her Father. Some of the quotes were actually quite good.While Anya has a ¿love interest¿, while there is no graphic sex, there are some sexual situations. Anya has vowed to wait until marriage before having sex. There are a few scenes where the couple let their raging hormones loose, but in the end they honor her vow. She is also pressured to have sex by another boy. Parents may want to preview this book before passing it on to their children. In comparison with the Twilight Series, this book has less sexually charged situations. Zevin handles Anya's sexuality with discretion yet, she doesn't compromise the story or her characters by omitting Anya's sexual feelings from the novel. For this reason, I would recommend this book for an audience a bit older than the age of 12, possibly 14 or 15.The other characters are just as well written as Anya. They are interesting and a little quirky. The plot is unique and the short chapters keep the story flowing at a fairly fast pace. I love that the chapters have titles and the book has a table of contents! It provides just enough foreshadowing to keep the reader intrigued! I was about two thirds of the way into this book when I realized that this was going to be a series of books (Yes, I know, it says that on the back cover.). I don't dislike book series, however the ending of this first book felt abrupt. While it left the reader ¿hanging¿, I felt it left too many unresolved questions and issues. I would have liked to have seen a few more chapters.Overall, I enjoyed this book and loved Anya. Yeah for strong (but not militant) female characters! I will be passing this one on to my 15 year old daughter. I look foreword to discussing it with her, I think it will provide a basis for some really interesting fuel for conversation!