Review Time! All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin, who hasn't heard about this book? In case you don't recognise the cover, it's the same book as the one with the chocolate heart on the front? Can't say I prefer the US cover though, this one is stunning! Thanks to Pan Macmillan for the review copy!
(Goodreads) Sixteen year-old Anya becomes the head of a mafia family after her parents are both murdered by rival gangs. Although Anya is embroiled in the criminal world, she is determined to keep her brother and sister out of the mafia family, but her father's relatives aren't so keen to let them go. When Anya's violent ex-boyfriend is poisoned with contaminated chocolate – chocolate that is produced illegally by Anya's mafia family – she is arrested for attempted murder and sent to the notorious jail on Manhattan Island.
Eventually she is freed by the new D.A. in town, who believes she has been framed. But this D.A. is the father of Win, a boy at school to whom Anya feels irresistibly drawn, and her freedom comes with conditions. Win's father wants to be mayor, and he can't risk having his ambition jeopardised by rumours spreading that his son is seeing a member of a notorious crime family. Anya knows she risks the safety of her family by seeing Win again, but the feeling between them may be too strong to resist...
The Short Story? - The Godfather has a baby girl! All These Things I've Done is a dystopian debut like no other! Original, intense, dark and dangerous, readers will be hooked onto Anya's adventures in the notorious criminal world of future Manhattan. A world where chocolate is illegal, an epic romance and a girl who has to choose between her family and her love. Packed with drama and tension, All These Things I've Done is a moving story about a girl and her never ending struggles.
The Long Story? - I surprise even myself how much I enjoy reading about criminals and mafia families. Don't know whether that makes me evil or weird but... I love Ally Carter books and this is sort of like an Ally Carter book but set in the future with less action and more romance. In other words, it's right down my alley.
When I said Zevin has written a dystopian like no other I wasn't joking. I have a love/hate relationship with YA dystopian, I love the whole idea of creating a new society based on the flaws of human nature but I hate how all the plots evolve around this idea of freedom. Honestly, it's getting a little old. So when I picked up All These Things I've Done, I wasn't all that excited. First thing I released - Hey, this isn't so bad. I actually like this Anya chick. Second thing - Ohhhh this is awfully realistic almost like reading a contemporary, thank God we're not being given the whole 'fight for freedom' shebang. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, Zevin has written a Dystopian that crosses over with YA contemporary. Anya isn't trying to overthrow the government, she's just trying to take control of her life, LIKE A NORMAL TEENAGER. Filled with family dramas ( this girl's life really is quite a mess), the dangers of the criminal world of future Manhattan and a love story that both heartbreaking and moving, I would definitely recommend this to all the YA readers out there looking for something different!
I really liked Anya, she was level-headed, realistic and willing to make sacrifices for her family, which is something I admire. She's willing to put her family before love something not a lot of girls would do. She was exposed to the cruelty of the world at a young age since both of her parents were murdered. She has to look after her sister and her brother yet she still struggles to live a somewhat normal life. At sixteen, she's been through so much more than other girls. A truly admirable and courageous character. Win our love interest is great, I don't really know him well enough but he obviously cares about Anya and loves her. It helps that he's hot :P However the person the person who truly stole my heart was Yuri Ono, I really wish Anya would get together with him *sigh*. He was kind, considerate and he understood her pain, if not for the measly age difference, they would be perfect! Look forward to seeing more of him in the next book!
It's almost impossible to find someone who doesn't like to read Dystopian so I recommend this to all the Dystopian lovers! All These Things I've Done is well-written and original, a dystopian like no other! ( Lisa, you've said that already1) It's realistic, it's dark, it's dangerous. A captivating story told by a girl who lives in the heart of Manhattans criminal world. A struggle between love and family, it's a novel that will linger long after the last page. This one is a keeper.
Rating - 5/5
Badass Bookie xx