Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mini-Review: All These Things I've Done

by Gabrielle Zevin
Series: Birthright #1
Hardcover, 354 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Age Recommendation: Young Adult

Summary (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 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.

All These Things I've Done seemed really promising for the first 100 pages, but it didn't live up to its potential. In the beginning, all of these really interesting problems were set up; the world was fascinating; the characters were compelling; but the story seemed to turn off somewhere onto a side street and meander off into the far less interesting story of Anya falling for Win. Once she fell in love, everything else went down the drain.

What made this all the more disappointing was that I know Gabrielle Zevin can write a fantastic YA without falling into the regular old formula that she uses in All These Things I've Done. And to make it a trilogy with that kind of ending? That's just frustrating.

So, will I be picking up the sequel? Yeah, probably. But I will not be going in with as high expectations as I had for All These Things I've Done. It's such a shame that so much potential was wasted on such a standard YA Dystopian Romance.


Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

I'm sorry to hear that this was a disappointing read for you. It seems like a lot of YA authors are using the same formula for their books. I'm glad to hear that the author has written different books from this one.

Pica said...

I liked Elsewhere a lot more than I liked All These Things I've Done. If you are not satisfied with the same formulaic story, I would try one of Zevin's other books.


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