Friday, September 9, 2011

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Author:  Gabrielle Zevin
Genre:  Young Adult/ Dystopian
Publisher:  Pan Macmillan  
Publication Date:  6th September 2011 
ISBN:  9780330537896
Stand alone or series:  1st book in the Birthright Trilogy 
Pages:  352 Pages 
Book Received from:  Publisher (Pan Macmillan)
First Lines:  The night before junior year - I was sixteen, barely - Gable Arsley said he wanted to sleep with me.  Not in the distant or semi-distant future either.  Right then. 


Sixteen year-old Anya becomes the head of a mafia family after her parents are both murdered by rival gangs. Although Anya is embrolied 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 believs 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... 

My Thoughts:
All These Things I've Done is the first book in the new Birthright series about the daughter of an infamous crime boss.  She lives with her Grandmother Galina who has been bedridden with illness so it's up to Anya to look after her brother and sister and keep them out of trouble.

One of the things that jumps out for me with this book is that there's a contents page and each chapter is named accordingly for instance: i am accused; make matters worse.  I like the way this is done throughout.  It sums up each chapter but when you first start the chapter it's not entirely obvious eg. how she is accused or how she makes matters worse.  If you get what I mean.

I must admit now, All These Things I've Done was vastly different to how I expected it to be.  For starters, Anya's family is heavily into the chocolate business, which now, along with coffee is highly illegal.  The world in which Gabrielle Zevin has created is devastating.  They live off vouchers and hand me downs and everything including paper is highly sort after.

Anya is a strong and stubborn character that I totally fell in love with.  All she wants to do is keep her family safe but being born with loads of ties to the underworld including her last name she is constantly being sucked into a neverending battle just to keep away from it all.

Win was a definite favourite character for me.  The son of an up and coming D.A which places him at the opposite end of the scale to Anya so theres problems right from the beginning between the two, it's just that they both can't see it.  Or aren't willing to see it.

I was drawn right into this world and I'm looking forward to the next book in the trilogy.  I hope that Gabrielle delves more into why the world is as it is and we get to see more of Anya's crime family.

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