Title: All These Things I’ve Done (Birthright: Book The First)
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Genre: Dystopian, Thriller, Young Adult
Publisher: Macmillan’s Children’s Books (29th March 2012)
FOR ANYA, LOVE WILL BECOME A LIFE – OR – DEATH CHOICE . . .
New York 2082. When Anya is arrested for attempted murder, the District Attorney offers her a choice: stay away from his son or watch helplessly as he destroys her family. It should be a straightforward decision. Except that the DA’s son is the boy Anya loves, and her family is at the heart of the city’s criminal underworld.
Anya must choose between love and loyalty, knowing that whatever she decides will have shattering consequences: heartbreak or a gangland war that will tear the city apart.
Rating: *** (3 stars)
All These Things I’ve Done is the first book in Gabrielle Zevin’s Birthright trilogy. It tells the story of a girl called Anya who is struggling to keep her family together in a dystopian near-future where things are both very similar and very different to now.
I am something of a fan of noir/mob books. It’s a category that I’ve not often come across in Young Adult fiction. So when I read the blurb of this book it was instantly on my to-be-read list. I also loved the UK cover of the book – the use of the blues and whites, with only the one word in red really caught my attention.
For me, this book was both a real pleasure to read and something of a disappointment. I found the blurb to be somewhat inaccurate. The storyline in the book isn’t quite as clear cut as the blurb makes it out to be. From the blurb I assumed the story would be more in the mob world that it actually is. Sure the mob isn’t something you can miss in the story, it hangs ominously in the background and there are definite hints about how important Anya and her family are. However, it’s not until the end of the book that Anya’s world becomes really interlinked with the criminal side of her family.
However, having said all that I really enjoyed having Anya as a protagonist. As a character she was everything I expected her to be – if a little slow on the uptake about certain things. I loved the fact that family is so important to her – she really loves her grandmother, elder brother and younger sister and does her best to take care of them. I also really enjoyed the friendship between Anya and Scarlet. I think Zevin wrote their friendship really well. Then there is Win who just somehow seems to steal every scene he’s in. Zevin really does have an interesting cast. I am looking forward to seeing how things have fallen out in the next book (which isn’t out until September 2012).