Thursday, February 21, 2013

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

The blurb:
In 2083, chocolate and caffeine are illegal, water is carefully rationed, books are scarce, and New York City is rife with poverty and crime.
And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine.  But when she finds herself falling for the son of the new assistant district attorney, and her ex-boyfriend is poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures, Anya is unwillingly thrust into the spotlight - in the news, and more importantly, within her mafiya family.

All These Things I've Done is brilliant and hilarious and I couldn't put it down.  In the NYC of 2083 that Zevin has created, anyone can purchase alcohol and cigarettes as long as they have the "vouchers" but paper (and paper books), chocolate and caffeine have been outlawed.  Teens go to illegal speakeasies for a taste of coffee and chocolate.  The Egyptian Wing of Metropolitan Museum has been turned into a disco. 

The heroine of the novel is Anya Balanchine.  An orphan who is under the guardianship of her bedridden and occasionally delusional grandmother, Anya takes care of everyone in her family from her brilliant younger sister to her older, impaired brother.  Fortunately, Anya doesn't do this alone. She has the help of her family lawyer, her oldest and best friend, and a gorgeous and fascinating newcomer named Win.   Win is the son of the new assistant district attorney, so Anya is wary of revealing family secrets (contraband, illegal  speakeasies, mafiya secrets). But when Anya is thrown in a juvenile detention center, it's Win who intervenes. 

All These Things I've Done is written in a fresh, engaging voice and introduces us to some of the most sympathetic and interesting characters that I've come across in a long time.  Not only are Anya and her friends witty but they find themseles in unusual predicaments.  The plot twists, characters and dialogue make All These Things I've Done a fantastic read!
ISBN-10: 1250010284 - Paperback $9.99
Publisher: Square Fish; Reprint edition (May 8, 2012), 384 pages.
Review copy courtesy of the publisher.

About the Author:
Gabrielle Zevin is an American author and screenwriter. She graduated from Harvard in 2000 with a degree in English & American Literature and still lives in New York.   Zevin's first writing job was as a teen music critic for her local newspaper. Her first novel Elsewhere was published in 2005. It was nominated for a 2006 Quill award, won the Borders Original Voices Award, and was a selection of the Barnes & Noble Book Club. It also made the Carnegie long list. The book has been translated into seventeen languages. In 2007 Zevin was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay for Conversations with Other Women which starred Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckhart and was also directed by Hans Canosa.the author of the national bestseller Elsewhere and Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, as well as two novels for adults, Margarettown and The Hole We're In. 

1 comment:

  1. I've been really curious about this one, so I'm thrilled that it is clean. I had heard one of her other books was filled with profanity(don't know how true that is now), so I wasn't expecting it to be something I could read. It's definitely on my list now!