All These Things I’ve Done
By Gabrielle Zevin
Sept. 6, 2011
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 368 pages
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.
— Amazon.com description
Hmm. A bit of a disappointment for me, actually.
All I knew going into this story was that it was about “a world in which chocolate is forbidden.” WHAT? WHAT SATANIC PERSON WOULD DO THIS TO OUR SOCIETY? Sounds like hell on earth, and sounds like something I’d like to read about.
But, to me, this seems like more of a mob book. Turns out, Anya comes from a long family chain of gangsters, and she’s sort of the heir apparent, whether she likes it or not. Sure, it’s an interesting crime drama. Pretty intriguing. But not what I was really looking forward to.
Anya herself was a bit of a problem…her asides addressing the readers distracted me, and it was hard to stay connected to her when much of the story was told through recaps.
Still, an intriguing and unique premise that I know many others have enjoyed. Just not my cup of, um, hot chocolate? Mmmm…chocolate…