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...
Let's face it. i loved Memoirs of A Teenage Amnesiac and Elsewhere, I was highly anticipating reading All These Things I've Done, I had high hopes for one of my favorite authors writing a dystopian (my favorite) author and I was highly dissapointed. The start was very slow, I seriously struggled to get into it. I was finally getting into it and then suddenly I lost interest again. I literally have been putting it down and picking it up for a month.
This is a dystopian book, from the synopsis and reviews we can establish this... so where is the world building, why is there little explanation as to why chocolate and coffee are banned? I need to know how the world has got into its current state when I read a dystopian book or I just can't believe the world and All These Things I've Done did not check that box.
Anya as a character was... okay to start with but I just disliked her more and more as it went on. She made silly mistakes and couldn't make up her mind about what she was doing and none of the other characters were much better... I only really liked Leo, Anya's brother and that's just because he is a unique character. Win, the love interest had me swooning to start and suddenly I just got over him, the whole book was about their romance and quite frankly I just didn't care.
I hate doing reviews like this, but I'm an honest reviewer and I did like some aspects of the book. Zevin's prose is sharp and unique and the mafia kind of storyline with criminals and the twisted life they lead was fantastically written... unfortunately this book as a whole was not enjoyable for me.
Will I read the sequel... maybe. I think I'll see how I feel when it comes out, but I really don't think i will.
Overall rating: D-
Released March 29th by PanMacmillan.
Book received as an uncorrected proof from the author.