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.
Engrossing and suspenseful, All These Things I've Done is an utterly unique, unputdownable read that blends both the familiar and the fantastic.This book gives us a dystopian world in which I would not do well. Okay, granted, I have not come across a dystopian world in which I would do well, but this was one that I could see happening all to easily. It is a world suppressed by not just by the government, but by the lack of courage coming from the masses into standing up for what was right. So on one hand it was an interesting world and on the other hand, it comes too close to reality in some ways.
We are taken within this world on a journey with Anya who is a crime bosses's (Russian mafia) daughter. Already seen unspeakable acts of cruelty toward her own family she becomes the leader and the caretaker of what is left of her small immediate family. One who she protects fiercely. That makes me like her. Her character becomes more fleshed out the more you understand her sacrifices she makes without hesitation and at such a young age.
Now, I did like her family and found them interesting. However, I must admit that I found her best friend and her boyfriend Win (one that could endanger her family) uninteresting. They just felt flat and 2 dimensional. So, I really didn't connect with them or her feelings toward Win. Still her journey and what she endured to protect her family I still found interesting.
There were also a few things that did bother me within this world and even with Anya. One was the fact that no one had any problem judging the other as soft or strong based on what they thought their background gave them. Now, I do understand this is a real world problem, but when you had all the characters do it, it became tedious. I also had a problem that strength was seen as keeping abuses silent. That did not sit will with me, although I did understand it from Anya's POV. Her character would have too much to lose to whistleblow, but many of the others did not. Hence, my annoyance at that part.
I give this book 3 stars. I really did enjoy Anya and her journey. I also understand that this story will continue. I'd be curious as to where it take us and I'm also curious as to what could get fixed and how. That way at least one annoyance would be erased for me. :)
I received this book for review and no compensation was given.