Title: All These Things I've Done
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Published: September 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
My Rating: 3 stars
Tags: YA | Future | Romance
Includes: Sensuality, Violence
First Lines: The night before Junior year - I was sixteen, barely - Gable Arsley said he wanted to sleep with me. Not in the distant or semidistant future either. Right then.
It's the year 2083, where chocolate and caffeine are illegal to have, and water is scarce. Anya Balanchine is the sixteen-year-old daughter of a famous crime leader who was murdered. So when her ex-boyfriend is poisoned by a chocolate bar that her family manufactures, all fingers point to Anya. As she struggles to clear her name and also take care of her dysfunctional family, she meets Win, who happens to be the son of a new government leader. And even though she's given direct orders not to date him, Anya seems to not be able to stay away from Win.
The novel had very strong, interesting characters that all played unique roles in the story. Leo, Anya's older brother, suffered a brain injury after a horrible car crash, so he's unfit as the guardian. He was very unpredictable, but I liked him because of his sweetness and innocence. Natty, Anya's younger sister, acted realistically for her age. Anya herself was a pretty strong and brave protagonist. I'm not sure what the main plot of the book was - because there were of course side plots - but it seemed like Win and Anya's relationship wasn't that drawn out. I didn't become immersed in it, and in fact, it felt a little forced at times. I was more interested in Anya's home life than her love life.
The book as a whole felt a little awkward...like it wasn't completely developed. I'm hoping that it's the beginning to a series, because I'd like to read more about this interesting world that the author created. I loved seeing how Zevin used all the NYC landmarks and gave them new purposes: the Statue of Liberty is now a youth detention center and museums became popular nightclubs. However, I was disappointed that the author never described how life became like that. It's like the reader was just supposed to understand and dive right in to the story right away, without any background information. The book dragged, especially from half way through to the end. There just wasn't a lot actually happening in the story to keep my interest. The summary of the book sounded so creative and the first few chapters really intrigued me, but after a while it just went downhill. If there will be a sequel, I'll probably check it out at some point, but I won't be jumping out of my seat to read it.
Cover Thoughts: I honestly don't understand the title of the book or why there is a numbered list on the cover. I do like the chocolate heart though!