Oct 10, 2011

Review: Gabrielle Zevin - All These Things I've Done

Gabrielle Zevin - All These Things I've Done

• Pub. Date: September 2011
• Publisher: Macmillan Audio
• Format: Audio book – 8 discs
• Age Range: Young Adult

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.

I received this audio book from Macmillan Audio. Here is my honest review:

My summary: Chocolate and caffeine are illegal, but Anya Balanchine's family has a company that makes and sells chocolate. She has close ties to organized crime in her family, both of her parents are dead, and her grandmother is near death herself. Anya tries to take care of her family, but her older brother was left somewhat mentally challenged after a car accident and her younger sister can't take care of herself. Anya's boyfriend also tries to get her to have sex with him. Then enters Win, the assistant DA's son. It's somewhat all downhill from there.

This is a pretty fast-paced novel. Lots of events go down. I couldn't believe how strong and smart Anya is, but you'd seriously have to be in her position. I don't want to say too much about what goes on in this novel, but I definitely liked it. It was kind of stressful, but I also laughed a couple times, which I wasn't expecting. I like when that happens. It seemed pretty well written and detail oriented, since there are all these new rules in Anya's world.

The synopsis mentions that coffee and chocolate are illegal because caffeine is illegal. The author goes into this, but chocolate is the only mentioned consistently throughout the novel. I'm assuming that's because her family makes it, but coffee is huge in our world, so I would have like to seen some more done with that.

The narrator, Ilyana Kadushin, did an alright job. She also reads Twilight, and I never finish listening to the first one. Not because I didn't like her, I just stopped after a good part and moved on. She pronounced Win's last name differently a couple times throughout the novel, and I kind of got tired of hearing her say Balanchine and chocolate. But other than that, I liked her voice and the different voices she did for the other characters. She was a good voice for Anya.

What I liked:
  • This book was different. I've read dystopians and such, and this took it to a different level with her family being in the mafia, producing illegal products.
  • The love story wasn't over the top, but it was present. I was never sure which way it was going to go.
  • Her family was very important to her, and she always tried to take care of them.
  • This book progressed pretty quickly and always had something going on.
What I didn't like:
  • The narrator pronounced names differently every now and then, and I kind of got tired of hearing her say 'chocolate' after a while.
  • Gable is an awful guy at the beginning of this novel!
  • It's left wide open at the end! But that's okay. I'm ready for the sequel!
Bottom line: A different read with a very interesting premise that doesn't disappoint.


3.5 / 5 book sharks!


  1. Cool :) I think I'll check this book out in print...I am a little obsessive about how my audiobook readers speak...if they say character's names differently each time, I get all angsty and ocd over it lol It definitely sounds like a book I would like though! Thanks for the review Mickey!

  2. No problem! Thanks for checking out my review, and let me know if you do end up reading this book! :o)

  3. Thanks for the great review- I actually have this on hold at the library right now. I am looking forward to reading it even more now!


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