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All These Things I've Done (2011)

All These Things I've Done (2011)

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3.72 of 5 Votes: 5
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0374302103 (ISBN13: 9780374302108)
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

About book All These Things I've Done (2011)

Anya is a teenager living in 2080s New York, where chocolate and caffeine are prohibited substances. Her father was the boss of the Balanchine crime family: illegal importers and distributers of Balanchine chocolate. With her mother and father both dead, Anya is the recognized head of her household, which consists of her machine-supported grandmother, mentally disabled older brother, and younger sister. Anya just wants to live a normal life and keep out of the crime family limelight, but that gets complicated when she is charged with poisoning her ex-boyfriend with Balanchine chocolate and later falls for the son of the assistant DA. Along with all of this, as the natural heir to the Balanchine chocolate empire, Anya gets courted on many sides with offers of support for her ascension. First off, be prepared to suspend disbelief in higher-than-usual proportions. Why are chocolate and caffeine illegal? Who knows? Not even the heir apparent to Balanchine chocolate has the answer to this one. So just accept the law and move on, like the characters in the book do, and consider the ill-informed public as an important theme. Second thing is that you have to accept that even though the book takes place a mere 70 years from now, it feels more like 200-300 years later, if not more. For example, the Statue of Liberty is just a pair of feet now. What happened to her? Anya supposes she was scrapped for parts. The Statue of Liberty is a major landmark that would still exist in living memory—Anya’s grandmother was born in 1995. Yet they treat it the same way that a teenager today would view the Colossus. It’s the same with other major landmarks—the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park to name a couple.What the book does well is tackling some substantial themes. How much of our path in life is determined by the accident of birth? Can we really choose our own futures? What should we prioritize: love or family? How can we identify ineffective and meaningless laws? What chance do former criminals have of escaping that life? How do laws create crime? There is a lot to talk about here, but the themes are so intricately woven in that you don’t recognize them until you stop and think about it.Another thing I enjoyed was the placement of a character near the end of a long life who is of the current teen generation. First, that move forces teen readers to identify with the grandmother character, while they’re also identifying with the teenage girl. It also adds an immediacy to the plot. This isn’t some far-off future; it’s an in-my-lifetime future. (Well, probably a little past mine.)Anya is a likable character. She’s a typical teenage girl who has a best friend, enjoys school, and is figuring out the whole relationship thing. She’s saddled with a great deal of responsibility, so she’s a bit more mature than others her age, but she handles her burden in ways that are understandable, as she really has no choice in the matter. Her habit of addressing the reader got a little annoying. It often felt like this was Zevin’s way of smoothing over areas where the readers of her early drafts had questions. Just have Anya explain it directly, and get on with the story. Another thing that perplexed me was the way Anya referred to other girls as “sluts” or “slutty.” She seems to think that she’s referring only to their provocative dress, but to me, she came off as incredibly judgmental in those situations. She doesn’t know the girls, so she’s jumping to conclusions. I thought maybe that this was just a societal thing that had gone downhill by 2080, but then that would make no sense that a crime family would be willing to even consider accepting a female leader. It also didn’t make sense as a character trait, because Anya is otherwise a pretty forgiving person who is willing to give the benefit of the doubt. So I came to the conclusion that the word doesn’t actually mean what Anya thinks it means.But just a heads up, the next book is leaps and bounds better.• Mild language• Sex is mentioned, but not engaged in. Anya is committed to not having premarital sex.• Social drinking: alcohol is legal, but Anya doesn’t like it• Gunfights I LOVED THIS BOOK. just finished it, so good. its like sci-fi in the future in like 2083 when chocolate is illegal and everything in the world kinda sucks. and anya's family is like a mobster family that deals illegal chocolate and murders ppl. but she's like such a strong female character (WHICH I LOVE) she's only 16 and she takes care of her whole family cuz her parents died when she was only 9. its a lot of pressure but i love how she always puts them first and never even considers choosing the selfish route. she's just a really inspiring character. i think you would like it. its a bit frustrating because i love happy endings and where everything turns out perfect in the end, but the best books are the ones that don't satisfy me. because i haaaaateee predictable as much as i love happy endings, after a while they get boring.

Do You like book All These Things I've Done (2011)?

two and a half, if i could. fun book, nothing more. didn't expected much, so i was able to enjoy it.

That ending! OMG this book was amazing! I am a mess...because AH! Anya and Win FOR THE WIN!

very awesome, and the main character has my birth date.....also amazing!

left me wanting more

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