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 16-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.
©2011 Gabrielle Zevin (P)2011 Macmillan Audio
I actually purchased this book because I enjoy Ilyana Kadushin's narrations, and she didn't disappoint. She has a voice that is very easy to listen to and she brings you into the story flawlessly. I'd suggest purchasing anything she narrates.
Despite the fact that chocolate is a banned substance but beer is not...the characters are well rounded, the story is intriguing, it left me wanting more and I was happy to discover that it's a series. It's a very creative look at future of our world and it takes familiar things and twists them in a surprising way.
What sounded like an amusing coming-of-age story set in the future turns out to be a moving survivalist story about the unresolved issues of real life as a stressed high-school family-supporting junior in a Detroit-like Manhattan at the end of this century. As a survivor of similar conditions in South Chicago in the middle of the previous century, I hear reality.
Not at all what I thought I was getting into, but this book is very good. Although I'm sure it was meant for a younger audience than I, it really is a good story that most people will enjoy. While it is very different from the "Hunger Games," if you liked the "Hunger Games" you'll like this too. I look forward to the next in the series.
Yes, this was a great dystopian audiobook. I thought Anya was a really strong character and I can't wait to listen to the next one. Ilyana Kadushin's narration seemed very well-suited to the story.
This started out really slow, and although it picked up, I don't feel the need to continue with this series. There was not enough focus on the dystopian world, such as what led to these changes, how did this impact the characters' lives, etc. I agree with the reviewers that questioned why ban chocolate, which is central to the story; although they allude to its addictive qualities, there is no ban on alcohol, which also has addictive qualities. It was a pleasant enough story, but I just don't care enough about what happens to the characters to continue with the series.
The narration was good, but it was distracting at times when the character would break out of the story and speak to the reader. A specific example was when the main character was sick and she stops in the middle to say to the reader "and you probably thought I was pregnant, I wouldn't do that to you, I'm an honest narrator." At first I had no idea who she was talking to and thought she was talking to another character.
All These Things I’ve Done is about a 16 year old girl named Anya, whose family is in the illegal business of chocolate making. This is the story of her life, what happens when someone poisons the chocolate her family makes, and the repercussions of her starting to fall in love with a boy, whose father is the assistant D.A.
This book, like Eve by Anna Carey, had everything that I was wanting in a dystopian society. And on top of that, the premise of the society is SO unique. Caffeine is illegal, chocolate is too, paper (and consequently, books) is difficult to get a hold of – what could go wrong with such creative ideas? The answer? So many things.
My gripes may come from the fact that I listened to this on audiobook and so obviously if I were to have read the book, I could have interpreted Anya different. But I didn’t read the book – I listened to it and let me tell you what – I think Anya is really..rude. I think she’s TOO blunt. Is she the product of her environment? (read: mafia family) Yeah, maybe – but still. I did not like her. She talked about her love for her siblings and though she does make a sacrifice at the end of the book for them, most of the time she talks to her older brother like he really is an idiot and is rude to her younger sister. I thought she was immature, paranoid, and just plain mean.
Then the plot dragged and dragged in the middle section of the book. There was no conflict and I wasn’t scared or worried for Anya, especially considering how mean and cold-hearted she was. For a good section of the book, it was just her everyday life and it wasn’t even exciting. Also, I swear, I think I would have smashed something if I had heard the word “birthright” one more time.
Needless to say, I was so sad that I didn’t like this book because I went into it with really high hopes.
If you read this book, what did you think? Did you interpret Anya differently than I did from the audio?
Mother of teenaged bear, Wife to chaos, Warrior
Nope too goody goody for me.
This book is a preteen dream. It was way too young for my taste but with that being said, the story was good, and the characters were a bit hollow. I kept waiting for the action, the drama but I felt it never really got there.
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