Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Farrar, Straus And Giroux
Age Group: Young Adult
Summary: From the author of the critically acclaimed Elsewhere comes this brilliant novel about an impossible romance, a family living outside of the law, and the ties that forever bind us.
Chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is increasingly scarce, 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—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 someone in her inner circle ends up 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 mafiya family.
My Thoughts: Chocolate and coffee being illegal? Oh No! Even water is scarce and you barely find any books laying around anymore.
In Zevin's world, we are introduced to what could be our life in the future. It would be a scary future. We meet Anya Balanchine who is the daughter of a crime boss who was murdered. She has two siblings. Leo who is older and Natty who is younger. Natty was such a fun little sister. She was constantly teasing Annie but you could tell she adored her and looked up to her. Leo had an accident a few years ago so he's not all the way there. He's a sweet character but is a little on the slow side. Nothing he can really do about it but he tries his best to be normal and make the right decisions. We are also introduced to Annie's friends. There is Scarlett, who is Annie's best friend. They have been best friends forever and she's an exciting girl, a bit of a drama queen but totally lovable. Next, there are the boys. Gable, who is the ex boyfriend (boyfriend for a few pages). He mostly comes off as a butthead and doesn't treat Annie too nicely. Than there is Win (love that nickname) and he is the new boy at school. He's also the new assistant D.A.'s son. Of course that complicates things, since Annie is trying her best to stay out of the spotlight with her family business. Another character is Nana, who is the families grandmother. We see her throughout the novel as being bedridden and very sick. I also want to mention Mouse. She's a girl whose mute. There just wasn't enough of her in this novel. But I'm almost sure we'll see her in the next novel (I hope).
The novel starts out explaining who exactly Annie is and what her family name means to the outside world. Most people think of her connections and leave her alone. They don't want the mob after them so they know to stay out of her way.
Annie is in possession of chocolate and ends up giving some to Gable. This sets off a chain of events! Gable becomes sick and goes into a coma. She's blamed for attempting to murder him. Everyone thinks she is the one who contaminated the chocolate trying to kill him on purpose.
She ends up getting punished of course. And in the process she meets Win's father. Oh No! He tells her she needs to think about her choices and make the right one for her family.
Honestly, I can't say much else. I am struggling. with this review because if I say one thing, it leads to the conclusion of the next. Everything ties together too closely. With one action, comes the consequence and its a never ending cycle.
Overall: I really loved the romance between Win and Annie. I loved seeing how caring Annie was, especially where family was concerned. I loved knowing Win was independent and he will stand up for what he believes in. All These Things I've Done was simply an awesome story. It was definitely different from everything I've read so far. Can you imagine a world without chocolate? It would be so devastating!
Cover: The cover is actually pretty plain but its also creative. I love the heart of chocolate. It makes me want chocolate!