A World Where Chocolate is Illegal Is Here in All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

All These Things I've Done
by Gabrielle Zevin
Copyright 2011
Farrar, Straus, & Giroux Books
368 pages
ISBN: 9780374302108 
Can you imagine living in a world where chocolate is illegal and caffeine is strictly forbidden? I know this girl couldn't go on without an occasional Hershey Bar or daily glass of Mountain Dew. Oh the horror! Gabrielle Zevin, best selling author has created a world where this is reality and laws change at the drop of a hat, resulting in an underground lucrative black market where chocolate and those who control its distribution are king.

Anya Balanchine, the 16-year-old daughter of the deceased head of a notorious crime family wants nothing to do with illegal chocolate but those around her including her older brother, Leo pull her in. Like most young adult fiction these days there's a bit of forbidden romance (and potentially a love triangle!) which only adds to the drama in Anya's life. Despite being only sixteen most of the responsibility rests on her shoulders and Anya must learn to grow up and embrace the life that she shuns--the life that continues the legacy of her father.

In spite of the "heaviness" of this story Gabrielle Zevin manages to make life in the late 21st century easy to relate to. Sure not many of us are members of a crime family (at least I hope) but we can all relate to caring for siblings, coping with the pressures of high school our faith, and the risks involved in love. Anya is easy to like and no matter how much she wants to avoid it this girl fits the mold of tough-as-nails mob daughter. I could see her in the Godfather movies any day of the week. No worries though, there's no violence that's over the top or inappropriate for a YA novel. It's actually pretty decent compared to a lot of the YA out there these days.
In general I really liked this book and would definitely like to see where Anya's new alliances take her in the future. The ending was somewhat bland and I wasn't wishing that I had the next book to jump right back in but I'm definitely intrigued by Anya's world  and will probably read the sequel when it's released.

Note: Strong language throughout, some violence and sensuality.



To learn more about Gabrielle visit her WEBSITE

*I received my complimentary copy through Zeitghost Media in exchange for posting this review*

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