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( Download E-pub ) ⚤ All These Things I've Done Î In , 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 DA S Son, And Avoiding Her Loser Ex Boyfriend That Is Until Her Ex Is Accidentally 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 FamilyEngrossing And Suspenseful, All These Things I Ve Done Is An Utterly Unique, Unputdownable Read That Blends Both The Familiar And The Fantastic This is the first book I ve given up on in a long time.And some might think it strange Because, looking at it objectively is it better than Twilight Is it better than Ever Is it better than Hush, Hush I think I d have to say yes to all of those But the difference is, however terrible those books may be, the one thing they did do is keep me interested They kept me invested enough in the story that I wanted to know how it all turned out And that just did not happen with All These Things I ve Done.There are a few main reasons why I gave this up.1 The writing It wasn t horrid writing, and there were a few moments when it shone, but the style really did not work for me From what I ve gathered, it s Anya writing this whole account I ve read several books that worked that angle wonderfully This did not The writing was awkward and distant, and the random interjections only annoyed me Also, little dialogue gems such as this didn t really help my opinion of thisHis name s Goodwin but he goes by Win Isn t that OMG Uhhh, yeah.2 The characters I didn t hate the main character, Anya I really didn t There were a few moments where I even liked her But most of the time, I just felt so removed from everything that was happening, and couldn t bring myself to care Also, certain characters coughScarletandNattycough annoyed the hell out of me They were flat, simple, and irritating, which is all the worse because I m pretty certain we re supposed to love them Win, the love interest, was okay He didn t upset me, but there was just no spark I felt no chemistry between him and Anya and couldn t understand why he was interested in her She hardly encouraged him.3 The strong Christian presence This part is just my bias I tend to dislike books that have a strong religious presence, regardless of what the religion is Some Christians may absolutely love this aspect of the book It just really didn t work for me.4 Related to the last one Anya being the good Christian girl Whenever she would think bad thoughts, it would be all No, no, I can t think these things, because I am a good Christian girl. Whenever the possibility of sex was presented to her it would be all No, no, I would never have sex, because I am a good Christian girl. Now don t get me wrong I have no problem with those who choose not to think bad thoughts about others, or who choose to abstain until marriage That s there prerogative What upset me was that these were painted as bad things, like being pure minded and abstaining made you a saint and daring to think bad thoughts about someone who almost date raped you or, gasp, having sex before marriage made you a terrible person.This is not a horrible book This is really one of those cases where I just have to say that it was not for me Some of you may love it, or at least like it a lot than I did Plus, you might just want that gorgeous cover SO PRETTY And did I mention that the hard cover is patterned to look like chocolate But personally, I could not make myself finish this 2 stars. Let s be clear, I did a lot of skim reading and not reading after the 150 page marker because there was nothing much actually, nothing at all about this book that I can say I enjoyed I m not surprised after reading a lot of my friends negative reviews, but I do admit to a little curiosity sparking in me when this arrived from the publishers claiming to be The Godfather with a dystopian twist This is nothing at all, slightly, remotely like The Godfather beyond the mention of mafia and I ll get to that ridiculous plot element in a minute and it s not really much of a dystopia either, though who s surprised about that any So this is supposed to be about the mafia, mobsters, crime lords it isn t I wanted a terrifying boss sat behind a desk, creating fear with a single look, dealing in all kinds of horrendous underground business I wanted shoot outs, car chases and mysteries scandals and betrayal what did I get Chocolate, caffeine and a love story I kid you not All those big mafia thugs with their illegal activities, you know what it s really all about Chocolate and caffeine After reading a book like White Cat which contains a perfect mix of mafia action, family betrayals and a touch of magic, this book is so lame I can t think of a better word for it, it s just lame Plus, there s an extreme lack of world building beyond this bizarre decision to ban chocolate, caffeine and paper without a license or something to that effect Why would chocolate be illegal WHY You re making no sense to me This is another romance Yep, that s right, another one of those, posing as a dystopia naturally The love interest is nothing to write home about, but the protagonist annoyed me so much I simply refused to give this book any than one star She s bitchy and horrible and I really hated being in on her thoughts when she s watching her best friend flirting with Win, the way she so snidely criticises the poor girl for being obvious and full on when she is strictly a good catholic girl who cannot possibly have sex before marriage because she will go to hell I just can t argh The first chapter is called I defend my own honour oh please, are you joking Yeah, sure, the guy s an asshole but defending her honour Let me just quote this for youI didn t believe in sex before marriage I was a mostly good catholic girl, and I knew exactly where the type of behaviour he was suggesting would get me straight to hell If you don t want to have sex, that s just fine, but preaching shit about going to hell for it in a young adult book that s going to be read by a lot of teenage girls And straight from our heroine s mouth too Well, fuck you This is a book crammed full of slut shaming and a load of anti sex bullshit Only for girls, though There s a lovely scene where Anya protag is out at a club with her friends and sees her brother and some girls dancing The girls, she notes, are sluts Sluts because of that suggestive way they re dancing with her brother But, but, but he s bloody dancing with them too Holy shit And, of course, these girls are from this point onward referred to as the slutty girls or individually as one of the sluts I don t care whether this is the author s opinion or a character trait of Anya s I DO NOT LIKE.Even without the poor world building, slut shaming and my complete annoyance at the main character, this would still not have been a good book It s just a case of Gabrielle Zevin jumping on the dystopian trend with a crappy story I wasn t expecting to be wowed, but it s rare that a book manages to offend me so much Ugh.
2.5 starsMixed feelings about this book At first, I was enad with All These Things I ve Done Mainly because of its originality Even though the novel is pushed as another dystopia, it is of a mafia crime drama, at least in the beginning The setting is futuristic 2083, but hardly dystopic The end of the century US is overrun by lawlessness, corruption and rationing, however there is nothing particularly oppressive about it In fact, it actually reminded me of 1990s Russia the civilization is still there, but the change in political regime destroyed the country s infrastructure and order, not irreparably though.16 year old Anya Balanchine is the daughter of the deceased head of the Russian American mafia family Although she still gets the perks of being affiliated with this organization money, connections, easy access to illegal substances chocolate among other things , she is not a part of the criminal network Anya is busy going to school, looking after her mentally disabled older brother, little sister and dying grandmother and fighting off her good for nothing ex Her life is moderately difficult and later becomes even so, when she finds herself attracted to the wrong boy a new DA s son and when her ex gets poisoned by what appears to be the chocolate bar Anya gave him Up to that point the book was great, except the occasional misspellings of Russian words and chocolate is now a drug bit which I thought was almost as ridiculous as love is a deadly decease premise And then something happened in the second half of the novel.The crime subplot is almost completely abandoned then No new backstory or external information is introduced, there is hardly any conflict What is in there is a lot of Anya s immediate family repetitive drama and romance The strange thing is, all of this is written in a very detached way You no longer feel like you are with Anya being a part of the events or romantic scenes Everything reads as recaps, many plot points proms, school theater production, dates are introduced and then recounted in a couple of sentences Even all the lovey dovey stuff is recapped Yes, a string of recaps and very poor and uninteresting dialog My connection to this story was lost then My interest was killed by excessive telling and minimal showing.All These Things I ve Done could have been so much better with mafia, crime, narrower time frame, and less recapping Such a wasted premise Probably won t be back for the sequel. This book was a total air ball for me The premise sounded so fun a futuristic society with a Prohibition era type ban on chocolate,a black market run by mobster families, and a teenage heir to the family empire MURDERS POISONING Boredom Boredom Oh, and tepid romance and a selfish MC Imagine all the places this book could ve gone Yeah, that s right, I m thinking total badass teenage girl threatening her way across NYC and putting her dysfunctional family business back in order I mean, wouldn t it be totally normal to have a Boondock Saints type situation in a YA book No I enjoyed several of Zevin s other books Elsewhere, Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac but reading this book made me want to go back and reread them to see if they were read by delusional Flann I found it rather annoying that the narrative would stop every once in a while for the narrator to speak to the reader Dear reader, if you are reading this review, you might notice that it is mostly personal feelings about the book with absolutely no objectivity. See how annoying that is Another thing this book dragged So many plot points just kept coming up, and up, and up, and WE FREAKING GOT IT ALREADY, ANYA You don t want your brother to work at the Pool Check You and Win really like each other but you shouldn t be together CHECK You run the household because Leo can t we seriously got that point the first four times it was mentioned note I was reading an ARC of this so perhaps the editor realized the repetition and remedied the situation before publication crosses fingers The beginning of the book was promising I went into it with the attitude that it was ridiculous to have chocolate be illegal and to have a black market for it Funnily enough, I was on board rather quickly The setup was fun and I was ready to see where the story would go The answer Basically nowhere At one point in the story, Anya ends up in a detention center I was evilly tapping my fingers together at the prospects I don t want to spoiler it but if you ve been paying attention, I m pretty sure you know what happens view spoiler It s over in a few pages She is put in solitary and then her lawyers get her out hide spoiler