All These Things I’ve Done, by Gabrielle Zevin = Z (fiction) – chocolate, crime, deadly

Payoffs keep New York City running.
Chocolate and caffeine are illegal drugs.
Paper is scarce and clean water even scarcer.
Welcome to 2083.

Anya has inherited her crime boss father’s business sense, his stake in the mafiya chocolate empire, and responsibility for her mentally disabled older brother, precocious younger sister, and dying grandmother.

What a time to fall in love! And with Win, of all people. Her lab partner for anatomy and physiology class is cute, smart, and the son of NYC’s newest assistant district attorney who is determined to make it to the top by shutting down illegal chocolate operations.

In the face of the frightening choices that she must make to keep her immediate family safe, Anya asks God’s forgiveness for All These Things I’ve Done, first in the Birthright series.

So this is the last A-to-Z Blog Challenge post for this year, 26 new book recommendations in April! On to the 2012 WordCount Blogathon for May and BooksYALove’s first birthday tomorrow.

Book info: All These Things I’ve Done (Birthright, book 1) / Gabrielle Zevin. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011 (hardback); Square Fish, 2012 (paperback). [author’s website] [publisher site] [book trailer]

My Recommendation: Illegal or unwise – which choice is worse? Anya’s mafiya family makes chocolate, that forbidden drug, in crime-riddled New York City in 2083. The teen is trying to keep life normal for her grandmother, brother, and sister when someone is poisoned by tainted Balanchine chocolate. Now the police and the mafiya are trying to pin the blame on her.

The cute boy she’s falling for at school turns out to be son of the new DA who’s determined to prosecute chocolate and caffeine trafficking to the max, her older brother is incapable of caring for himself, and her grandmother’s health is failing. If Nana dies, the mafiya will gladly take over all the assets left to her by her dead crime boss father, and the city authorities will separate her from her brother and sister.

Surely Win knows who she is, knows what her extended family does – how can he start a relationship that’s guaranteed to anger his father? At least she’s finally broken up with that loser Gable, who was only after her chocolate connection.

When her brother Leo loses his cleaning job and starts hanging out with some of their more unsavory cousins, Anya warns him that they’re just trying to take advantage of him. No one could imagine that he’d get stuck in the middle of a big mafiya operation or that foreign racketeers might be trying to take over Balanchine’s territory.

Who’s really behind the chocolate poisonings? How can Anya keep juggling her siblings’ needs, her schoolwork, and her feelings for Win? How deep do family loyalties run and how far will their “protective” reach go? (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

5 thoughts on “All These Things I’ve Done, by Gabrielle Zevin = Z (fiction) – chocolate, crime, deadly

  1. A world where chocolate is illegal – what a nightmare. But this sounds like an interesting book, a twist on your typical dystopia – I am going to look out for this one.

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