All These Things I've Done.

TITLE. All These Things I’ve Done
AUTHOR. Gabrielle Zevin
RELEASE DATE. March 2012
PAGES. 352
FORMAT. Paperback
GENRE. YA, Crime?, Dystopia?

Sixteen year-old Anya becomes the head of a mafia family after her parents are both murdered by rival gangs. Although Anya is embroiled in the criminal world, she is determined to keep her brother and sister out of the mafia family, but her father’s relatives aren’t so keen to let them go. When Anya’s violent ex-boyfriend is poisoned with contaminated chocolate – chocolate that is produced illegally by Anya’s mafia family – she is arrested for attempted murder and sent to the notorious jail on Manhattan Island.

Eventually she is freed by the new D.A. in town, who believes she had been framed. But this D.A. is the father of Win, a boy at school whom Anya feels irresistibly drawn, and her freedom comes with conditions. Win’s father wants to be mayor, and he can’t risk having his ambition jeopardized by rumours spreading that his son is seeing a member of a notorious crime family. Anya knows she risks the safety of her family by seeing Win again, but the feeling between them may be too strong to resist…

This is the first part of the Birthright series, which is a trilogy.

WHY this book.
Because I’ve had this one in my bookcase for ages. It was time.

I’m really confused.. I liked this book when I got started.. but somewhere along the way it just completely lost its appeal. About 2/3 through the story I could not take it anymore and I’ve just skimmed through the rest of it, only reading the more important parts. It was not what I expected it to be, and the further I got the more I noticed its flaws and how little was happening.
On the side.. when I just went through the summary for the review I was just blown away. Did the person who wrote the summery even read the book ??? I mean.. it’s not true what they say in there. Anya is NOT a crime boss !! She prefers to stay out of it.. and she did not go to jail, she went to a Children’s Facility and Win’s father does not want to be the mayor.. He wants to be the D.A., because he is only the assistant !!

So this is supposed to be the future, 2082, and things are not looking very optimistic. A lot of natural resources have become rare, and normal stuff has become illegal (coffee and chocolate). Enter our main character, Anya, the daughter of former (dead) mafia boss of Balanchine Chocolate. She accidently gets her asshole ex-boyfriend poisoned with the chocolate and goes for a short time to Liberty Children’s Facility for attempted murder. Gets released by the D.A.’s assistant (with aspirations to become the big shot D.A.) , who turns out to be the father of Win, the guy she likes. Of course, he does not like her dating his son for obvious reasons, and tells her so. And she, for obvious reasons starts a relationship with Win. In the meanwhile, Anya has an older brother Leo who had an accident when he was younger, resulting in brain damage, which gave he the mind of an eight year old. He gets into stuff with the mafia family, which of course ends badly, she has to cover for him, get him out of the country, Win gets shot in the process, she shoot the other guy, she goes back to Liberty, the end. Or something like that.. It just became quite slow and boring. Not a lot of mafia stuff at all, and more teenage drama.

So you have the star-crossed lovers.. Pfffttt. Not at all, they were not at all hot together or sexy in any way. I had zero feelings during this whole book. It was very.. non passionate. I did not really get the attraction between them, and they just got together out of nowhere. Ugh. I was hoping for some swooning and stuff, but it did me nothing.

In the future ! Awesome right ? Well not really.. Mainly I was just really confused about how it all came to be. She did not explain a lot about the world, and most of it was just weird. Why would you ban chocolate ??? What is harmful about that ?? It’s only chocolate !! But well, I really missed the world building. Just as the whole mafia thing that they promised me at the beginning, it just never went any further. It stayed in the background, while in the front not a lot happened. Seemed like a lot of missed opportunities there.

Anya. The main character of the story, who grew up in a mafia family. Her father taught her a lot (she uses a lot of “Daddy always said..”) about how to be a tough person, and it shows in her personality. She is very independent, which results in her being quite pig-headed. Though I like my main characters strong and independent, she made it more like she always knows better than others, and nobody likes a know-it-all. And, well.. she is one of the least romantic/passionate souls out there. Oh ! And she is religious (not that I mind, everybody has the right to believe what they want to) but it made her really self-righteous, acting like she was better than others because of that. Like other girls were sluts and stuff.
Win. The love interest, who we know little about. We know an awful lot about Anya, and how she came to be.. but Win’s personality kind of stayed shallow, I disliked that. Though he did seem nice and helpful.
Netty. Anya’s little sister, who got all the romance in the family. I liked her, she was girly and cute, and smart. Even though I have to admit, the being some kind of genius came out of nowhere XD
Leo. Anya’s older brother, who had an accident when he was younger (that killed their mother) what left him with the mind of an eight year old. I liked Leo, he is the older brother, but because of his trauma he cannot be the person he should have been, and that was kind of sad. Especially because he is aware of that, and also because he is influenced easy. And I disliked how some people treated him, even his own family, treated him like he is weak and simple, not with a lot of respect.
Nana. The grandmother of the bunch and legal caretaker of them, who is seriously ill. She seems like a tough cookie, though her Alzheimer makes it more difficult.
Scarlet. The best friend of the main character, who helps them. I was really weirded out about her getting together with the asshole ex-boyfriend.. I mean, you know how he treated your best friend, what he almost did to her, and you still go for him ? Stupid. And she gets treated kind of bad by Anya, she helps them out all the time, does everything, and in return she shuts her out most of the time, resulting in her knowing everything last..
Jacks. The bastard Cousin, who took a lot of interest in Leo, which seemed suspicious from the beginning. It was not really all his fault, he can’t help being born a bastard and people treating him like less because of that. So I took more pity in him than thinking of him like a bad guy.
Charles Delacriox. Win’s father, the new D.A.’s assistant. Can’t blame him for wanting to protect his son.. he seemed like an oké guy. Throughout the whole story I got kind of mixed information about him, making me feel now like I have no idea what he is really like. Is he a bad guy ? A good guy ? I can’t really make up my mind about him.. 
Yuij Ono. The son of another mafia boss from Kyoto (Japan), whose father also died and resulting in him becoming the new boss. He seemed to have good intentions, helping Anya.

I have to go for Yuij Ono, I am kind of curious about him and all that he has been through. Can’t we switch the main character for him ? Would probably be more interesting…

Yeah I think I’ll have to go for our main character. She treated a lot of people really bad and with disrespect. Like her best friend, her brother, her boyfriend.. She was belittling everybody and acting like she was all tough and knows everything better. She annoyed me very much. And.. she was sooo not romantic and had zero passion in her, it was just awful.. Apart from that, why was she even with her ex to begin with ?? Never understood that one. 

“Chocolate doesn’t solve everything, Nana.”
“It solves a whole heck of a lot, though.”

“I let myself feel good and sorry for myself, but only for a second. Daddy always said that the most useless of all human emotions was self-pity.”

Kind of funny, I did not keep the quotes up-to-date this time because I could not find a lot of noteworthy quotes, but looking through them on Goodreads, I find SOOO MANY “Daddy always said..” “Daddy used to say..” “Daddy once said..” “Another Daddy-ism..” It’s just ridiculous XD

I was quite disappointed with this book. It started out good with a lot of potential, but unfortunately it did not came through. I disliked the main character, who I kind of need to like to make it worthwhile. The world building stayed too shallow, with too little detail. Most of the other characters were weakly build as well, and the whole star-crossed lovers did not do it at all for me. So.. because the first half was oké, and I did bother to skim through the rest of it instead of DNF-ing, I would like to give this book 2.5 Freyja’s. I would not really recommend it, and I don’t think I will bother with the other books in this serie. 


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