Sunday, November 27, 2011

All These Things I've Done - Gabrielle Zevin

Synopsis: In 2083, 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 D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidently 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 family.

It's prohibition for the future. I love this world - well, not love, because it would suck if coffee and chocolate were illegal. But the imagination and possibilities here are endless. It's a probable future, in which all resources are scarce and a lot of things are illegal. It's been classified as dystopian, but I don't think it really fits into this category. No one is trying to pull this off as a perfect example of a society - it's one that's riddled with crime and power-struggles - no one is hiding that. I think maybe it was marketed as a dystopia because it definitely appeals to dystopia-addicts like me. There's plenty of corruption, turmoil, and really strong and interesting characters to rise up in the face of it all. 


Lately, I've been really interested in generation gaps. Each generation has to deal with the choices of those who came before them, and often it comes down to a handful of people who make new choices to affect change. It often comes to needing to understand the way the generation before was brought up, what they valued, and why things changed by the time the next generation rises. This book explores these things in depth. Since it's so far in the future, the teens of today are represented through Anya's bed-ridden grandmother. She knows the meaning behind mysterious references like OMG. What I find interesting, is that she's the only figure left to really guide Anya - so even though it's in the future Gabrielle Zevin brings it back to make it relevant to teens today. 


But Anya is a member of a mob family and she has to work very hard against that image she is saddled with. Her life is directly affected by the reputation of her father and the balance of the family chocolate business after he's gone. Her task isn't easy - especially with her siblings to take care of and her fierce sense of family over everything else. Anya is always quoting her father and trying to follow all the things he's taught her - especially to protect her family - but at the same time she's trying to break away from feeding into the corruption. I just loved watching her try and use her father's wisdom for something good and learning that she has her own strength - and I can't wait to see what she does with that in the next book. 


This book seems really important to me - but there's fun things too. Like coffee becomes the new booze - you can only get it at speakeasys and Anya's ex is an addict. I found it highly amusing whenever Anya would think - Man, I can tell he's been drinking coffee. I can smell it on his breath - the same way you might think a girl would groan over her clearly drunk boyfriend. It's funny - the fine line between vices - booze/coffee, drugs/chocolate - because I know our generation often substitutes such things. Most of us need a caffiene fix to get through the day, or high doses of chocolate to drown our stress.


I definitely recommend this book - I loved it so much and I'm anxiously waiting the next book - because I have a feeling it's going a place more powerful. I'm also posting this awesome video of Gabrielle Zevin talking about the places in New York that inspired her story. This makes me want to go to New York. But the New York of today, not the one Anya lives in, because I do need my coffee...

1 comment:

  1. Nice review you have! ;D

    Here's mine if you don't mind: http://lorxiebookreviews.blogspot.com/2012/08/all-these-thing-ive-done-by-gabrielle.html

    Thank you and have a nice day!!!!!! =)

    ReplyDelete

Sunday, November 27, 2011

All These Things I've Done - Gabrielle Zevin

Synopsis: In 2083, 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 D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidently 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 family.

It's prohibition for the future. I love this world - well, not love, because it would suck if coffee and chocolate were illegal. But the imagination and possibilities here are endless. It's a probable future, in which all resources are scarce and a lot of things are illegal. It's been classified as dystopian, but I don't think it really fits into this category. No one is trying to pull this off as a perfect example of a society - it's one that's riddled with crime and power-struggles - no one is hiding that. I think maybe it was marketed as a dystopia because it definitely appeals to dystopia-addicts like me. There's plenty of corruption, turmoil, and really strong and interesting characters to rise up in the face of it all. 


Lately, I've been really interested in generation gaps. Each generation has to deal with the choices of those who came before them, and often it comes down to a handful of people who make new choices to affect change. It often comes to needing to understand the way the generation before was brought up, what they valued, and why things changed by the time the next generation rises. This book explores these things in depth. Since it's so far in the future, the teens of today are represented through Anya's bed-ridden grandmother. She knows the meaning behind mysterious references like OMG. What I find interesting, is that she's the only figure left to really guide Anya - so even though it's in the future Gabrielle Zevin brings it back to make it relevant to teens today. 


But Anya is a member of a mob family and she has to work very hard against that image she is saddled with. Her life is directly affected by the reputation of her father and the balance of the family chocolate business after he's gone. Her task isn't easy - especially with her siblings to take care of and her fierce sense of family over everything else. Anya is always quoting her father and trying to follow all the things he's taught her - especially to protect her family - but at the same time she's trying to break away from feeding into the corruption. I just loved watching her try and use her father's wisdom for something good and learning that she has her own strength - and I can't wait to see what she does with that in the next book. 


This book seems really important to me - but there's fun things too. Like coffee becomes the new booze - you can only get it at speakeasys and Anya's ex is an addict. I found it highly amusing whenever Anya would think - Man, I can tell he's been drinking coffee. I can smell it on his breath - the same way you might think a girl would groan over her clearly drunk boyfriend. It's funny - the fine line between vices - booze/coffee, drugs/chocolate - because I know our generation often substitutes such things. Most of us need a caffiene fix to get through the day, or high doses of chocolate to drown our stress.


I definitely recommend this book - I loved it so much and I'm anxiously waiting the next book - because I have a feeling it's going a place more powerful. I'm also posting this awesome video of Gabrielle Zevin talking about the places in New York that inspired her story. This makes me want to go to New York. But the New York of today, not the one Anya lives in, because I do need my coffee...

1 comment:

  1. Nice review you have! ;D

    Here's mine if you don't mind: http://lorxiebookreviews.blogspot.com/2012/08/all-these-thing-ive-done-by-gabrielle.html

    Thank you and have a nice day!!!!!! =)

    ReplyDelete