Google+ Reading Teen: Book & Audio Review: All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Book & Audio Review: All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (September 6, 2011)
Reading level: Young Adult
Audio CD
Publisher: Macmillan Young Listeners; Unabridged edition (September 6, 2011)
Buy the book: Hardcover | Audio

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.

The Audio:

Andye says:  I thought this audiobook was fantastic!  I really enjoyed listening to it a lot!  The reader had a great voice for YA, and she did a really good job with all the voices, even the guy voices, and the ones who had accents.  It's funny, but one of my favorite voices was actually Win's voice! The audio really added a great element to this story that I think you'll miss out on if you don't listen.  If you get the chance, I would definitely recommend picking up the audio for this one!

Kit says: I was pretty impressed with this audiobook.  There were a few bits that I felt were a bit awkward (with the Asian-British accent, but I'm not really sure how anyone's supposed to be able to pull that off) but overall, I would recommend this if you're an audiobook fan!

The Book:

Andye says:  All These Things I've Done was a fantastic book.  I really enjoyed listening to this one.  Anya was such a relatable character, at least to me.  I really felt like I could sympathize with her (empathize?....never could figure out the difference).  I loved her strength and how logical and determined she was.  She was only sixteen and had to take care of her entire family, and she never complained.  She saw what needed to be done, and just did it.  The romance between Anya and Goodwin (Win for short) was so sweet.  Win was absolutely the perfect guy, and the Romeo and Juliet factor made their romance all the more appealing.  There were so many fantastic characters in this book who were all so thoroughly fleshed out.  I felt like I knew each and every one of them, and I somehow cared for them all.....even the ones I kind of hated. 

The only negative thing I will say is that I didn't feel like this futuristic world was planned out quite enough.  Or at least it wasn't explained thoroughly enough.  Their world seemed to be almost exactly like our world, only for some reason, chocolate etc. was illegal.  There wasn't much explanation about why caffeine was outlawed, why alcohol was legalized, or other things like that.  There was no new slanguage either.  You'd think that after 70 or 80 years, things would be quite a bit different, and teens would have created a few new words.  I mean think about how much things have changed in the past 70 years. 

I hope that doesn't dissuade anyone from reading (listening to) it, though, because it really was a great book!  Gabrielle Zevin combined the future with the past and came up with a story that combined mobsters, romance, family, friends, Liberty Island (in the form of a detention center), love, hate, oranges, and lots of lots of chocolate. 

Kit says:  I thought All These Things I've Done was superb.  I absolutely loved the whole backwards idea of chocolate and caffeine being illegal, and alcohol being available to kids of any age.  The most bizarre part was probably the fact that Anya's grandma was born in 1995... the same year as me.  ME.  Usually when I'm reading a book, (and I assume everyone else does this too) I sort of put myself in their shoes,  but as I was reading this one, it kept hitting me that I would be the grandma in this case, on my death bed... dying (as if there's anything else you'd be doing on your death bed).  There was one part where Anya's friend Scarlett says, "OMG!" and Anya asks her what that's supposed to stand for and she says, "I dunno, amazing or something..." At that point I felt old.  Anya ended up asking her grandma what it stood for and she explained that, in her day, they had to abbreviate everything because they were always in such a hurry.  And it's so true.  But it's so strange to hear it past tense.

Other than that, I really loved the characters in this book (well, most of them anyway).  I loved Anya and her strength and independence.  I loved Scarlett for her loyalty and genuine love for Anya.  And I, of course, loved Win for his utter perfection.  I did not love Gable, and that's self-explanatory.   Overall, I thought this was a great book and I would definitely recommend it!


  • Sexual Content:  Heavy
  • Profanity:  Mild
  • Violence:  Moderate
  • Other Notables:  "Underage Drinking" is not illegal, and teens drink, though the main characters aren't very interested in drinking.  To them it isn't a big deal (because it's not illegal). 
For more details, click here.


  1. I loved this audio i thought she read it beautifully. I like the other cover much more! Thanks for the review :)

  2. I just received a hardcover copy of this novel, and I can't wait to start it! Thanks for the review :) And I agree with Melissa, I like the other cover more. The one I have always makes me hungry for chocolate :P

    You've been tagged! :)

  3. I loved this book! Each page kept me wanting more! Very very good book! That's all I can say. Awesome story...I definitely want to read the next book.

    1. I'm so glad you loved it!! I hope the next books are just as good!


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