Reviews for All These Things I've Done


Booklist Reviews 2011 September #2
*Starred Review* It's 2083, and New York is not what it used to be. But as things go, 16-year-old Anya Balanchine has it pretty good. She lives in an apartment overlooking Central Park (what's left of it) with her bedridden grandmother, her mentally challenged older brother, and her clever younger sister. Because Anya's family was involved in organized crime, importing illegal chocolate among other things, they're still protected. Or are they? As Anya becomes involved with Win, the son of the new state's district attorney, mob unrest is beginning to infringe upon her life. There are a number of details that could make readers say, Really? Seventy years from now, girls are still wearing uniforms to Catholic schools and eating in the cafeteria just like always, yet they don't remember what the Statue of Liberty was. But while some of the details are problematic, the sweep of the book is original and compelling. The talented Zevin writes Anya and Win's high-wire romance as jolting for both the participants and readers. She knows this is going nowhere good: he's a believer in love, and neither of them understands how outside influences are impacting their romance. The breath-catching ending will leave everyone looking forward to the next title in the Birthright series. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Spring
In 2083, Anya and Win are "star-crossed lovers and all of that." She's the daughter of a New York City crime boss; he's the assistant district attorney's son. Anya looks back on the year, recounting a time of food rationing, infectious outbreaks, power-grid issues, and family power struggles. Her earnest voice and blend of strength and innocence will attract readers. Copyright 2012 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2011 #5
In the first volume of Zevin's projected Birthright series, Anya Balanchine and Win Delacroix are "star-crossed lovers and all of that." She's the sixteen-year-old daughter of a notorious slain New York City crime boss; he's the son of the new, ambitious assistant district attorney. Their New York is a city of crime, coffee speakeasies (both caffeine and chocolate -- the Balanchine family business -- are illegal), and government ineptitude. It could be the Prohibition era of the 1920s, but, no, it's 2083, and Anya is looking back on the year, recounting a time of food rationing, infectious outbreaks, power-grid issues, and Balanchine family power struggles. Both Anya's parents were killed in separate mob hits, leaving Anya in charge of a little sister, a brother with mental disabilities, and a dying grandmother. Anya is new to this romance stuff, her boyfriends having a tendency to end up in the hospital, and even Win calls her "the least romantic girl I've ever met." But it's precisely Anya's attractive blend of strength and innocence that makes her such a likable heroine; and if the novel's dystopian world isn't quite fully realized, the achingly realistic romance between this latter-day Romeo and Juliet, told in Anya's earnest voice, will attract readers as surely as chocolate attracts...mobsters. dean Schneider Copyright 2011 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2011 April #2

Some four years after Memoirs of a[Wed Nov 26 11:26:01 2014] enhancedContent.pl: Wide character in print at E:\websites\aquabrowser\IMCPL\app\site\enhancedContent.pl line 249. Teenage Amnesiac (2007), Zevin returns to teen fiction with a story about the daughter of a Russian-American crime boss making her way in a grimly familiar 2083.

This is no post-apocalyptic nightmare land. The only real clues readers have to a changed America are references to shortages of natural resources and increased regulation of just about everything. Most significantly for Anya Balanchine, chocolate is a controlled substance in this America, and her family is one of the five great chocolate families worldwide. Her parents both dead and her older brother brain-damaged as a result of their shadowy activities, Anya is de facto head of her own family, though not the Family. When she falls for Win Delacroix, the son of the new assistant DA, she knows the match is problematic. And when her ex-boyfriend is nearly fatally poisoned by a bar of illicit Balanchine Chocolate and she's briefly taken into custody, things become even more complicated. Zevin excels at inviting readers into Anya's mafiya paranoia—so much so that readers will be expecting double crosses that never happen, at least in this series opener. Anya is a likable character, though her retrospective and at times self-conscious account may distance readers.

Still, the love story's to die for, and the tangled web of relationships will keep readers intrigued to the last page. (Thriller. 14 & up)

Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Kirkus Reviews 2011 August #2

Some four years after Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac (2007), Zevin returns to teen fiction with a story about the daughter of a Russian-American crime boss making her way in a grimly familiar 2083.

This is no post-apocalyptic nightmare land. The only real clues readers have to a changed America are references to shortages of natural resources and increased regulation of just about everything. Most significantly for Anya Balanchine, chocolate is a controlled substance in this America, and her family is one of the five great chocolate families worldwide. Her parents both dead and her older brother brain-damaged as a result of their shadowy activities, Anya is de facto head of her own family, though not the Family. When she falls for Win Delacroix, the son of the new assistant DA, she knows the match is problematic. And when her ex-boyfriend is nearly fatally poisoned by a bar of illicit Balanchine Chocolate and she's briefly taken into custody, things become even more complicated. Zevin excels at inviting readers into Anya's mafiya paranoia—so much so that readers will be expecting double crosses that never happen, at least in this series opener. Anya is a likable character, though her retrospective and at times self-conscious account may distance readers.

Still, the love story's to die for, and the tangled web of relationships will keep readers intrigued to the last page. (Thriller. 14 & up)

Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 June #4

In this first installment of the Birthright series, Zevin (Elsewhere) paints a disturbing picture of a not-so-distant future, when the economy has shrunk along with natural resources, and precious luxury items--like chocolate, coffee, and newly manufactured clothing--are banned in the United States. In crime-ridden New York City, 16-year-old Anya Balanchine, the orphaned daughter of a renowned black-market chocolatier boss, has more than her share of responsibilities, trying to keep her siblings safe and care for her ailing grandmother. When she is wrongly accused of poisoning her ex-boyfriend with tainted chocolate produced by her father's company, Anya faces one of the most difficult trials of her life. To complicate matters, she is falling in love with the wrong boy, Win, the son of a prominent prosecutor in the DA's office. Anya must decide between following her heart or fulfilling her duties as new head of the family. Offering the excitement of a crime drama and the allure of forbidden romance, this introduction to a reluctant Godfather-in-the making will pique the interest of dystopia-hungry readers. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 November

Gr 8 Up--Anya Balanchine, 16, is trying to get through high school with the weight of being the daughter of New York City's deceased and most notorious crime boss, who ran the Family's chocolate trade. It's 2083, and chocolate and alcohol are illegal, and the city is bankrupt, corrupt, and crime infested. Anya's days are spent keeping tabs on her younger sister and older, but slightly brain-damaged, brother. Then she finds herself accused of attempted murder when her ex-boyfriend falls deathly ill from the contraband chocolate she shared with him, and she is sent to a juvenile prison. Once released, she has to deal with her scheming mafia family and the fact that the irresistibly cute son of the new number two in the district attorney's office is her lab partner. Anya is a pragmatic heroine, strong and smart. Zevin throws a lot at her leading lady, and the teen deals with it all in a realistic way. The story is incredibly compelling-an intriguing future with a classic tale of star-crossed lovers. Readers will be racing to find out the sequel's release date as soon as they finish the last page. All These Things I've Done has exceptional teen appeal.--Emily Chornomaz, Camden County Library System, NJ

[Page 145]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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