All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin
In 2082, sixteen-year-old Anya has a difficult and stressful life. With her parents dead and her grandmother bed bound and ailing, it is her that is left to look after her younger sister Natty and older but mentally challenged older brother Leo. Even falling for a nice guy, Win, isn’t as simple as you may think. Though she’s trying to be a regular teenager, the fact her father was an infamous crime lord has given a reputation she never earned but just can’t shake off.
This reputation really doesn’t assist in matters when she is accused of attempted murder by poisoning her loathsome ex-boyfriend with illegal chocolate. Her criminal family turn silent and leave her as she is shipped off to a secure unit for minors. Soon she is released, all down to help of one man, the DA and Win’s father. He offers her a deal, walk away from his son and live peacefully with her family, without the interference of the law or suffer the consequences. Anya has so much to lose but when crime lords, shootings, blackmail and murder is involved, the path of true love never was going to run smooth.
Dystopian YA novels are huge at the moment and are coming out thick and fast but with stories like this, it is easy to understand why they are so popular. Aimed at approximately fourteen-year-old and upwards, this book approaches the quite adult subjects of love, sex, death and family responsibility in a brilliantly unique way. The lead character Anya is feisty, logical and smart, making her a perfect hero, apart from her one weakness, the boy. Zevin also creates great tension and perfect pacing to keep you constantly wanting to read the next few pages to find out what happens.
As an adult (I use the term loosely) I really enjoyed and was completely gripped by this and as a teenager, I am sure I would have utterly adored it.
Buy All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin