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All These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1)
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All These Things I've Done (Birthright #1)

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  9,637 ratings  ·  1,666 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 354 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Alli Labaali Yes. There are 2 more books. The series is called Birthright.
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YA Novels of 2011
126th out of 1,281 books — 6,863 voters
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Community Reviews

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Jun 19, 2011 Gabrielle rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: by-me
In the interest of full disclosure, I am acquainted with the author.
Emily May

Let's be clear, I did a lot of skim-reading and not-reading after the 150 page marker because there was nothing much - actually, nothing at all - about this book that I can say I enjoyed. I'm not surprised after reading a lot of my friends' negative reviews, but I do admit to a little curiosity sparking in me when this arrived from the publishers claiming to be The Godfather with a dystopian twist. This is nothing at all, slightly, remotely like The Godfather beyond the mention of mafia - and I
Aug 13, 2011 Tatiana rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011, ya
2.5 stars

Mixed feelings about this book.

At first, I was enamored with All These Things I've Done. Mainly because of its originality. Even though the novel is pushed as another dystopia, it is more of a mafia crime drama, at least in the beginning. The setting is futuristic - 2083, but hardly dystopic. The end of the century US is overrun by lawlessness, corruption and rationing, however there is nothing particularly oppressive about it. In fact, it actually reminded me of 1990s Russia - the civ
This book was a total air ball for me. The premise sounded so fun— a futuristic society with a Prohibition-era-type ban on chocolate,a black market run by mobster families, and a teenage heir to the family empire. MURDERS! POISONING! Boredom? Boredom. Oh, and tepid romance and a selfish MC. Imagine all the places this book could’ve gone. Yeah, that’s right, I’m thinking total badass teenage girl threatening her way across NYC and putting her dysfunctional family business back in order. (I mean, ...more
Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
The status comments I made for this book do a lot to explain my descending feelings. I'm just flat bummed that Zevin took things in the direction she did, because I started out absolutely LOVING this story.

To be honest, the only reason I was initially engaged in the book is because I liked Anya and her family. The worldbuilding is practically nonexistent, and for any book that touts itself as a dystopian, that's not good. Chocolate and caffeine have been outlawed, and there's little-to-no expla
All These Things I've Done was surprisingly good. I was completely captivated by this intriguing and tension filled story.

I have been reading quite a bit of dystopia lately and I loved that this novel did not focus on matching people or the government trying to control everybody. In the year 2083 they are plenty of problems and changes but overall it feels more like a realistic future. Chocolate is illegal (EEK! no chocolate would make me crazy) together with a million other things like caffeine
There are some readers who will appreciate being beaten over the fucking head with plot points. This reader is not one of them.

If, as an author, you feel the need to remind the reader of shit that happened in your book in cutesy little “asides,” you’re not doing your job. If these events are not significant enough to warrant attention, perhaps you should consider making them more interesting from the outset? Or, just maybe, you should give the reader a little credit and assume she is at least as
Let me first say that the first half of this book deserves 3 stars. I really enjoyed the setting even though I still don't quite understand why the world is the way it is. Annie, Scarlet, Natty, Leo, and Win were all great characters in the beginning. I felt like the story moved along pretty well and that things were really going to get good with Annie's mafia family background. Unfortunately the second half of the book did not deliver at least for me anyway. I got tired of waiting for the actio ...more
To make myself feel like an equal-opportunity teacher, I like to force myself to read some "YA chick books" so I can pitch them to reluctant reader girls the way I do so many sports, war, and horror books to reluctant reading boys (and girls, as girls seem less bothered by a book's gender target audience). But mea culpa, I'm here to confess I am a fraud. I cannot bring myself to read a single sentence of the Twilight series. Ditto anything by the much beloved Sarah Dessen (#1 with 8th-grade girl ...more
I was pretty excited when I got this book. A future society where chocolate is banned and mafia included? Omg! Sounds so exciting. Especially since I'm such a chocolate whore. Haha.

Despite the ridiculousness of the premise I totally devoured up the whole caffeine and chocolate being outlawed because it just sounds cool. I don't know what I'd do if they were banned. I think I'd go crazy because I'm Asian! How can you go without tea? TEA?! But I'm just curious... Why would you ban chocolate and ca
3.5 stars

(Looks at back of book. Reads “2082”. Looks at Goodreads synopsis. Reads “2083”. Is confused.)

New York, 2083. Chocolate and coffee are illegal. Curfews are enforced. Water is a precious commodity. And Anya Balanchine, orphaned daughter of a prominent criminal underworld figure, is arrested for attempted murder.

Gabrielle Zevin drops her readers into a future that is unsettlingly easy to imagine (with the exception of the chocolate ban, perhaps). It’s our world – just bleaker, harder, dar
This is the first book I've given up on in a long time.

And some might think it strange. Because, looking at it objectively . . . is it better than Twilight? Is it better than Evermore? Is it better than Hush, Hush?

I think I'd have to say yes to all of those. But the difference is, however terrible those books may be, the one thing they did do is keep me interested. They kept me invested enough in the story that I wanted to know how it all turned out. And that just did not happen with All These T
3.5 stars.

I remember reading Elsewhere and Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin and enjoying them both. Zevin has a knack for creating unique stories and All These Things I've Done is no exception.

However, the dystopian aspect of the book could have been developed more. Chocolate and caffeine are illegal, there are copious amounts of crime, mafia families are present and powerful, but how did it get this way? How are these things affecting society? Even though Anya isn't directly aff
Steph Su
With a cover like that, a premise like that, and the name of one of YA’s most highly awarded authors attached to it, how could one not pick this book up? With her trademark intelligent writing and world-building, Gabrielle Zevin’s dystopian ALL THESE THINGS I’VE DONE should be a hit for those who like their YA dystopias a touch on the literary side. It doesn’t quite hit the mark in terms of characterization, but I still very much enjoyed this novel, and look forward to its sequels.

Anya’s New Yor
Lenore Appelhans
LOVE this! Even though the narrative is first person, the way the story is told, it’s almost like a much older Anya is reminiscing about her misspent youth to her own grandchildren in a distant future. I liked Anya immediately and basically hung on her every word.
New York City is a very different place in 2083. Crime and poverty are everywhere, and it seems that the only thing that the government is good at doing is banning and rationing items. You’d think that life would get kind of boring since caffeine and chocolate are illegal, but life for Anya Balanchine is always a little more interesting than she’d like it to be. All the excitement probably comes with the family name—the Balanchine crime family is one of the most eminent crime families in the wor ...more
Sep 03, 2011 Lauren rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
A couple of months ago a small package arrived on my doorstep. To my amazement, it included not only a copy of the high anticipated All These Things I’ve Done, the newest book by the lovely Gabrielle Zevin, but also some chocolate covered espresso beans. The espresso beans ended up being delicious but the book was even better! Enchanting and engaging, All These Things I’ve Done has to be one of the best books I’ve read so far this year, and given the fact that it’s the first in series, I also th ...more
I'll admit that this was fun to read, and that the echoes of the Prohibition era was done quite well, but it was the worldbuilding that really killed it for me. I mean, apart from the absurd notion that coffee and chocolate are banned, I can't understand why those two items are banned when alcohol is legal, even for minors. A lot of things just don't make sense in terms of the worldbuilding. If anything, it felt like it was dystopian for the sake of being a dystopian. There was nothing remarkabl ...more
Look at the lovely cover for this book. Do you think that it could be about a dystopian world? Peel away the dust jacket (thanks for the tip, Mocha Latte!) – There’s a surprise beneath. It’s a Balanchine Special Dark Chocolate book cover. YUM!

It’s 2083 and the futuristic New York City is seriously lacking resources. Water is scarce, food is rationed, and paper and candles are not readily available. What remains of the Statue of Liberty are her feet and the bottom of her dress. New York City is p
Wow. This book was nothing like what I was expecting. And I mean that in a good way!

I loved how All These Things I’ve Done was set in the near future, so the world hadn’t progressed drastically. I liked being able to recognize things from today. For example, when Anya goes to Liberty Island (which wasn’t a tourist spot anymore), she talks about a statue of feet wearing sandals which I recognized to be the remains of the Statue of Liberty. But things still had changed. Water is rationed, paper bo
I read the last page, closed the book, smiled and kind of hugged/patted it lol Have you ever gotten that feeling? All These Things I’ve Done was the ultimate comfort and deliciously good read.

I fall in love with Zevin’s writing. Her characters are PHENOMENAL! Anya Balanchine, she is such an honest. I was with her every step of the way. And even through I didn’t get I chance to meet her father, he seemed like a wise man(even though he was a notorious crime boss.)Who shaped Anna to be the young br
There has been a huge upswing in the amount of dystopian and dystopian-like books written in the past few years. Some are excellent. Some have excellent premises that are just not quite carried off. And some have premises that leave you kinda scratching your head. Despite all of the good things I've heard about Gabrielle Zevin, I was afraid this was going to fall in the latter category. I mean, a world where chocolate and caffeine are banned, but alcohol is not? And since that was all that was r ...more
The first few pages of this I absolutely could not take seriously. Honestly, you try and keep a straight face when someone is talking about drinking espresso like it’s getting shot up with meth. The feeling passed fairly quickly though and in this story I found a character that I could really like.

Quick Overview: Anya Balanchine is known mainly as the daughter of the most notorious (and dead) chocolate crime boss. All Anya wants though is to stay under the radar and keep her and her family safe.
All These Things I've Done is a new take on the dystopian genre. In a world where chocolate is banned? Who wouldn't want to read about that? This is the first book in the Birthright series that you will either love or...not get along with.

Set in New York City, 2083, 16-year-old Anya is the one keeping her family together. Her parents died in a car crash. Her brother is suffering from that accident. Her grandmother is dying. What does she do? She does the best she can to keep her family safe, but
Cait Grace
I didn’t know much about this book before I started reading it. Just the basics. Dystopian world. Protagonist is a girl. Something about attempted murder. And chocolate and coffee are illegal (come on, that’s enough to make anyone pick up the book). It promised to be good. What I didn’t know? It’s a romance. Probably the most intense romance I’ve read. (Yeah, I know, the word “love” is plastered all over the back cover; but in my defence I didn’t get to see the back-cover until I picked it up fr ...more
This wasn't much of anything. It wasn't a love story, it wasn't a dystopic future, it wasn't an exciting action crime drama, it certainly wasn't science fiction as it is cataloged at the library. This story fell short of being defined in any genre just as it fell short in being interesting or appealing in any way.

The love interest, Win, was boring and annoying (he wore lots of hats and called his girlfriend "lass") and the main character Anya and her family was unsympathetic despite the sympathy
Apr 26, 2011 Jenny added it
I got an ARC of this at TLA. I didn't know what to expect, and I loved not knowing what to expect. Refreshingly different, with an appealing main character and romantic interest. Read it very quickly, and really enjoyed it.
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
I was so excited to get my hands on a copy of this book as the premise sounded very original. I've read two of Zevin's other books (Elsewhere and Margarettown) and enjoyed them. All These Things I've Done certainly has that unique edge that Zevin's writing usually has. If you have read and enjoyed her other works, then you'll probably like this. I'm always cautious about being critical of the first book in a trilogy or series, as there is potential to expand and develop later on, but I simply fe ...more
Michelle  novelsontherun

This book I REALLY enjoyed. I love paranormal, but, absolutely no paranormal to be seen on these New York streets. This book is a mafiya dystopian in the year 2082 where chocolate and coffee are illegal. The Balanchine family are one of the big 5 chocolate families. How original!

What I liked was by the end of chapter 1, you had a good idea of the type of person Anya was, strong, determined, intelligent, protective and we are introduced to the important people in her li
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
3.5 stars

This is a fun, exciting and at times thrilling read that felt like a cross between a dystopian and a contemporary book. There's a lot of things that Gabrielle intertwines into her story that captured my attention, and kept invested in the over all story even when some things didn't quite come together for me. It's unique and refreshingly different from the normal YA books that have been released lately. I think YA fans will really enjoy it because of that.

Anya is a character I both adm
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Gabrielle Zevin has published six novels. Her debut, Margarettown, was a selection of the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program. The Hole We’re In was on Entertainment Weekly's Must List and was a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Entertainment Weekly wrote, "Every day newspaper articles chronicle families battered by the recession, circling the drain in unemployment and debt or scra ...more
More about Gabrielle Zevin...

Other Books in the Series

Birthright (3 books)
  • Because It Is My Blood (Birthright, #2)
  • In the Age of Love and Chocolate (Birthright, #3)
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry Elsewhere Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac Because It Is My Blood (Birthright, #2) In the Age of Love and Chocolate (Birthright, #3)

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“...lies can sound awfully pretty when a girl is in love with the person telling them.” 173 likes
“I did learn something about insanity while I was down there. People go crazy, not because they are crazy, but because it's the best available option at the time.” 137 likes
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