Cinnamon's Reviews > All These Things I've Done

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
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** spoiler alert ** There is so much going on in this story, and none of it really takes you anywhere. Here's the basic story: Annie is the daughter of a dead Mob boss in 2083 New York City. She has lived with the legacy of her father and her family name her whole life but has tried to keep herself and her siblings out of the family business. But things have gotten much more complicated as her guardian's health deteriorates and Annie's older brother, Leo. starts hanging out with a cousin who is bad news.

Annie would also like to date the new boy in school but he is the son of the new DA, a man with a lot of ambition who doesn't want his family associated with Annie's extended family.
I really wanted more from this relationship. If it had had more substance, it might make me care more about the two staying together. But I didn't feel any spark at all. Annie's voice was so pragmatic that it made it hard for me to get excited about her being with Win, even though I really liked his character a lot.

This a future society where water is scarce and caffeine and chocolate are illegal. The city of New York has lost most of it's important landmarks. Some of the famous museums have been turned into dance clubs and speakeasys. Even the Statue of Liberty has been destroyed and a juvenile detention center it on Liberty Island. But no background is given to explain why chocolate is illegal or how resources came to be so scarce. I could suspend my disbelief a little better if I knew why these things had happened. It would help make the story a little more credible.

The story felt like it never really got off the ground. Just when I thought I understood what the main storyline was, it would be dropped and Annie would move on to something else, with little resolution. For example, when Annie's ex-boyfriend is poisoned by chocolate and Annie is accused of the crime, I got excited, thinking this was what the crux of the story would be. When she arrived at Liberty Island, I thought, "All right, this is going to get good." I figured she would have issues with the warden (which she did), and a good v. evil fight with other inmates (not so much). Pretty much, she had a couple of visitors, met a vulnerable girl (who probably got the scrap kicked out of her for the two minutes that was spent together, and then Annie got locked in the "Cellar" for a couple days. Then...nothing. She is released and that's pretty much that.

I was expecting a much better story from a normally very good writer. But I couldn't identify with Annie at all. She wasn't likable and her story was told with too little emotion to make me care about her. I don't know if this is supposed to be the beginning of a series, but I don't think I will be picking up the next one.
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