All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin is the first of (what I think) will be a trilogy. In this book, Gabrielle Zevin has established a story line and a group of characters it would be extremely difficult not to become invested in.
We are a few decades into the future – and chocolate and coffee are illegal. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view) for our MC, Anya, she was born into a crime family. She can binge on chocolate whenever she wants. Of course, downside: her father, the previous boss of the family, was murdered when she was younger. Now she feels in charge of her two siblings and ailing grandmother. Anya’s older brother suffers from a mental disability and her younger sister still has constant nightmares about their father’s murder. Needless to say: Anya has her hands full.
Of course, that was just the stress she was used to. Add in an ex-boyfriend who is seriously poisoned by a stash of chocolate she gave him and her strong attraction to a boy who just happens to be the son of the city’s defense attorney and Anya’s family starts to seem like the least of her problems.
I haven’t read any of Gabrielle Zevin’s other books, but her writing style and characterization seriously impressed me. Unfortunately, I still didn’t feel as connected to the characters as I would have liked to be. Maybe it’s because I had to way to relate to anything going on, because goodness knows that is certainly true (considering I grew up on a farm in Oklahoma versus a crime lord’s den in New York City).
But, even though I never felt a deep chemistry or a real sense that I was getting to know the characters, I absolutely devoured All These Things I’ve Done and fully intend to continue the series. Maybe with a foundation with the characters established, I’ll connect more with them in future books. I hope my thoughts are making sense – I actually feel like my thoughts about the book are a little peculiar since I enjoyed the book so much despite the problems I had with it.
Ultimately, if you’re a fan of dystopians (or even contemporaries really), I think All These Things I’ve Done is worth reading. Even though I have reservations about the lack of attachment I felt to the characters – I feel very invested in their story.