Saturday, 7 July 2012
Review: All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
I've really been loving Dystopian fiction recently, and I think after the success of THE HUNGER GAMES movie, we'll be seeing more of it over the next couple of years.
So, what's it about?
It's New York, and the year is 2082.
In a world where many things, including chocolate, caffeine and camera phones are banned, a sixteen year old girl is being arrested, and facing imprisonment, for attempted murder.
With her grandmother only alive thanks to life support machines, her eighteen year old brother with a mental age of eight, and her little sister to look out for, Anya needs to be there for them.
That's when the District Attorney offers her a choice. She can watch helplessly as he destroys her family; or she can stay away from his son. Easy choice? Not when his son is the boy Anya loves.
With her parents dead, and the rest of her family deep in the criminal underworld, to keep everyone safe, she's going to have to make the right choices.
Thoughts and opinions
Straight away, I loved Anya. She's strong, funny and witty, reminding me of other protagonists such as Katniss, (THE HUNGER GAMES) and Triss (DIVERGENT).
Having a protagonist that is feisty is always brilliant and adds some laugh out loud moments, and with in the first few chapters, this is shown in abundance! However, soon her 'spirit' leads her into trouble... of course.
Religion has been wound into the story cleverly, and has its place through out. It adds dimensions too, and I think it's actually an important thing to include when a story is set in the future. If religion has lasted through the years of scientific discovery, chances are it's not going away any time soon, and it helps make this story feel very real. (Although, it's worth pointing out, what ever religion you may or not be, it will make no difference to your enjoyment of the story! Its just something I always find interesting when authors include it in their writing.)
Gable, Anya's boyfriend at the start of the book (soon to be -ex boyfriend,) is someone I would like to kick. Hard. Where it hurts. Which is good, because it makes Anya's actions completely understandable (and okay, yes, encouraged!).
Will and Anya have a Romeo and Juliet romance, with Anya's family being deep in the criminal underworld, and Will's father being the District Attorney. It's clear that their relationship isn't going to happen easily, and they have a lot of things to work though if they are going to be together. Will is wonderful, he's strong and funny and I think he's going to be very loyal over the series.
So, sometimes, secondary characters really are just that - secondary. They become blurs in the background, people whose name you forget when you've put the book down for a day or so. The families become known more by their labels 'brother', 'sister' ect; but not here. In fact, I'm going to mention them now.
Leo is Anya's eighteen year old brother. He should be the head of the family, looking out for the rest of them. However, at the age of eight, an accident left him severely brain damaged, and his mental age hasn't been able to progress. We watch as he tries to make his own decisions, and the incomprehensible frustration of knowing what has happened to him, but being unable to do anything about it.
Then, we have to watch Anya's grandma, only alive thanks to a single machine that she's on all the time. Along with the little sister, Natty, Anya has to watch out for everyone - a lot of responsibility for a sixteen year old.
Also, the rest of their family play a big part in the plot. Making it a family business, means there's always going to be the strong connection too them, as hard as Anya tries to keep Leo away and her small little family safe.
Action packed, cleverly crafted and attention grabbing from the first page, this is defiantly a series to watch out for! Defiantly looking forward to the next book coming out asap!
About the author
ALL THESE THINGS I'VE DONE, is Gabrielle Zevin's fifth novel, the first in this series. Her other works for young adults are MEMOIRS OF A TEENAGE ANIMISTIC and ELSEWHERE. She has also written two novels for adults.
Visit her website here: http://www.memoirsofa.com/
Her blog here: http://gabriellezevin.tumblr.com/
Or follow her on twitter: @gabriellezevin
Or like on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gabriellezevinfanpage
More books like this?
THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins
DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver
DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth
Posted by Jess Matthews at 14:17