Thursday, July 12, 2012

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Anya is the 16 year old daughter of a dead crime boss.  Her father's mafia business included selling black market chocolate which has been outlawed in the United States.  Although Anya loved her father and often relies on advice he gave her, she has no desire to join the family business since she has seen firsthand the dangers of that life.  She witnessed her father's murder and is caring for her older brother who became mentally impaired after he was shot by some enemies of the family.  Anya also cares for her younger sister and dying grandmother.  But the business forces its way into her life when her ex-boyfriend is poisoned from some illegal chocolate she gave to him and her brother begins spending time with extended family members.  Anya's life is further complicated when she begins dating a new boy at school who just happens to be the son of the new District Attorney.  This story is The Godfather for teens - just when Anya tries to get out, they keep pulling her back in!  I really enjoyed the entire story and all the characters.  It offers something unique in the YA lit world.