All These Things I’ve Done – Gabrielle Zevin

“The night before junior year – I was sixteen, barely – Gable Arsley said he wanted to sleep with me. Not in the distant or semi-distant future either. Right then.
Admittedly, my taste in boys wasn’t so great. I was attracted to the sort who weren’t in the habit of asking permission to do anything. Boys like my father I guess.”
Anya is the daughter of a murdered mafiya member. Her mother was killed when she was only six and her father when she was eleven. With her Nana confined to her bed and an older brother who was a bit simple minded she was ultimately the head of the house. Which would be a tough job for anyone; without the family ties she had. When her ex-boyfriend ends up in a coma she’s in a lot of trouble. Gable had eaten poisoned chocolate – chocolate that would have been illegal even if it wasn’t poisoned – and she was suspect number 1. Anya thinks she’s done for but the DA offers her a chance… all she has to do is stay away from Win, her new boyfriend – and the DA’s son. Anya has some tough decisions to make and people will get hurt along the way.
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Wow! I’d heard that All These Things I’ve Done was incredible but I didn’t realise just how good until now! It was an action packed adventure with just the right amount of oomph and romance thrown in and I struggled to put it down!
The story really griped me, I felt that the world, even with it being set 70 years into our future, wasn’t all that different from the one we know now and Anya’s part of it came across as a mix between now, the future and 1930’s America, which is a period which has always fascinated me! I was gripped from the minute I knew Anya was a mafiya head’s daughter and I loved every second of her story.
I’m not going to go into much detail because the summary above does show a lot of the story off, but theres so much more than just that and it incorporates a lot about Anya’s life in general, which I loved. There was a love story, a coming of age story and an action adventure type of story within these pages and mixed together they worked so well.
There were so many amazing characters in this that it would be crazy to talk about them all. What I will say about the characters is that they were all so brilliantly well formed. I will talk about Anya herself in a minute but I loved her entire family, Leo was adorable and strong and Natty was amazing, just how all little sisters should be! Win was a lovely guy though I didn’t warm to him as much as I hoped to but Scarlet, she was a great best friend. The thing I can really say about the characters was that they were so brilliantly portrayed I could picture them all… and I did wonder a couple of times if Zevin realised that Gable’s surname was very close sounding to arse – which was perfectly fitting… I have to say that the one time I wanted to through this book across the room was when I was introduced to Mrs Cobrawick, who was a vile, awful woman. She reminded me of the Trunchball from Matilda and Professor Umbridge from Harry Potter. She made my skin crawl!
Anya was the only reason this book didn’t have five stars from me. I can understand her problems and I loved her as a character. She was strong and brave and put up a brilliant front even when she didn’t need to, however I didn’t like her throwing away her inhabitations when it came to Win. I don’t want to say too much but there were a couple of bits where I thought her character changed so dramatically around him that it upset me a bit. It was almost like there was another Anya that we didn’t know at all appearing.
Despite those few bits I LOVED this book and want to tell everyone to read it! I have read Zevins others before and theres no way I’ll be given up her writing anytime soon; it’s like a drug I swear!
All These Things I’ve Done is published on March 29th by Macmillan Children’s books. My copy was kindly sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review, this has not affected my thoughts on the book in any way.
  • Awesome review Raimy!! I’m so glad we both enjoyed this so much (despite having differing views on Anya’s behaviour) It’s gonna be a lonnnnggg wait for book 2!

    The Cait Files

  • At least you enjoyed it mostly! Cobrawick and Umbridge…I think they’d get on well. Good review!

  • Aw man, I had this book sitting on my desk waiting from the library, but I unfortunately didn’t get to it in time and have to return it tomorrow – reading your review makes me REALLY sad I didn’t get to it 🙁 I’m definitely going to re-hold it and try again since it seems so worth it!