Review: ALL THESE THINGS I’VE DONE by Gabrielle Zevin

All These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1) 
Gabrielle Zevin
354 pages
Publisher: Macmillian
Release Date: September 6th, 2011
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: LOVED

In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city’s most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.’s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidently poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she’s to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight–at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.

    Heart-wrenching and heart-warming, All These Things I’ve Done is an amazing addition young-adult literature. A promising, strong heroine, a unique plot, and characters you’ll feel for – Gabrielle Zevin’s latest has it all.

    Anya Balanchine is a character we can all connect to. A young girl just as flawed as the rest of us, but stronger and tortured in a way you can never expect. With her mother and father murdered, Anya has to take care of her family. But she isn’t the oldest. Her older brother, handsome Leo, is disabled, her grandmother hangs on to life by a thin thread.

    As the oldest of four siblings, I know how it is to be responsible. But without my parents, I would most likely be in an asylum. Anya is different. Strong, flawed, no doubt, but strong and willed.

Though this novel certainly isn’t one for fast-paced action, the story is astounding. The pages will be wet with your sweat, and maybe even your tears. I never knew which way the story would turn, but I could tell there was only pain and sorrow in Anya’s life.

    All These Things I’ve Done is a novel I have to say I loved. With a strong female protagonist and a life of mafia, Gabrielle Zevin’s latest is a riveting must read.

Find Gabrielle on Goodreads | Website | Twitter


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.

September 17, 2011



  1. Reply


    September 19, 2011

    I have no idea why, but this cover is screaming at me to buy it. I'm glad that the story inside sounds good, thanks for the review!

  2. Reply

    Rummanah Aasi

    September 19, 2011

    YAY! I'm so glad that you liked this book, Hafsah. I've read “so-so” reviews about it but I really like this author and was hoping this one would be as good as her others. I know feel much more confident in picking it up. Thanks for the review!

  3. Reply


    September 19, 2011

    Sounds like an intense read Hafsah, I'm really looking forward to it! Though a world with no chocolate might actually give me nightmares:) I need chocolate to live.

  4. Reply

    Ashley @ Book Labyrinth

    September 19, 2011

    I loved the whole mafia aspect, it was definitely so interesting. Loved Anya as well!

  5. Reply

    ashelynn hetland

    September 19, 2011

    great review! you make me want to read this book ASAP.

  6. Reply

    Lauren M

    September 19, 2011

    I loved this book, too! Anya was such a great protagonist, and I loved the writing style! Fab review, Hafsah! :)
    (Also, I'm totally late in noticing this, but I love your new blog header!)

  7. Reply


    September 19, 2011

    This is one of the books I'm juggling right now. Can't seem to make up my mind what to read! Glad you loved it. It sounds like a thrilling and emotional read.

  8. Reply

    Jenny N.

    September 19, 2011

    Sounds really good. I did enter some contests for All These Things I've Done so crossing my fingers that I'll be able to win a copy.

  9. Reply


    September 20, 2011

    Aww, I want to read this one so badly! I'm definitely jealous. It sounds extremely good. I have this on priority on my wishlist, lol. Definitely not moving it down… Great review!

    Rebecca @ Kindle Fever

  10. Reply

    A Canadian Girl

    September 20, 2011

    I love the way you made Anya sound; I love strong female protagonists! In a world where chocolate is illegal, she's kind of lucky that her family manufactures chocolate … mmmm.

  11. Reply


    September 20, 2011

    Ooh I am excited to read this one. =) My mom loved it as well. Good to hear that Anya is strong but still has her own flaws. Nice review!

  12. Reply


    September 20, 2011

    I have been looking forward to this story for a long time I really need to get a copy of this one soon. Thanks for the great review I love to be on the edge of my seat with a book, never knowing if I'll laugh or cry.

  13. Reply

    Mary @ BookSwarm

    September 20, 2011

    You're right: not fast-paced, but a great story with such an incredible, strong MC. I really enjoyed her and her family. Great review!

  14. Reply

    Bree of the Magic Attic

    September 24, 2011

    I really want to read this one!

    Nice blog, by the way :)


  15. Reply

    Maji Bookshelf

    October 24, 2011

    wow from your review i think this book would be a book i would really enjoy!

    thanks alot, ive been very hesitant on whether to even read this because i barely have time for anything nowadays!

    – juhina

  16. Reply

    Arianne Cruz

    November 16, 2011

    your review made the book so much more appealing thank u

  17. Reply


    November 22, 2011

    I just bought this book! Thanks for the review. I can't wait to start it!

  18. Reply

    Amanda Welling

    November 23, 2011

    Great review! I'm reading this one now and I love it so far :)

  19. Reply


    January 21, 2012

    I really enjoyed how unique this book was. I think your review is right on, I enjoyed Anya's character a great deal.

  20. Reply

    Chi Kittie

    January 30, 2012

    Very nice review. I love the cover as well and this book sounds like something I would so enjoy reading.

    – Beckie

  21. Reply


    February 29, 2012

    Wow! This review is certainly quite different from others I've read. This is the first I've heard of any hint of sadness in the book. I always imagined there'd be a great deal of action and danger due to the whole mafia aspect, but at least now I know what to expect. I just bought a copy of one of Zevin's earlier work- The Hole We're In- and gave it to my mother to read. She loved it! She usually doesn't love anything but romance, so I find it encouraging and certainly plan on reading this book.

    Sarah Bibi Setar

  22. Reply


    October 27, 2012

    I adore this book! I agree with you it is sad but rewarding :) I cant wait for the sequel!!

  23. Reply


    November 29, 2012

    I liked this one overall, but I wanted so much more. Hopefully the sequel will flesh things out more.

  24. Reply


    January 4, 2013

    I adored this book and I can't wait to read the sequel! Anya is an awesome heroine and the writing is gripping.