All These Things I've Done
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publication Date: September 6, 2011
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All These Things I’ve Done suffered from a lack of action. The entire first 100 or so pages were set aside for world building but the author did not need that many pages to accomplish this goal. The world was simple and I felt like the synopsis explained the economic climate in a few words when the author took page after page to do the same thing. It wasn’t until Anya runs in to some legal trouble about a third of the way into the book that I even became moderately interested in this book.
Unfortunately, the legal trouble is wrapped up all too quickly and the book takes a different, once again boring, turn (*Spoiler: I would have actually like this book a whole lot more if Anya had spent more time at the Detention Center, come to run that place and then took over her family business to protect her brother and sister-but alas I am just a reader not the author*).
Anya lost both of her parents because of her family’s illegal chocolate business. The accident that killed her mother left her older brother mentally retarded. This leaves Anya to be the leader of her family. I liked how responsible and grown up Anya was. I also liked that the stress that is on her shoulders felt so real. At the same time though it made me stressed for her and reminded me a lot of my own stressors. I read to escape not to be reminded of all the things I have to manage and get done, so I both like and dislike this aspect of the story.
I also wasn’t keen on the love story in this book. The relationship between Anya and Win felt forced to me and I never got the vibe that they were actually in love. Anya had entirely too many other things to deal with to devote her energies to Win and despite them staying together after being forced apart multiple times. I kind of wished they would just break up so that the story would focus on something else. This is not to say I didn’t like Win as a character-he was actually a great guy, I just didn’t like the romance itself.
Overall, I just don’t think this book was my thing. I wanted it to be something more then it was (I wanted it to be more like The Curse Worker’s series) but it wasn’t. I don’t think I will be picking up the sequel but down the road if there is a really good deal I might give the second book a chance.