Rating: 3.5/5 stars.
I remember reading Elsewhere and Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin and enjoying them both. Zevin has a knack for creating unique stories and All These Things I’ve Done is no exception.
However, the dystopian aspect of the book could have been developed more. Chocolate and caffeine are illegal, there are copious amounts of crime, mafia families are present and powerful, but how did it get this way? How are these things affecting society? Even though Anya isn’t directly affected by these things because of her position as the daughter of a crime boss, a more comprehensive view of life in 2083 would’ve been nice.
Furthermore, All These Things I’ve Done feels like buildup for the next book in the series. The plot starts out strong, but by the middle of the book any sense of danger dissipated and the conflict was almost nonexistent. At the end, everything happens at once when all the action could’ve been distributed more equally throughout the entire novel.
That being said, I’m looking forward to the next book in the Birthright series. I didn’t really connect to any of the characters besides Anya, but her dry humor and sense of practicality made her a likable narrator whose voice I grew to love. All These Things I’ve Done ended in a way that leaves many possibilities for the plot of the second book, and I’m eager to see where Zevin takes the story in terms of Anya’s family and her relationships.
Overall, a well-written story that didn’t entirely live up to its potential. Not horrible, though. Recommended to fans of young-adult dystopia novels and books about mafia families and organizations.