With today’s book we revisit author Gabrielle Zevin., the author of Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac and several other excellent novels. All These Things I’ve Done mixes realistic fiction (a teen having issues with her friends and family) with mystery in a dystopian future setting. This is an exciting and suspenseful story that will appeal to all teen audiences, but especially to teens familiar with New York landmarks, who will recognize several of the places the characters visit in this reimagined world. This is also a good book to recommend to adults who are browsing through the teen shelves looking for dystopian future books. And for readers who get to the last page and want to know what happens next, the next book in the Birthright series Because It Is My Blood was just released this fall!
In the future, chocolate is illegal. So are camera phones, coffee, Prozac, and about a million other things. Lots of stuff is rationed, because it’s only available in limited supply — stuff like paper, candles, and even air conditioning. In a society that survives by getting things on the black market, Anya Balanchine is in a very powerful position. That’s because she’s part of a crime family that deals in chocolate. Unfortunately that means that people like Gabe, her jerk of an ex-boyfriend, know that there’s always some chocolate in her apartment. So when he shows up one night begging for chocolate, Anya gives him two bars just to make him go away. When Gabe doesn’t show up the next day, nobody realizes that anything is wrong. But when the police show up at school, Anya is told that Gabe was poisoned by the chocolate she gave him, and that he’s in the hospital in critical condition. This raises a couple of big questions, like who poisoned the chocolate and who was supposed to eat it? But those big questions are pushed aside for a bigger problem when Anya is arrested for attempted murder.