Monday, January 9, 2012

All These Things I've Done

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.
Engrossing and suspenseful, All These Things I've Done is an utterly unique, unputdownable read that blends both the familiar and the fantastic.
This is the first book I've given up on in a long time.
And some might think it strange. Because, looking at it objectively . . . is it better than Twilight? Is it better than Evermore? Is it better than Hush, Hush?
I think I'd have to say yes to all of those.  But the difference is, however terrible those books may be, the one thing they did do is keep me interested.  They kept me invested enough in the story that I wanted to know how it all turned out.  And that just did not happen with All These Things I've Done.
There are a few main reasons why I gave this up.
1. The writing.  It wasn't horrid writing, and there were a few moments when it shone, but the style really did not work for me.  From what I've gathered, it's Anya writing this whole account. I've read several books that worked that angle wonderfully. This did not.  The writing was awkward and distant, and the random interjections only annoyed me.  Also, little dialogue gems such as this didn't really help my opinion of this:
"His name's Goodwin but he goes by Win.  Isn't that OMG?"
Uhhh, yeah.
2. The characters. I didn't hate the main character, Anya. I really didn't. There were a few moments where I even liked her.  But most of the time, I just felt so removed from everything that was happening, and couldn't bring myself to care.  Also, certain characters (coughScarletandNattycough) annoyed the hell out of me.  They were flat, simple, and irritating, which is all the worse because I'm pretty certain we're supposed to love them. Win, the love interest, was . . . okay. He didn't upset me, but there was just no spark.  I felt no chemistry between him and Anya and couldn't understand why he was interested in her.  She hardly encouraged him.
3. The strong Christian presence.  This part is just my bias.  I tend to dislike books that have a strong religious presence, regardless of what the religion is.  Some Christians may absolutely love this aspect of the book. It just really didn't work for me.
4. Related to the last one: Anya being the "good Christian girl."  Whenever she would think bad thoughts, it would be all No, no, I can't think these things, because I am a good Christian girl.  Whenever the possibility of sex was presented to her it would be all No, no, I would never have sex, because I am a good Christian girl.  Now don't get me wrong--I have no problem with those who choose not to think "bad thoughts" about others, or who choose to abstain until marriage.  That's there prerogative.  What upset me was that these were painted as bad things, like being pure-minded and abstaining made you a saint and daring to think bad thoughts about someone who almost date-raped you or, gasp, having sex before marriage made you a terrible person.
This is not a horrible book.  This is really one of those cases where I just have to say that it was not for me.  Some of you may love it, or at least like it a lot more than  I did.  (Plus, you might just want that gorgeous cover. SO PRETTY.  And did I mention that the hard cover is patterned to look like chocolate?)  But personally, I could not make myself finish this.  
2 stars.


Post a Comment