All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin
This dystopian novel has an unusual premise: the world of 2083 is suffering through a terrible economic time, and luxuries like chocolate and caffeine have become illegal contraband. We meet our main character Anya, a Russian crime bosses’ daughter living in New York City. But instead of selling drugs, the Balanchine family is one of the five surviving chocolate manufacturers. They keep guns and chocolate in the safe in her grandmother’s penthouse suite where she lives with her developmentally disabled brother and dying grandmother. When Anya is accused of murdering her ex-boyfriend with poisoned chocolate, her lab partner (who just happens to be the new assistant District Attorney’s son) comes to her aid when she is released from Liberty youth correctional center. Could her life get any more complicated?
What I liked best about this book was that it has an unusual take on food shortages, and the Author Zevin did a wonderful job with Anya’s character, capturing her intelligence and strength while still making her a believable teen. I would recommend this to dystopian fans and readers who’ve enjoyed Zevin’s other titles. We also have the second in the series, called Because It Is My Blood.