Release Date: 9th January, 2011
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Sixteen-year-old Anya becomes the head of a mafia family after her parents are both murdered by rival gangs. Although Anya is embrolied in the criminal worlds, she is determined to keep her brother and sister out of the mafia family, but her father's relatives aren't so keen to let them go. When Anya's violent ex-boyfriend is poisoned with contaminated chocolate - chocolate that is produced illegally by Anya's mafia family - she is arrested for attempted murder and sent to the notorious jail on Manhattan Island.
Eventually she is freed by the new D.A. in town, who believes she has been framed. But this D.A. is the father of Win, a boy at school to whom Anya feels irresistibly drawn to, and her freedom comes with conditions. Win's father wants to be mayor, and he can't risk having his ambition jeopardised by rumours spreading that his son is seeing a member of a notorious crime family. Anya knows she risks the safety of her family by seeing Win again, but the feeling between them may be too strong to resist . . .
Being a fan of Gabrielle Zevin's Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac book, I knew I would also enjoy and become another fan of her book with this new dystopian tale she was going to offer to readers. And I enjoyed it immensely. It's not because I have a crazy fangal obsession with the whole mafia-gangster society, but it's because of the strong entities of family and loyalty that are emphasized throughout the book. Real strong points through my eyes. For Anya, the main character, I found that she was incredibly dedicated to her family - to her grandmother, sister and brother - and she was willing to make any sort of sacrifice for them no matter that cost or consequence which made her a complete stand-out as a female heroine.
To be honest I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from ALL THESE THINGS I'VE DONE because there's so many dystopian books out there in the YA world and I haven't really come across a book that was any different from the others. But this book right here could stand on its own without being compared to the likes of the Hunger Games or even the newcomer Divergent. Thank God. While I loved Anya's character both for her independance and being extremely aware of her responsibilities that were laid heavily upon her shoulders, but the only reason why I'm giving this book four stars instead of five is because of the supporting character Win. A lot of readers loved Win's character and as Anya's love interest, but for me he wasn't a favourite of mine nor Anya's best friend, Scarlett. Sure Win was a dedicated young boy and he obviously cares a lot about our Anya and what she's currently going through, but I don't know . . . I just didn't buy into his character. He was the type of guy you want around and then when he is you just don't know what to do with him. Sometimes I wanted him out of the picture. Same goes for Scarlett, who I found wasn't a great friend like she should've been to Anya. But whom I did love besides Anya was a character named Yuji Ono - the childhood crush of Anya's. I just loved him - even though he wasn't really in the book as much as I wanted him to be which was a real bummer. Maybe in the sequel? God I hope so.
ALL THESE THINGS I'VE DONE is the first in the Birthright series and with a few loose threads left untied, I could definitely see a lot of potential in the next few books. With hints of crime, family, love, lies, and betrayal being displayed throughout the book, be sure to pick up a copy of this book because it's a very enticing read for all those dystopian lovers like me!