Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Buy It: Amazon
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.
I'll let you know right now why I didn't jump on this book the first chance that I got, and that is that I wanted to listen to the audio book..and that's a bit daunting. It takes a lot for me to just concentrate on sound, so I had to be ONLY listening to the audio book to actually comprehend it.
I'm not quite sure how I feel about this book. I know that I like it...but I feel a bit mislead as well. Sometimes I forget what the book it about, and am surprised or confused when certain things in the book don't or do happen. That wasn't the case here. I read the summary before read, and even during because of the confusion. So much emphasis is put on Anya being torn between the illegal lifestyle her family lives, and the safe route, but this barely came up at all until the end. During the entire book Anya was actually dead set against that lifestyle. Thankfully for me, I'm used to forgetting what a book is supposed to be about, so this didn't bother me much.
Zevin did a great job of creating this new world for us to learn about. Though, that is the key word: learn. We didn't get to learn about this future, we only got to be told about it, barely any explanations were given. I do have hope though, this IS only book one. In the next book the problems from above will probably be corrected. I just get so excited about future societies, that I expected a whole bunch out of this book.
One thing Zevin did perfectly? Our lovely characters and their development. Somehow, we get to meet at least 5 characters that grow and develop throughout the story, and we love them all! Characters are always my biggest complaint in books, but I have none here.
I both read and listened to the audio of this book. I absolutely loved the speaker. She perfectly captured Anya's voice in my opinion. The transistions and conversations between characters were easy to follow and just plain excellent. Her voive was clear and very understandable which is exactly what I look for in an audio book.
Overall I think that there were a couple of weak points that will be addressed in the next book, but it was a very enjoyable reader nevertheless. I would recommend this book to fans of books set in the future and chocolate lovers of course!