Friday, August 26, 2011


By : Gabrielle Zevin
Published By: Pan Macmillan Australia
Released : Available Now
Details : Paperback, 351 Pages


Book Blurb : Taken From Goodreads

In 2082, 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 accidentally 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.


This book I REALLY enjoyed. I love paranormal, but, absolutely no paranormal to be seen on these New York streets. This book is a mafiya dystopian in the year 2082 where chocolate and coffee are illegal. The Balanchine family are one of the big 5 chocolate families. How original!

What I liked was by the end of chapter 1, you had a good idea of the type of person Anya was, strong, determined, intelligent, protective and we are introduced to the important people in her life .

I do love Anyaschka Balanchine, she is only 16yrs old and acting protector of her 12 year old sister Natty and her older mentally handicapped brother, Leo. Her Nana, Galina, is basically dying in their penthouse, hooked up to machines, with Imogen , her health care worker attending her every need. Anya has a lot on her shoulders attending ‘Holy Trinity’ private school and flying under the radar from Child Protection Services as she is the glue in this family, but also under aged as both parents have been murdered. Her father was the head of the Balanchine family , crime syndicate, now uncle Yuri has taken over.

Jacks is Uncle Yuri’s illegitimate son who is dangerously weaving his way in to Leo’s life, getting him a job down at the ‘Pool’, the Balanchine Family meeting place.

I must be very honest and admit that I do not totally understand the significance as to why chocolate and coffee are illegal, but, this is the world that Gabrielle Zevin has made for the reader, I shall just accept it and enjoy the story.

Goodwin Delacroix aka Win, is the new guy at school, his father the up and coming Head DA, not a great combination for a relationship, crime syndicate daughter and head DA’s son, doesn’t really sound good on paper. I do like Win, he is very caring, determined, thoughtful, but is he helping her or causing her more grief by being the son of the head DA?

Mr Kipling is family lawyer, friend and adviser who Anya can rely on, I love his character.

Anya is very mature for her age but there is a spitfire there that gets her in to trouble at school which then leads to more trouble that will reveal Anya’s strength. I like that she never complains, she just steps up to the plate. The one time she doesn’t , Yuji calls her out.

Yuji Ono Jnr aka The Kid, long black hair, Japanese, 23yrs old, head of Ono Sweets is a character I am drawn to. I feel he is a trusted friend and his mannerisms are just a tad smexi. I can’t wait to read more about Yuji.

I loved how Gabrielle used the settings of New York and gave them the dystopian feel. Liberty Children’s Facility, was a very cool way to use the Statue of Liberty. The facility itself...err...not so much.

Gabrielle has managed to combine mafiya, dystopian, betrayal, love, lust, murder, family, friends, internecine ( google it) chocolate, New York, a drained pool ,  Smith & Wesson ( not a typo), oranges and a tattoo into an awesome read. I absolutely can’t wait for book 2 as this party is only getting started..... And I want an invite.


'It's not tragic,' I assured her. 'This is nothing.  Tragedy is when someone ends up dead. Everything else is just a bump in the road.'

'Here is something my father always said to me that I will now repeat to you: " Yuji, you can either be a bystander who lives his life in reaction to the decisions that others make, or you can be the leader who is making those decisions."


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