Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Publish Date: September 6th, 2011 (Today!!!)
Source: Received an ARC from the publisher (this did not affect my review)
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a dystopian lover.
- You're looking for an original story.
From Goodreads.com: "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 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."
My Two Cents:
I was way excited that I was able to get an ARC of this book. I had been hearing a lot of good buzz and you all know I have a thing for dystopian fiction. I was definitely not disappointed. The book takes place in the not too distant future (the grandmother in the book was born during the 1990s) in New York City. The NYC in this book seems both familiar and strange at the same time. It's still a bustling city but many things have changed. Former museums have been turned into nightclubs as a way for the ailing government to make money. Caffeine and chocolate are outlawed as a way for the government to have control while teenagers are able to drink really horrible alcohol. I thought the world building in this book was pretty interesting.
Anya is part of a crime family who has specialized in the chocolate business for many years. After Anya's parents are killed, it pretty much falls to her to protect her family. Anya is a pretty interesting character. She's strong yet sort of vulnerable. She loves her family but is sort of disillusioned with her family's infamous business especially since it seems that the business is the reason that both of her parents are killed.
The writing is tight and I got sucked into the story. Interestingly enough, I thought this book was a stand alone book but when I went to Goodreads.com, I found out that this is apparently the first book in the series. I'd definitely be interested in reading the rest of the books in the series and finding out more about Anya and her family.
Bottom line, this book did not disappoint and will be great for other dystopian lovers!