Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 4503
The novelty wears off fast.
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
2.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
The world Zevin creates is a bit dark but entirely possible. Everyday things we take for granted, such as coffee, chocolate and paper, are illegal. Many other things are strictly rationed: water, candles, fruit. You even need government issued vouchers for ice cream! Not to mention, eight-year olds mug you at gunpoint. However, none of that really matters, and we don’t get to see much of what is going on in this new government regime, because everything revolves around the main character.

Anya is 16, a good Catholic, and seriously full of angst! Within the first chapter she goes to a speakeasy (serving coffee), takes some chocolate from the family stash (which her bastard boyfriend swipes), covers her ex-boyfriend with piping hot lasagna, and steals a gun. Her family is also in the mafia, which is what the story mainly focuses on. Anya gets arrested for allegedly poisoning her ex-boyfriend with tainted chocolate. I actually was enjoying the story at that point even though crime dramas aren’t my thing.

But as soon as things were getting really interesting and gritty at the juvenile detention center, she gets released and cleared of all charges. This was less than half way into the book, so I had no clue what to expect in the coming pages. I think continuing her accusations and trial would have made a great story, since we’d get more peeks into how the new legal system is, but nope. The plot jumped right back to the illegal chocolate which was losing it’s novelty fast, especially when lines like “I must get to the bottom of this matter with the chocolate…” started popping up.

If the timeline had been condensed to just Anya’s detainment and trial, this could have been a really great read. It would have given us more insight into how this new world is working, and all of the corruption caused by the chocolate black market. Instead it feels like we’re getting a few, small, isolated plots: Anya falsely accused for attempted murder, then almost immediately released. Then it jumps into her secret romance, which a few pages later is no longer secret, and it’s like the chocolate conspiracy never happened. Then her romance gets dropped because Grandma dies and Anya and her little sister are left in the care of their older brother Leo. Now this could have also been really interesting, since despite being 19, an accident left Leo with the intellect of an 8-year old, making their situation very sensitive.

Unfortunately, that gets set aside because now Anya is being told she must step up and head her mafia family and run the chocolate business! Then…you guessed it, that gets dropped and the focus goes back to Leo. Each event is completely separate from everything else, and when one new situation appears, it’s like everything else never happened. That really frustrated me, but despite all of that, I was intrigued. I don’t know if I care enough to continue the series though.

The shelving of this book is also bit misleading. Dystopian? Not so much, unless not getting your morning coffee equals the end of the world. You wouldn’t call a book set during Prohibition Dystopian, and this is just like that. Mafia crime drama with chocolate on top? Definitely. Honestly, if the blurb had been the same but without the mentions of illegal coffee and chocolate, I wouldn’t have bothered picking this one up.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Neighborhood Surprise
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
All the children in the neighborhood like Mrs. Fig. She...
Jet the Cat (Is Not a Cat)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jet is not like any other cat . . ....
Clique Here: A Wish Novel
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lily loves science and hanging out with her best friend,...
Smoke and Mirrors: The Heartstone
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Corbin, a powerful shapeshifting young mage, was just beginning to...
Better Together
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Freaky Friday meets The Parent Trap in New York Times...
Llama Llama Meets the Babysitter
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
With over 30 million copies in print, Anna Dewdney's New...
City (Wheels at Work)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Delivering, collecting, transporting and recycling! Lift the flap to see...
A Season of Flowers
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Michael Garland (Daddy Played the Blues) displays his impressive illustration...
You Are Fantastic!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Hello!Lucky, the creators of My Mom Is Magical! and...
Early One Morning
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Join a little boy searching the farm for his breakfast...
Little Sap: The Magical Story of a Little Forest Family
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
A little tree, guided by her family circle and forest...
The Little Things: A Story about Acts of Kindness
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
One girl’s simple act of kindness causes ripples in her...
The Cruelest Mercy (The Kinder Poison, #2)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In this sequel to The Kinder Poison—which People magazine proclaimed...
The City Beautiful
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Death lurks around every corner in this unforgettable Jewish historical...
The Shape of Thunder
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Cora hasn’t spoken to her best friend, Quinn, in a...

Latest Member Reviews

All's Happy That Ends Happy
 
4.0
"In this seventh and final book in the series, we catch up in Sweden with Dani, who has recently been..."
Revenge of the Red Club
 
5.0
"Riley is an investigative reporter for her very realistic and small school newspaper. She loves to write and wants to..."
Home is Where the Heart Is (Good Dog #1)
 
5.0
"In the first book in this charming new early chapter book series, we meet Bo, who lives on a farm..."
Rescue at Lake Wild
 
5.0
"Madi and her friends Aaron and Jack live in Willow Grove, a small town where they are able to go..."
girl stuff
 
4.0
"Fonda is super excited that her best friends and neighbors (nesties!) will be going to her middle school for 7th..."
A Collie Called Sky (Jasmine Green Rescues #3)
 
4.5
"Jasmine lives on a farm in England with her mother, who is a veterinarian, her father, who raises sheep, younger..."
Jasmine Green Rescues: A Kitten Called Holly (#4)
 
4.5
"When a barn cat has babies, Jasmine and Tom are surprised to find them. They've scared the mother, and she..."
The Elephant in the Room
 
5.0
"Sila's family has been happy in Oregon, even though her father, who is a mechanical engineer, has to work as..."
Yara's Spring
 
5.0
"Yara and her younger brother Saad are in a refugee camp in Jordan in 2016, waiting to hear what their..."
The Derby Daredevils: Kenzie Kickstarts a Team: (The Derby Daredevils Book #1)
 
4.5
"Kenzie and her best friend Shelley love roller derby, a sport in which they are interested because Kenzie's mother is..."
Nina Soni: Sister Fixer
 
5.0
"After Nina Soni, Former Best Friend, Nina is back, and this time is concerned that her little sister is a..."
King and Kayla and the Case of the Unhappy Neighbor
 
4.0
"King's friend Thor is in big trouble. His owner, Jillian, got a call from the grumpy Mr. Gary that Thor..."
Storm Dog
 
4.0
"Ariel has a difficult home life in her Blue Ridge Mountain home in Virginia. It's not because of economics; her..."
Wrong Way Summer
 
4.0
"Claire's father has always been evasive when it comes to answering questions about her mother, who left the family when..."
Zeus, Dog of Chaos
 
5.0
"Madden is getting used to living with his mother, an Army lieutenant, after having spent a lot of time with..."
How to be a Girl in the World
 
4.0
"Lydia lives in an apartment in New York with her mom and her cousin, Emma. Emma's mother, who was African-American,..."
The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: Mya in the Middle
 
4.0
"Mya's exploits at school continue when her fourth grade class participates in an economics unit. The children get $25 from..."
Sabotage (Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker (3))
 
4.0
"Beatrice calls a meeting of Operation Upside with her friends Sam and Lenny, and they decide what the newest awards..."
I, Cosmo
 
4.0
"Cosmo is the "big brother" of Max and his young sister Emmaline, and is now 13 years old. He still..."
TBH, This is SO Awkward
 
4.0
"'TBH, This is SO Awkward: A Novel in Text' by Lisa Greenwald is quite interesting in that it is written..."