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. (From Goodreads)
I would not really put this book in the dystopia category. Yes it’s got some sort of elements (the shortage of paper, chocolate and coffee being illegal, etc) but it just seems like everyone’s putting everything in dystopia when it shouldn’t be because it’s all the rage.
What got me to really liking this book was Anya as a character. She’s basically on her own taking care of her family, at the same time managing to run parts of the mafia underworld and going to school. That’s a lot on her plate and she manages to do it quite well. It’s that strength that she’s got that really got me liking her, she’s very down to earth and manages to maintain a wry sense of humor as well.
The characters overall in the story are pretty good. I liked Scarlet a lot, didn’t care for her choice of boyfriend though (he’s a LOSER and a JERK I don’t care what happened to him, I did not like his past actions with Anya). The romance with Win and Anya, I really didn’t care too much for. It just seems to be so, overdone and cliched. (Surprise surprise, mafia girl goes for.. *gasp* the DA’s Son…riiiiighhhttt….)
The plot is a slow pace, so it may not be for everyone. World building isn’t a great emphasis here, so you don’t really know why chocolate and caffeine are illegal. (Which may irk a few). I didn’t mind the plot despite the pace, there were times when I thought it should have gone quicker, despite the slow start and momentum, the plot is decent and the ending leaves you satisfied (at least for me it did)
Looking forward to book two! I really liked the mafia spin on this book and am looking forward to more!
I give it a 9 out of 10
Bonus points to cover, love it for it’s simple look.