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.
My Rating: 3.5/5
This is a book that has been on my bookshelf for quite some time and with the trilogy now having been completed decided to finally read it.
Whilst I did like this book, it never had me fully immersed within its pages. The first half of the book was significantly better than the second half.
Given that this was a dystopian novel within a dystopian world, I didn't feel like their world was that different to the one we live in today. The only major difference was that chocolate was illegal.
I really liked Anya as a protagonist. She was very mature and levelled. Her relationship with her family was something that I particularly liked about her. She always put them before herself.
Anya's father plays a large role in her life even though he died some years ago. She is constantly quoting him and wondering what he would have done in certain situations. I really liked this aspect as it gave meaning to her strong family views.
Win was a character that I liked at first but by the end of the book I didn't really care about. I am not even sure if I can pinpoint where in the book my opinion about him changed. I probably would have preferred Win and Anya to just be friends, but then this book wouldn't have a plot.
Natty and Leo were my other favourite characters. Natty was what I expected Anya to be like at that age. Leo was the more complex character in the entire book. He felt like he always had to prove himself as everyone underestimated him because of his head injury.