Sixteen year-old Anya becomes the head of a mafia family after her parents are both murdered by rival gangs. Although Anya is embrolied in the criminal world, she is determined to keep her brother and sister out of the mafia family, but her father's relatives aren't so keen to let them go. When Anya's violent ex-boyfriend is poisoned with contaminated chocolate – chocolate that is produced illegally by Anya's mafia family – she is arrested for attempted murder and sent to the notorious jail on Manhattan Island.
Eventually she is freed by the new D.A. in town, who believs she has been framed. But this D.A. is the father of Win, a boy at school to whom Anya feels irresistibly drawn, and her freedom comes with conditions. Win's father wants to be mayor, and he can't risk having his ambition jeopardised by rumours spreading that his son is seeing a member of a notorious crime family. Anya knows she risks the safety of her family by seeing Win again, but the feeling between them may be too strong to resist...
I finished this book a while ago and I still have no idea how to put my thoughts and feelings into words. If there is one word to describe this book it's Phenomenal.
This is the first book I have read by Gabrielle Zevin so I wasn't sure what to expect. When I heard this book was dystopian I couldn't wait to read it as I have a big love for dystopian books. This book was nothing at all like I expected it to be. It is 100% original and completely different from any other dystopian book I have ever read.
Anya's family have always been in the crime business but after both of her parents are killed because of it, Anya will do everything in her power to get away from it and save her and the rest of her family. With a twist of fate Anya finds herself wrongly accused of attempted murder and when she is given a lifeline by the DA to go back home and care for her family she takes it. But it's not as easy as it seems. Her lifeline includes staying away from the DA's son Win, but Win is falling fast for Anya and she finds herself falling for him too. Can she stay away to protect her family or will her heart rules over her head?
I wasn't really sure what I thought at the beginning of the book. I haven't really read anything like it before and it took me a couple of chapters to get to grips with the storyline. It is very different from my normal books. The story is very much focussed on a mafia-kind of crime storyline and that is definitely not the kind of thing I would normally read. However within a couple of chapters I was completely hooked.
I love Anya. She is without a doubt one of the best characters in a YA book I have ever read about. She is strong and she will do whatever it takes to protect her family. She doesn't care about herself much just as long as her family is okay. She is one of the characters that everyone could admire and I really felt for her. She deals with it amazingly and anyone else would moan and complain about the things she has to do but she doesn't. She just gets on with it because it is what has to be done.
Win is one of those characters that every girl will love. He doesn't care that Anya has a crime-filled background, he just falls for her because of who she is. He is sweet and caring and all I wanted all the way through the book was for things to work out for him and Anya.
This is definitely not the kind of book where things will work out and my heart ached at the end of this book. I am super excited for the rest of the series and I cannot wait to see what happens. I still have hope for a happy ending between Win and Anya and I can't wait to see how things will progress in the next book.
I am now a huge fan of Gabrielle Zevin and she is absolutely incredible. I cannot wait to read all of her other books. Her writing style is amazing and I am completely in love with her character building and her take on a dystopian society.
A phenomenal start to a series and I will be definitely following it through till the end.