All These Things I've Done
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
You can read the Goodreads summary here.
My first five star rating of the year! I had seen lots of positive buzz about this book, but I still didn't really know what it was about before I started reading it. (That happens to me a lot, actually.) I was very pleasantly surprised.
After her father's death, Anya lives with her younger sister, older brother, and dying Grandmother. Essentially the head of the household, she sees to the needs of the family while also keeping an eye on the organized crime portion of her extended family. Of course, she's also a normal high schooler, but when her ex is poisoned from some illegal chocolate she has ties to, she's drawn further into that crime world.
What I loved most about this book was how different it was. It was a little bit of a dystopian but it didn't play out like the other dystopians out there - the heroine didn't up and leave her family to change the world. In fact, she didn't try to change the world at all, yet at the same time she remained a very strong character.
I've never read a YA book before that deals with organized crime. As a result, this was a very interesting novel to me. Anya and her family had to live their life in fear because of what happened to her father, but at the same time they kept living their lives. In between dealing with her organized crime family/relatives, Anya was falling in love and applying for Teen Crime Scene Summer Camp. I loved that dynamic in the book.
I kept wanting to turn these pages late into the night. I really loved this book and I highly recommend it. Just want to mention, also, that this is a stand alone book as far as I know. There was no massive cliffhanger at the end, which was nice for a change.