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Showing 1-10 of 22 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 32 reviews
on June 24, 2014
After the high of the previous book, I was really looking forward to reading the third of this series wanting to see what steps Anya would take next. I like the idea of tackling social justice issues head on and Anya does just that. The romantic relationships with Anya were a bit too simplistic and lacked heat in this book. In the end, the book kind of wrapped up with a slow sizzle and left readers turning the next few end pages looking for a punch, cliff hanger, or profound resolution. Nope just a list of other books to purchase.
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on May 1, 2014
This is the last book in the Birthright series, featuring harsh yet awesome Anya Balanchine. Through the first two books, she has lost a lot of her family due to her life in organized crime (her family runs in the black market chocolate business) and has fallen in love with a boy who she has no business loving. She been arrested, on the run, been proposed to. She has been thrown into the family business whether she likes it or not. Now, we are at the end, and Anya is going to be making the toughest decisions so far.

This is more of an overview of the entire series so bear with me.

While All These Things I’ve Done started out slow, the series quickly picked up speed and by the end of the first book, I was pretty hooked. Yes, I was in love with Win. Because who wouldn’t be? And yes, I loved Anya. She frustrated me, making huge mistakes and bad choices. Her selfishness was severe and harsh, her judgement strong especially to those she claimed to love. I loved her drive and restlessness, and how sometimes not everyone can understand you and you have to leave some people behind. She makes some bad choices, ones that she regrets and by the third book, she is so frail and fragile, it’s a wonder it’s the same character. This is when I fell in love with Anya again- right here, vulnerable and unsure of herself. To be broken and brought down so low, and to find a way to rise up again. She’s a great heroine.

I loved Win, even when Win was awful. My heart broke fror them both and through the series I was always rooting for them to be together. This is especially difficult because I did really enjoy Theo, Anya’s business partner and chocolate supplier. Funny, warm and friendly, he was some much needed humor in the dark story.

Win’s father, Charles, aka arch-nemesis and by the end, father figure, has his own awesome story arc. He is ambitious and sometimes cruel, underhanded and untrustworthy, which makes him such a good opponent and eventually, partner. Their relationship changed drastically, but the mutual respect was always there. I liked how it built slowly into something else, something that could be counted on.

The secondary cast of characters are rich, especially best friend Scarlet and brother Leo and sister Natty. Their warm relationships with Anya made her feel more human, less like a cold lethal mob boss.

The writing style was unique and it took me a while to get used to it. It’s casual tone, as if Anya is speaking to you, recording her memoirs and telling her friend everything she wanted to say and couldn’t. Sometimes the narration is choppy, descriptions and feelings held back, imagined upon. But it’s easy to get used to and long after the third book was over, I went back to In The Age of Love and Chocolate to re-read my favorite scenes. Most having to do with Win. I especially the one where he tells Anya what she should tell her sister Natty.

The story of loyalty and family, blood and friends is well thought out and written. It did remind me of The Godfather, in a good way, and the tension and danger the characters were in felt very real. On a side note, I would never want to live in a world where chocolate and coffee were illegal! Crazy!

Overall, In The Age of Love and Chocolate was a perfect ending to this story. I’m sad to leave them behind but I’m excited to go back one day and read Anya’s tale again.
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on August 28, 2015
dystopian-post-apocalyptic, romance, young-adult

A great finale novel to the Birthright Trilogy by Gabrielle Zevin. I found the series book 1 "All these things I've done" a little slow and difficult to begin with but I persevered and got into it and was motivated thereafter to read the entire series.
Crime - the chocolate mafia, mystery, romance and set futuristically this novel was interesting and its characters credible.
The chapter headings are in themselves real 'spoilers' but I somehow enjoyed knowing what was coming and really got into the Balanchine family especially the character Anya - she is so real, in your face and practical. I like that she has faith and morals and family values but is tempted and still 'sins' and can't control everything in her life despite her best efforts. I like hearing her commentary on her life it's like you are actually in her head or are a best friend and confidante...
As a finale it was satisfying but didn't resolve everything in a tidy way - really very real-life.
Zevin never breaks with the memoir style to push the narrative along and it just works so well.
Definitely a series worth reading.
Now that I am finished with this series ..."what's left for me [is] only loneliness".
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on April 19, 2014
While I think that, overall, this was a good conclusion to the series -that there were some twists that were unexpected and yet so perfect for the characters, I was a bit underwhelmed.

I think that there are so many issues that go underexplored, so many missed opportunites. And a couple of spots that were a bit too convenient for my taste.

BUT -it was a satisfying ending. Additionally, the characterization of the relationship between Anya and Mr. Delacroix was heartwarming and perfect. The growth of Anya as a character is refreshing and adds an interesting dynamic to all of the political subterfuge-y things that happen. I do love Zevin's cheeky little nod to The Godfather in certain spots. It's a nice little wink to any of her older readers who actually understand the references.

Despite a bit of anticlimax, I maintain that this is a fantastic series. Simply fantastic. I will recommend to anyone.
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on December 31, 2014
If you like dystopia, the "Hunger Games", "Divergent", and "Starters", pick up this book. While it has tragic events, the world created by Zevin is memorizing and believable. Anya is a strong female role and a terrific narrator for this 2080 NYC novel (trilogy). It is a shame that more book stores do not have it on the shelf - which is why it's even more important to purchase the series together on Amazon. The style prevents dragging and keeps the readers at the edge of their seats. You will not be able to put them down once you start them. I am not once for romance, but the pieces of romance, the question on loyalty, birth-right and love in this book will strike it's audience and keep them thinking way after they finish.
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on April 14, 2015
Great story I enjoyed from the beginning to the end of the book. Will recommend to a friend.
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on June 27, 2015
Good finish to the series. I feel like the whole plot here progressed a little overly quickly, but I didnt hate it. I wasn't super crazy about the way the romance plot lines were wrapped up but I guess I didn't totally hate it. Definitely wasn't the best of the trilogy but it was still good. And felt like things were nicely wrapped up, good sense of closure.
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on May 10, 2017
She is my favorite author. I was worried the second book would not be as good as the first, but it was just as enthralling!!
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on October 17, 2014
This installment is really quite disappointing. It seemed a bit lazy and sloppy in character development and plot. It certainly did not inspire me to turn the page as rapidly as the first 2 installments. What an unfortunate way to close a trilogy. It would be unfair to claim the book is all bad. It is readable, but cannot hold a candle to the others.
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on November 10, 2013
This final book in the trilogy felt very much like a sweet conclusion. Lacking both the freshness of the idea itself and the real worry over Anya's survival, this book felt quieter and more peaceful. Even the attempt to murder Anya seemed lackluster. And yet I wouldn't have missed out on reading the end of Anya's tale. Chocolate and coffee illegal? My personal nightmare!
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