Series: Birthright #1
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux on September 6, 2011
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 accidentally 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.
Who is she?
Anya Balanchine starts the series as a 16-year-old mafia princess. She’s treated differently because of her father and the family she was born into. Anya’s journey is seen through 3 books, and spans years. Anya grows from mafia princess to ruthless leader of the family through necessity, and sacrifice.
Why is she awesome?
Anya is badass in all the best of ways. She sort of becomes the default leader of her mafia family after her brother is left mentally incapacitated and her father is dead. Anya refuses to let her younger sister, Natty, endure any of the hardships that she’s been victim to. Anya can be stoic, and ruthless. She will do anything to protect her family. Anya makes every sacrifice for her sister, for Win and for what’s best for the family. She breaks her own heart to ensure that others won’t have to break theirs. The love she has for her siblings is palpable. Anya fights for what she wants, she holds her family together even when it’s crumbling, and she does anything she feels necessary to keep those around her safe.
Who is her love interest?
Win Delacroix. Classic son of the District Attorney meets mafia princess trope. The connection between Anya and Win, spans years, and really develops into an enduring and swoon-worthy romance. They start as star-crossed high school sweethearts, but their story spans 3 books, and many years. The romance, and tribulations that these to have is so well developed. Win knows Anya – what she’s been through and how far she’s come and how much she’s changed. At the same time, he sees through her mask.
- “You probably think I’m crazy, and a slut and an addict and a [mafia] princess so I don’t even know why you’re bothering talking to me!”
- “You keep everything inside…You don’t give away too much I admire that,” Uncle Yuri said. “I admire that restraint in someone so young.”
- “It’s not tragic,” I assured her. “This is nothing. Tragedy is when someone ends up dead. Everything else is just a bump in the road.”
- “Everywhere I go, there is violence. And I can’t escape because I bring the violence with me.”
- “You wouldn’t be trying to protect me would you? Because I’m hardy, you know.”