The Reason Anya Is Called Annie

The Reason Anya Is Called Annie

You might find this surprising, but the series that most inspired me when I was writing the Anya Balanchine books was Anne of Green Gables.

This article by Sarah Mesle captures so much of what the Anne books meant and mean to me.

I love the quote Mesle uses at the end:

“Dear old world,” Anne murmurs, in what is to me her most important moment, “You are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.”

Is there going to be a third book in the All These Things I’ve Done series because I need to know How her buissness goes, what scarlet names the baby, if win is still mad at her,when leos wedding is going to be, if noriko learns english, how fats is doing with the buissiness, if theos ok, what natty learns at genius camp, if anya goes to college, and much much more.

The third book is called In the Age of Love and Chocolate, and it publishes at the end of October. Every single one of these questions is answered. But the story is really about what happens when someone who has always been incredibly strong finds herself in a position where she has to ask for help. The story is about being mistaken, and how a person can be both super smart and super wrong. The story is about recognizing how much real beauty and sweetness there is in life. The story is about love in its right time, and about the women who want more than love out of life. The story is not a dystopia—my darlings, it never was.

It’s my favorite of the series, and I think even some of you who didn’t read or like the other two books might enjoy this one.

P.S. To answer one of your questions… Scarlet’s baby is a boy, and my editor named him. I wanted a name that wasn’t one I would choose myself. He’s called Felix, which means happiness.


poem for the heroine of a young adult novel

A girl in a town

—no one gets her—

meets a boy in a town

who does.

Throw in another boy


or someone

not quite human,

and she thinks

the world might end.


You want to tell her:

despite a few close calls,

the world hasn’t ended yet.

And someday you will 

leave this town,

read Anaïs Nin,

cut your hair.

In five years, perhaps less,

you won’t remember

any of this, I swear.

—Gabrielle Zevin

answers to your questions about book the third

Updated: 5/11/2013

At some point I’ll write a longer post about the title change and what it means. 

Things to know:

1) there are two funerals.

2) and at least an equal number of weddings.

3) the story takes place in new york, japan, and two other significant locations that haven’t been visited before.

4) you might be angry at Anya and at me when you read the book. The book is very different from the books that preceded it. 

5) I hope you’ll leave the story asking the following questions: what does it mean to be a feminist? is Anya Balanchine a feminist? how do her childhood and her environment influence the choices she makes as an adult? why do you think she makes the choices she makes? is Anya Balanchine a good person?  (We can discuss these issues somewhere, and I promise to tell you what I think if you want to know.)

6) But I am getting ahead of myself.

7) The book comes out in September October. The title is In the Days of Death and Chocolate In the Age of Love and Chocolate,and observant readers will note that this title completes the sentence begun by the previous two book titles.

I absolutely love your book All These Things I’ve Done. Like, i’m so obsessed i’m going to be purchasing the hardcover copy so I can keep it forever. And then I did some research to find out if you had written a sequel and by the grace of God you have. I almost cried when I found out. So i’ll be ordering that too. Just, ah. I absolutely love your books, honestly. Please, if writing makes you happy DON’T EVER STOP. You’re amazing and I actually plan to read them until I can memorize them. :) <3 U

Thank you so much! So incredibly happy to hear from you. How can I not I approve of plans to a) buy my books in hardcover and b) commit them to memory?

Writing does make me happy. Smart readers make me happy, too. 

XO, Gabrielle