Sixteen year-old Anya's parents have been murdered because her father was the head of a notorious underworld gang. Now she is determined to keep herself and her siblings away from that world. 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 criminal family - she is arrested for attempted murder. Disconcertingly, it is the new D.A. in town who releases her from jail, but her freedom comes with conditions. The D.A. is the father of Win, a boy at school to whom Anya feels irresistibly drawn. Win’s father won’t risk having his political ambitions jeopardised by his son seeing a member of a crime family. She is to stay away with him. Anya knows she risks her freedom and the safety of her brother and sister by seeing Win again. Neither the D.A. nor the underworld will allow it. But the feeling between them is so strong that she may be unable to resist him . . .
In this first installment of the Birthright series, Zevin (Elsewhere) paints a disturbing picture of a not-so-distant future, when the economy has shrunk along with natural resources, and precious luxury items like chocolate, coffee, and newly manufactured clothing are banned in the United States. In crime-ridden New York City, 16-year-old Anya Balanchine, the orphaned daughter of a renowned black-market chocolatier boss, has more than her share of responsibilities, trying to keep her siblings safe and care for her ailing grandmother. When she is wrongly accused of poisoning her ex-boyfriend with tainted chocolate produced by her father's company, Anya faces one of the most difficult trials of her life. To complicate matters, she is falling in love with the wrong boy, Win, the son of a prominent prosecutor in the DA's office. Anya must decide between following her heart or fulfilling her duties as new head of the family. Offering the excitement of a crime drama and the allure of forbidden romance, this introduction to a reluctant Godfather-in-the making will pique the interest of dystopia-hungry readers.