Monday, February 16, 2015

*Book Review* All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Series: Embassy Row # 1
Published: Scholastic Press
Released: January 20, 2015
Source: Edelweiss
Format: E-Book, 320 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

*Book Blurb*

A new series of global proportions -- from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter. 

This exciting new series from NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter focuses on Grace, who can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world, and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.

Now, at age sixteen, she's come back to stay--in order to solve the mystery of her mother's death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.

I really have so much to talk about, but have to be careful not to spoil anything. All Fall Down is the first book in Ally Carter's Embassy Row series. Carter has written other novels for the Gallagher Girls and Heist Society series. I've read the Gallagher Girls, perhaps one day when my TBR pile isn't as high as the Empire State Building, I will read Heist Society as well.

16-year old Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:

1. She is not crazy.
2. Her mother was murdered.
3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.

Grace struggles to overcome what happened to her mother 3 years ago. Even though Grace believes what she saw and that her mother was killed by a man she calls Scarred Man, everyone else thinks Grace is the The Girl Who Cried Wolf too many times. After stints in a treatment facility, Grace is sent to live with her Grandfather who just happens to be US Ambassador in Adria, Italy. It is the the place where she and her older brother Jamie spent their summers, and where her mother Caroline grew up.

As certain as Grace is about the facts behind her mother's death, everyone else wants Grace to stop rocking the boat, and move on with her life. A life now filled with Embassy protocol parties, being paraded around by her Grandfather, while trying not to offend any other nation which could lead to war. Grace becomes friendly with Noah Esteban (Israeli/Brazilian), 12-year old Rosie (Germany), Megan (US) who she played with as a little girl. Then there is Alexei Volkov, Russian Ambassadors son, and Jamie's friend who is supposed to keep her out of trouble.

Let's talk about Grace. Grace is a really stubborn and intense character and in a way, she's also deeply damaged from what happened to her mother. She's an Army brat who has lived on 10 different bases over 15 years. Her father is an Army Ranger, her older brother Jamie attends West Point, thus she knows how to handle herself. Grace has vivid flashbacks. Flashbacks that really don't speak to what exactly happened to her mother. Grace is also a daredevil in that she has no regards for her own safety. Hence, it's funny when Rosie appears to be just as reckless and out of control, and they become friends.

The ending of this book had me questioning whether or not certain characters have anything to do with the Gallagher Girls series. I'm mostly talking about Eleanor Chancellor, who reminds me of Cammie Morgan's mother Rachel. But, I also think of Megan who has some creative abilities. I would also hope that Carter reveals more about Caroline, who she barely talks about.

All Fall Down is not a romantic story. It is more of a mystery/thriller that really had me questioning everyone's intentions. While Noah and Alexei are interesting enough, Noah is pretty much just the best friend, while Alexei has his own issues to deal with. I even had a list of those characters I hated, and those I liked. I really didn't much care for Ms Chancellor, her Grandfather, or even Alexei. I liked Noah, Rosie, of course, Megan once Grace got over her silliness and mistrust of her.

In the end, All Fall Down, is a really quick read. I would have been done a whole lot sooner had it not been for a major headache that hit me half way through. I liked the plot, and the mystery. I pretty much guessed what happened, but you will have to read the book in order to find out what I'm talking about. Yes, I will be reading the next sequel (currently untitled) as well.

**I received this book for free from (Scholastic Press) via (Edelweiss ) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review**

1 comment:

  1. I thought this was a great start to a series. Looking forward to the next book!

    Kate @ Ex Libris