Title: All Fall Down
Author: Ally Carter
Summary: A new series of global proportions — from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter.
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.
As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her — so there’s no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.
Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can’t control Grace — no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.
Genre/Pages: YA Fiction/320
Rating: ★★★★★★ (6 of 5)
My Review: I loved this book. Like, adored this book. Like, was-supposed-to-read-my-college-textbooks-but-totally-didn’t-because-I-couldn’t-put-this-book-down loved this book. Maybe I loved it a little TOO much:
Oh, I had no idea how much I had missed Ally Carter and her writing! Fun, tough heroes and heroines, with a non-cliche, unpredictable, heart-stopping plot, and writing so beautiful it nearly makes you swoon. (Then again, maybe the swooning part was just my new Book Boyfriend
Zach, Hal, Alexei.) Every love interest Carter writes just gets better than the last! This book restored my faith in YA fiction. Ally Carter is the master of intrigue.
Plot: There were countless times when I thought I had the rest of the book figured out — times when I thought I know Whodunnit. But I was wrong! Carter manages to find the tricky balance between the reader solving the mystery in the first chapter because it’s obvious, and the reader getting to the end of the book and having none of it make sense. She finds that happy medium that makes her novels so very enjoyable. Everything came together so neatly and cleanly at the end, and I loved it! I didn’t feel lied to or cheated like I do after some YA intrigue/adventure novels, I just genuinely loved it. I really loved seeing how everything came together in the end. The characters are introduced in an orderly fashion, and they are easy to keep track of while still being complex and intriguing.
Hero/Heroine: Grace. I flippin’ LOVED Grace Blakely (though I definitely wouldn’t remember her last name if it wasn’t for the synopsis, haha)! When you first meet her, she is strong-willed, stubborn, fiery, and very, very, guarded. As you get to know her, you get to see who she really is. The girl behind the mask. And that girl is what made me love this book so much. She was so very REAL. Carter managed to create a real character who wasn’t just whiny and selfish (which is a problem I often run into when a character achieves that level of realism). You find yourself beginning to sympathize with Grace, and when she does something stupid you don’t just *facepalm* and roll your eyes at the cliche plot point — because it isn’t cliche. I never thought “OhmyGOSH Grace, you’re an IDIOT!” Like I find myself doing with most protagonists at some point. Because you truly understand, empathize with, and love this character. Three cheers for Ally Carter.
Setting: I don’t usually have this section, but I thought it was necessary for this one. I was apprehensive about the Embassy Row setting. How could Ally pull it off? Well, let me tell you, she definitely did. I loved it! Plus, because of that setting and world, we were able to have a cast of very diverse characters, which was fun. The world was amazing, and I truly did love every second of oit! I’m looking forward to the next books in the series!
Content Advisory: Some violence, nothing graphic.
To Sum it Up: Even if you don’t typically read YA, I think you’ll enjoy this book. Carter doesn’t fall prey to any of the stereotypical YA follies. Fast-paced & character driven, with a healthy dose of sass and diplomacy, All Fall Down is impossible to put down. I fell behind in my textbook reading for my college classes, because, despite all of my good judgement, I kept on finding myself picking up All Fall Down again, and again, and again, until I finished it. I haven’t read a book this amazing for quite some time! I’d forgotten how much I’d missed Ally Carter’s writing. I highly recommend this book to readers 12+.
Chances Are Reading Posture: – Lost to Reality Reading
Have you heard of this book before? Have you read it? Did you like it?