Book Review – All Fall Down by Ally Carter
July 10, 2015
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.
In an attempt to spend less money this year at the Anderson’s YA Literature Conference in October, I am trying to pre-read more books so I know for sure what I’d like to spend my money on (I can’t just get all the books of all the authors that I meet and interact with). Ally Carter is one of the headliners at this event, and All Fall Down is her most recent release. I listened to this one on audiobook during car time.
Things I Enjoyed:
- I LOVED the setting. It was so unique to set a novel on Embassy Row in Adria (which I had to look up on a map because I didn’t know where it is, and it is on the Italian coast for those of you who aren’t familiar), particularly a YA novel. I loved the old town, cobblestone feel that Carter created, and it was a location that I would love to be in.
- The novel contains a wide variety of characters, and reflects a unique blend of cultures and lifestyles. Since the novel is set on Embassy Row, Carter is able to include characters from a range of nations but with some shared experiences to bond them together.
- I liked that the novel portrayed strong female characters who could handle challenges and problem solve effectively. Even though there were males to help along the way, they weren’t a necessity to the success of the difficulties encountered. The females were also portrayed with strengths in typically male-dominated areas, such as computers and athletics. It was definitely a book that had you feeling the GIRL POWER!
- I enjoyed the element of mystery, and I kept guessing right up until the very end.
- Carter does a good job of providing an emotional connection to Grace as she deals with the death of her mother. I like that Carter examines the different ways in which people cope with grief and tragedy, and how different people take different paths in coming to terms with experienced tragedies.
- I thought the audio narrator did a great job creating a wide range of voices for the international cast of characters (although her accent does slip at times, but I can cut some slack for that considering how many international characters she was portraying).
Things That Weren’t My Favorite:
- As much as I loved so many aspects of this book, the story didn’t really fall into place for me. Sometimes, I think this is the result of listening to audio, but I don’t think so in this case (but I haven’t officially ruled that out). Elements of the plot didn’t quite fit together like a seamless puzzle, and I still had some questions remaining at the end because the storytelling was a bit unclear to me.
Although there were many elements of the book that I enjoyed, I ultimately gave this book a 3 star rating on Goodreads because of my issues with the plot. I don’t think this was a bad read though, and I will probably pick up the next book in the series when it is released (and maybe I’ll actually read it versus listen to it).
Have you read anything by Ally Carter? Which of her books would you recommend?