Wednesday, April 8, 2015

All Fall Down: An Embassy Row Novel by Ally Carter

All Fall Down: An Embassy Row Novel by Ally Carter

Summary from Ally Carter's website:

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 an 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 all stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down. 

4 Stars

Library Book

My Review:
I love Ally Carter's books.  I have read both the Gallagher Girls Books and the Heist Society Books.  HERE is a list of her books from her website.  I have not read her other books, but having read these two series, I was very excited to read what she had for us next.  She did not disappoint me.

I spent 5 years of my life in Brussels, Belgium.  My dad worked in International Business.  We met people from all over the world.  In our neighborhood there was an Embassy.  I remember guards as we walked to friends' homes.  (OK, I just looked it up.  It was the Chinese Embassy).  Since I was a kid I have been interested in other countries, cultures, and customs.  This book added international relations/diplomacy as well as intrigue and mystery.  So many things that I like!

I liked the mystery and conspiracy in this book.  What really happened?  There were times I thought I knew where this book was going.  I was SO WRONG!  Ally Carter did an excellent job of keeping the reader in the dark.  I loved the surprises.

I loved the secondary characters.  It seemed to me that the only true main character was Grace.  All of the other characters were secondary to me.  Some of them were fantastic (I love Rosie!).

Knowing that this book was the first in a series, I wasn't surprised by the in depth "set up".  We have to get to know this world, these characters.  At times it was a bit tedious.  I admit that it was because I wanted to find out what happened.  I was a bit impatient.  And as much as Ally Carter wrapped up the immediate story,  she definitely left us with a cliff hanger.  Now I have to wait for the next one!  When, Ally, when?!!!

This book had a lot more angst than I am used to in Ally Carter's books.  Grace was told that she was crazy, was put on medication, and even restrained.  She questioned everything she ever thought and was worried about bringing other people down with her.  At times I didn't like her for it.  Then, there was one point where I empathized with her so much that I was brought to tears.  My heart broke for her.  

Warnings: Death in family, mental illness, but I consider it a clean read

I would definitely let my teenage daughters read this book.  They will love it!

Photo from 1976.  I couldn't find any outside photos in my collection.  I'm sure my mom has some.  This is in the kitchen with my sister.  

Photo from 1997 with my husband, Mike.  I loved that tree!

Photo from Google Maps of my house in Belgium as it looks today.  (The tree is gone).

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