All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Thursday, September 24, 2015

 About the Book:
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: Bought
Publication Date: 2015
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Series: Embassy Row, 1
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult Contemporary
Rating: 4 out of 5 
ǀ ǀ ǀ Review ǀ ǀ ǀ
Much to my shame, I’ve never read a novel by best-selling author Ally Carter. I’d seen her novels frequently in the blogosphere and thought each sounded exactly my kind of book because a.) who doesn’t like a good heist or spy story and b.) fast-paced, easy contemporary reads are exactly my speed. Alas two series later, I’d never cracked open a  single page of her novels despite collecting them here and there. This all changed this summer when I finally picked up her latest release. From what I understand, this novel is a bit different for Ally yet somehow all the same.  

It’s set on Embassy Row and centers on Grace, a young lady who is still suffering from the aftereffects of her mother’s death. With her father deployed overseas and her brother entering military training, Grace is left to her own devices in the states, but is eventually sent to live with her American ambassador grandfather on Embassy Row. Bringing with her are Grace’s beliefs that her mother didn’t die an accidental death, no Grace insists she was murdered. This causes strain on her relationship with her grandfather and puts her new friendships in a precarious position. Determined to be proven correct even if it means she must uncover the truth on her own, Grace pursues her suspicions… no matter the cost.  

I found myself really enjoying this novel. It’s a relatively short book, which made it the perfect length for me to binge-read. The plot is quite good and I thought Grace was one of the more unique heroines I’d had met. She isn’t the typical “perfect” ideal. Instead she has emotional baggage that her family tries to “help” disappear by sending her to doctors and counseling, who in turn ply her with medications. The tagline is in Grace’s voice suggesting she’s not crazy, and essentially that omission is what her family believes she suffers from being. The first-person narrative allows us to fully understand Grace’s feelings and her memories of the events surrounding her mother’s death. Among the more light-hearted activities, this creates an emotional story and presents a side of Grace she doesn’t allow many to see. Speaking to the former themes, I adored Grace’s devil-may-care persona. It’s really the front she puts on when she’s in the company of others. And it’s this that probably drives her daredevil characteristics.  

Anyone looking for a romance will find it MIA in this novel. Instead, if anything, it’s more a tease of possibilities. I think I’ve decided on what I believe will be a definite two-story romance, but a part of me gets a feeling any romantic tension that develops could bloom into a kind of love triangle. I suspect that isn’t where the trend is leading, but there is a hint of something that makes the niggling possibility hard to ignore. Though they aren’t as prominent because of Grace’s fixation, I really like the group that comes together to form, who I can only assume will be “the gang” in future novels. I’m excited to see where the story takes them and if we have opportunity to get to know them all better.  

The setting is also abnormally unique. I’ve not read a novel set in this kind of atmosphere (though ironically, one of my past WIP’s had a partial feature that included an embassy kid), which made the locale sort of “exotic,” if you will. Most books are quick to feature a small town, which is all well and good, but sometimes that doesn’t cut it for those of us looking for an armchair adventure that defines the term beyond that of simple, albeit good living. If you like YA literature, All Fall Down is an excellent one to pick up. It’s a pleasant kind of read that is sure to entertain anyone who likes a mixture of lighthearted repertoire and emotional chaos. January cannot arrive soon enough when we get to again travel to Embassy Row and see what Grace and Co. are up to next. 

Coming Next from Ally Carter: Inside every secret, there's a world of trouble. Get ready for the second book in this new series of global proportions--from master of intrigue, New York Times bestselling author Ally Carter.

Grace's 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.

The twists get twistier and the turns get even more shocking in the second thrilling installment of Embassy Row. - Goodreads, January 2016


  1. I looooove Ally Carter, but still haven't gotten my hands on this one yet. Sounds really good! I like what you said about it being unique and almost feeling exotic, that kinda explains how I felt about Ally's previous series, Heist Society. Great review, Rissi, looking forward to checking this one out!

    1. I'm so glad to know that you like Ally's books, Bekah! I suspected I'd enjoy her novels, but hadn't taken the time to read them. I'm super glad I finally "made" myself do just that... this one is way too much fun! Anticipated Ally's next novel and her earlier works too. Thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoy. :)


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