Thursday, January 22, 2015

All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Title: All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1)
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Grace 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.

Being in the book blogging community, I tend to hear about books a long time before they come out. And I mean a LONG time. Ally Carter’s All Fall Down, the first book in her new Embassy Row series was one of those books. And after having heard about it for all those months, I was very excited to finally be able to read it.

Grace has always had a knack for getting herself in trouble. Usually because she was dead set on chasing after her older brother, not afraid to do anything the boys were doing, not matter what that meant. As the granddaughter of one of the most powerful ambassadors in the world, that usually meant that Grace spent her summers running around Embassy Row, sometimes on roofs, sometimes over fences, but very rarely where she was supposed to. Now sixteen, Grace comes back to Embassy Row, but this time, it’s to stay. For the past three years she’s been obsessed with finding out what really happened on the night her mother died. Coming back to Embassy Row could mean finally getting the answers she’s been desperately searching for. But what Grace finds in Adria might be more than she ever bargained for.

Ally Carter is a master at writing spy stories. Though I still have to finish both her Gallagher Girls and Heist Society series (I KNOW GUYS I AM WORKING ON IT), I have loved what I have read. Those stories are always fun and different from the other contemporary stories I typically tend to gravitate to. So I was excited at the idea of a new series from Ally Carter. It didn’t hurt that All Fall Down sounded pretty great. And as someone who spent her high school years around expats and diplomatic families, that particular aspect of the story definitely drew me in. Though believe me when I say that my experience with expats and diplomats was nothing like Grace’s and what you see in the book. The stakes were never quite that high. But that’s besides the point. All Fall Down was a fast-paced story that kept me guessing the whole way through. I kept thinking that I had some part of the mystery figured out, but then Ally Carter would throw in another piece to the puzzle and I would be back at square one. I just couldn’t figure out what was happening. But in a good way. And that ending? I’m already begging for the sequel.

I loved Grace right from page one. How could I not? I mean, she starts off telling her story by saying that she jumped off a wall separating two properties on a dare. And she’s proud that she proved to her brother that the fall wasn’t a deadly one. So yeah, after reading those first few pages, I was sold on Grace. I couldn’t wait to read the rest of her story and find out more about her. Grace was fierce and snarky, not afraid to break the rules. And she was great at convincing others to go along with whatever plan she had, often getting her friends in trouble without meaning to. And she had some great friends who were ready to stand by her side. And I really liked those friends, especially Noah. Noah is the kind of friend I would love to have (not that my friends aren’t great because they absolutely are). He was always ready to stand by Grace, even when she wasn’t being the greatest friend. The character that I’m still trying to figure out, though, is Alexei. At first I thought he was a little shady. Then I discovered that he wasn’t actually. But then something else would happen and I was right back to thinking he was a little shady, but he had good intentions. Hopefully it all becomes more clear in the next book.

I loved Ally Carter’s All Fall Down. It was a great start to what promises to be a fantastic new series. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, action packed story with a mystery, then this is the one for you.

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