BOOK REVIEW: All Fall Down by Ally Carter

All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1)
by Ally Carter (Goodreads, Website, Twitter)
Published by Scholastic Press on January 20th, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Espionage
Format: eBook (325 pages)
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble



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.



I never realized reading romance books can be kind of exhausting. THERE. I said it! The avid smut reader has become bored from all the smut she's been reading! I'm kidding. I'm not bored, but a change of scenery from all the smexy would be great, so a cool Young Adult fiction novel would probably do the trick. Hence why I picked up All Fall Down.

Well, upon reading, I've concluded two things: One, I do not relate well to female main characters in Young Adult novels, and; Two, it seems almost every YA main character is either an angsty teen or a total daredevil.... or perhaps both; and that is pretty much the description of Grace, our main character in this novel.

The story kicks off with sixteen year old Grace moving into the US Embassy in Embassy Row, where her grandfather lives. Embassy Row is basically a United Nations Embassy located in a foreign country, and is obviously no place for Grace's daredevil antics, especially with her grandfather being the US Ambassador. However, as mentioned above, our main character is a very angsty teen and absolutely antisocial. She believes her mother was murdered, as she claims to have seen the murderer with her very own eyes, on the day of the tragedy, but no one believes a single thing she says. The fact that she was also placed in rehab after the tragedy isn't much help either. Hence, Grace assumes everyone thinks she's crazy.

Grace is determined to find her mother's killer, and the whole fiasco is triggered when she sees the "scarred killer" living in the premises of Embassy Row as the head of security of the Prime Minister of Russia. With the help of her new found friends, she tries to hunt down the killer and make him pay.

But honestly, who wouldn't think of this girl as crazy? Grace seems as if she's from a Spy Kids movie, with a matching death wish, doing all sorts of audacious stunts that could get her and the rest of the kids in trouble. I found her character to be so aggravating and too immature for her age. Sure, she had a tragic past, but she pretty much labelled herself as a "special snowflake" althroughout the book. However, she did grow along the way, but not to my satisfaction.

Well, I'm not going to deny; this was an interesting read and I did fancy the concept of a bunch of global representatives living in a single community, but with separate private territories. There were cool stuff included, like balls and body guards and royal meetings, and what not, plus Grace and her crew's attempt in being smart, spy kids, which kind of reminded me of Agent Cody Banks 2, minus the cool gadgets.

However, Carter pretty much led the readers into a wild goose chase, and I'm not sure if it's in the author's style of saving the huge plot twist the very last minute, because that's how everything went in this book. The unexpected plot twist appeared at almost 96% of the book. Although it was still shocking, however, I still felt as if a lot of questions remained unanswered. But then again, All Fall Down is a beginning of a new series, so we'll see where Carter is bound to go with this novel.

I had so much high hopes for this book, but hey, it's not a bad read for my first try on an Ally Carter novel. If you're into YA espinoages, this book may be just right for you.

29 comments:

  1. I was so excited to see she was coming out with a new series I bought this on release day without hesitation. I am sort of sad this was only a three star read for you. I was hoping it would be better.
    Wonderful review!

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    1. It's an interesting read and I want to know more. Guess this might be one of those series that start out meh, but turn out to be real good in the next. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I know what you mean. Its not that I am bored of romances either (never!) but I do like to change it up every now again. glad this one worked for you

    Great Review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

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    1. Thank you, Michelle! I needed a short break from all the smut, lol. But I still love me some smut, don't get me wrong. Hah! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I'm sorry you didn't love it, but I'm glad it was entertaining :) Her other books are similar (as far as teenage espionage goes) but they're a little lighter and funnier!

    Jessica @ Ramblings on Readings
    My Thursday Post

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    1. It is an entertaining read, but it didn't have the oomph I was looking for. Oh, and I do plan to read her Gallagher Girls series, I've always been so curious about it. Thanks for stopping by, Jessica! :)

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    2. I enjoyed Gallagher Girls far more; it's got much more personality, it's funnier, more romantic...of course, it's also spread over 6 books, so there's a lot more development!

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    3. Well then, I guess I should pick that up real soon! :)

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  4. HAHA! I enjoyed your rambling about Grace ;) I wanted to give this a try, but when I found out Grace was such a reckless girl who doesn't have a sense of self-preservation at all, I became hesitant, because heroines like that just piss me off so much. I'm all for impulsive girls, but such recklessness just doesn't sit well with me!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. I totally agree! I really didn't like her attitude in the book. She had an important role to play as the US Ambassador's granddaughter, but she was doing the total opposite. Ugh. Anyway, thanks for stopping by, Faye!

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  5. SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE! lol. I was sooo proud to see that you were reading a YA novel on goodreads! I put this on my TBR to "maybe" give this a try one day, but I doubt I will . . . well we never know. My mood has definitely been changing quite alot lately. & I don't want to hear about anything else until your butt reads ADSOM! Don't make me curse you out on voxer !

    Nice review btw lol <3

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    1. I needed a breather from all the smut, lol. And yes, don't you worry, I'm gonna read ADSOM! ;D Thanks boo!

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  6. LMAO!! I totally feel you about not being able to relate to these female characters. They are either too bada** in ways I could never be, or they are freakin' annoying. I love all your references to Cody Banks and Spy Kids. Lol! I will definitely not be reading this! (:

    Pearl @ AsteriskPearl's Book Blog

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    1. Lmao, the whole time I wanted to shake Grace and yell "CONTAIN YOUR CHILL, GIRL!" because clearly, she has no chill althroughout the book! Thanks for stopping by, Pearl!

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  7. I try to change from adult to ya and vice verca every time I finish one of the other so I don't get bored too easily. This doesn't always happen, however, and I get stuck in a genre or reading level until I wear myself up. It helps to change the pace every once in awhile :) sometimes I meet an adult and/or ya romance novelist that makes a unique character, but it rarely happens. It appears that all of Carter's female characters are all the same, so I'll probably pass on this one.

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    1. Yeah, I needed a change of pace, which is why I picked up this book. I haven't read her Gallagher Girls series so I wanna check them out too.

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  8. It's definitely good to change things up from romance sometimes - but I do often find that I don't get the same level of excitement or feels from non-romance books. I'm a total romance addict!


    Great review as always, Blessie! Thanks for posting! ^_^

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    1. Exactly! They're interesting reads, but sometimes I don't get that excited because I can't relate to the characters, lol. And yes, I'm a total romance junkie too! ;D

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  9. lol - I've been avoiding YA as much as possible lately. Well, mostly in the contemporary genre. I've seen this authors books around a lot, but never read any of them. At least you enjoyed it some.

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    1. Yep, it wasn't a bad read for a YA contemporary but I did have a couple of eye roll moments. lol

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  10. Nooooo! Don't completely give up on YA! I hate contemporary fiction, so this book probably wouldn't be for me either. I haven't read anything by this author though, so I can't say for sure. I'm glad you liked it even though you didn't love it!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

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    1. Nahhh, I'll still read a lot of YA books, but I'm more of a mood reader so I don't pick YA books often. :D Thanks for stopping by, Tracy! :)

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  11. AHHH :( I keep hearing mixed reviews so I'm not sure if I should check it out or not? I do like the premise, so I might give it a go! Lovely review <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

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    1. It's actually an interesting read so why not try it? You might like Grace more than I did, lol. Thanks for stopping by, Benish! :)

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  12. This was my first Ally Carter novel too, and I found it to be a little young for YA. I guess that might be just because of Grace and her personality, but it was still rather enjoyable.

    Do you plan on reading the next book in the series?

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    1. Hi Erin! Yeah I do plan to read the series. I want to know what direction Ally Carter is planning with this Embassy Row series. :D

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    2. Bahaha. This is like super late, but I just saw the email. Oops.

      I'm going to read the rest of the series too. I kind of want to preorder See How They Run, but then I want to see if Scholastic sends me the ARC I requested.

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  13. www.paperboulevard.com
    I have been dying to get a copy of AFD but it's not available in the bookstores. </3 I hate to order books online now bc of custom fees. They just bring me head aches. Anyway, great review!

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    1. I feel you. Our stores are always lacking international books.*sigh* And I totally agree with online shipping, it always stresses me out. Thanks for finding my blog and for stopping by, Yani! :)

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