Monday, December 12, 2016

All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Star Rating : 3.5 out of 5 
Content Rating : MILD
Back Cover :
 “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.”

My Thoughts :
This is the first book in a series. I picked up this book because I needed something easy to read while I was at work; and because, I had read other books by Aly Carter in middle school and I loved them. However, I am so glad I did pick up it put. The book was short enough that I read it in about a day and a half. So it’s a short book; but, the story is actually pretty awesome. The story is intriguing enough that it kept me hooked the whole time while still being simple enough to understand without a ton of confusing so-how-did-we-actually-get-here twists and turns. My advice is pick it up if you really like the Aly Carter or just really like young adult fiction; otherwise SKIP IT.

I rated the content as MILD. The main character has a few flashbacks to when her mother died and there is discussion of murder. No cussing or sexual innuendo which is actually amazing for a young adult book.

What I liked :
  • The Plot – I love the idea that this girl is living at a US embassy. I’ve always been fascinated by politics but have never truly understood it. This book doesn’t go deep into politics but gives us some examples of how different it would be to live in the US embassy in a foreign country with the Russian embassy right next door. The plot didn’t lag and leave me feeling bored which is great.
  • The Writing –I love the writing style of this book.  I have read books where the plot and characters were spot on but the writing itself was below average. I appreciate Carter’s vocabulary and sentences in this book. She knows she is writing for a younger audience but she doesn’t sacrifice quality because of it.

What I didn’t like :
  • The Pace – This comment is two-fold: I appreciate the pace of the book because it keeps the reader from getting bored, but I also wish that we had some time to breathe between events. The whole book is supposed to have happened within a week (I think), which seems entirely unrealistic, even if this is a fiction genre.
  • The Characters – I didn’t feel super connected to any one particular character. There seemed to be a lack of development throughout the book and, a lot of times, a lack of background for each character. They all become friends right away and trust each other enough to do the really weird and crazy and potentially dangerous things; that doesn’t exactly happen in real life.

What Others Are Saying :
"Action packed and meticulously plotted… Readers will be clamoring for the next book in the series." -- Booklist

"Carter knows how to construct a gripping thriller." -- 
Publishers Weekly

"With its intrigue and clever plot twists, this series opener will leave readers hungering for more." -- 
School Library Journal

Review by Lydia Jones

Pick up your copy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble

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