Monday, June 8, 2015

All Fall Down

All Fall Down is the first book in Ally Carter’s YA Embassy Row series.

Returning to embassy row in the small, but powerful, European country her mother grew up in does not change the three truths Grace knows to her core:

1. She’s not crazy
2. Her mother was murdered
3. Someday she WILL find the murderer

But no one believes her – not her ambassador grandfather, nor his formidable secretary – just like no one at home believed her. So why should her new friends?

There’s Alexei, the Russian boy next door who wants to watch over her per her brother’s instructions, her appointed best friend, Israeli Noah, and a couple others who Grace finds herself surprisingly drawn to being friends with – an oddity for her.

Yet knowing that there’s no way they would understand her determination to find her mother’s murderer over the last three years – after witnessing it at thirteen years old – keeps her at a lonely distance. So she puts on her smile that says she’s normal and tries to control her impulses.

But no one’s ever been able to control Grace – not even herself – and once she believes she’s come closer to the truth, she has the potential to cause international incidents with ramifications beyond her imagination…

All Fall Down was really quite a good read!

Grace is a damaged girl, yet very intriguing also. As we get first-person narration, we get to know the inner workings of her mind – which can seem both completely sane and also a bit unhinged. I was absorbed in learning the truth – beyond what Grace’s understanding of it was. And that curiosity was rewarded!

An embassy row is an interesting setting for a novel with political intrigue, etiquette and tensions beyond the normal teenage drama.

There are plenty of male prospects, some mystery and a psychological suspense that, in my opinion, is the strongest point of All Fall Down. The novel has its dramatic, suspenseful moments – but also is often funny.

This is helped by some great, likable, fun secondary characters – making for an entertaining, fast read. I became more and more in the books grips and was pleased with a very, very good meaty twist.

I can honestly say I look forward to the next book in the series!!

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