By: Melanie | February 15, 2015 | (83) Comments

Review: All Fall Down by Ally CarterAll Fall Down by Ally Carter
Series: ,
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Release Date: February 1st, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, YA
Pages: 306
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three certain things:

1. She is not crazy

2. Her mother was murdered

3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay

The thing is, nobody else believes her and there's no-one she can 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.

Grace's past has come back to haunt 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.

Ally Carter is the New York Times bestselling author of the Gallagher Girls and Heist Society series.

Being someone who hasn’t read anything by Ally Carter before, I went into this book… not expecting all that much. But knowing that Ms. Carter’s previous books have all been something along the lines of a mystery thriller-y espionage kinda thing, let me assure you now, this isn’t anything like that. Heck, this book is definitely something that I wouldn’t think you’ve picked up beforehand. It’s original right to it’s roots. All Fall Down combines a world of diplomacy and the repercussions of death into one fun mess–I told you this wasn’t like anything you’ve read before.

Grace Blakely is one of those characters you really wanna love and sympathise with. She lost her mother at the age of 13 and she was there to see it happen. Grace doesn’t even get to see her father or brother anymore because they’re both away on duty as they’re soldiers. And her grandfather? He’s the US Ambassador and now Grace has to live with him in Adria. It also happens to be the place where her mother was murdered right in front of her eyes. Not that anyone would believe Grace, for they all say the death was an accident.

My first impression on Ally Carter was that she’s a genius. A GENIUS, I TELL YOU. Why? Because I absolutely loved the idea of a place where all the embassy houses happen to be on the same street and for each step you make, you could be visiting the other side of the world. For instance, the Russian embassy is next door to the US embassy. Take a step out of the US half and BAM you’re basically in Russia. I mean, we have embassies in existence in the real world but to incorporate it into a story line? I repeat, GENIUS. Though, I would recommend people to have some understanding of embassies and how they work in our world before heading into this book, because I imagine it can be a little confusing at the start for some when nothing is yet explained.

Anyway, back to Grace. *coughs* I totally didn’t get carried away there. *coughs again* I wanted to love the girl. Her situation is pretty unfortunate and well, witnessing your own mother’s death? That’s just unimaginably horrific and traumatic. But, Grace turned out to be a really annoying girl who loved to jump to conclusions instead. I mean, there’s this scene where Grace comes across a girl who’s got a pretty face and seems to hold an authoritative voice, and Grace seems to just loose all reason and starts going on and on about how that chick must be one of those kind of girls. Like what the hell? You just met her!

What I did expect to see in All Fall Down was a romance. I don’t know how that idea got into my brain but… all YA novels seem to have romances these days, so I guess I automatically drilled that into my mind. ANYWAY. There isn’t necessarily a romance in this book. While I can foresee one appearing in the future instalments, this book was purely character and plot driven. I do believe Alexei is supposed to be the love interest. I mean, hello? Hot Russian dude? Personally, I wasn’t a fan of him. He has this cold demeanor and he’s so domineering. I barely understood the guy, honestly. BUT, then there’s Noah. *squees* HE’S MIIIIIINE. He’s half Israeli and half Brazillian. He spends half his time in the Israel embassy and the rest in the Brazillian embassy. It’s pretty awesome if you ask me. And what else is awesome? The fact that Noah is a totally adorable and sweet guy who has the best humour and made me chuckle on multiple occasions. Can I please have a Noah too? 

‘OK,’ he says. ‘First lesson.’
Noah broadens his stance, taking his place firmly on the embassy side of the threshold. ‘In the United States,’ he says. Then, with both feet, he leaps on to the sidewalk. ‘Out of the United States.’ Quickly, he jumps back toward me. ‘In the United States.’ Another jump across the threshold. ‘Out of the United States. In. Out. In –‘
‘Is this the part where I hit you?’

Other than that, I would’ve liked to see more political involvement in this book. I’m not sure if I’m being just plain picky here but I love love loved the whole embassy idea being presented in a novel, and taking it up a notch in the upcoming instalments would be very much appreciated, because I can see that Ms. Carter definitely has to skills to make it work.

If you want a fun and quick read with a little more substance and politics than your typical lighthearted contemporary, this is one I’d highly recommend. 

~Thank you Scholastic Australia for sending me this copy!~

3.5 Stars
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Melanie

Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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83 Responses to Review: All Fall Down by Ally Carter

  1. Alreem says:

    this book sound interesting, glad to see you enjoyed it, I have been wondering for a while if I should add it to my TBR 🙂 guess I will afterall 😀
    Alreem recently posted…IN MY MAIL-BOX[15]My Profile

  2. Hilary says:

    NOOOO why with the annoying protagonist, book?? Why?
    But ignore me. I’m still looking forward to reading this especially if I can go to a different country (literally) in the comfort of my own home.
    Something’s wrong with my brain: as soon as I saw Brazilian and boy, I instantly thought of a Brazilian swimsuit model. Whoa. Then the name Noah which reminded me of the Raven Boys. So it’s Noah + Brazilian swimsuit model as an image for me right now
    Hilary recently posted…Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund HodgeMy Profile

  3. Glad you liked this one! I am definitely interested in reading it, although urgh, so not a fan of characters who jump to conclusions. But I still think this is something I would really like. Lovely review, Mel. 🙂
    Kara @ Diary of a Teen Writer recently posted…Sunday Weekly Up (49) & A Very Stiefvater Stacking the Shelves (30)My Profile

  4. I’m still so curious about this one! I’ve heard mixed things, but I’ll probably check it out some time. 🙂

  5. I didn’t like this one a lot but I’m happy you enjoyed it! 🙂
    Frannie Pan @ In Clouds of Pages recently posted…Book Boyfriends TagMy Profile

  6. I really did like this book! I hadn’t really thought about her jumping to conclusions before, although I can see that she definitely does. Maybe I was too invested in the story to notice? I don’t know.

    And I LOVED Noah too! He is just sooo adorable 😀

    Great review Melanie 😀
    Jolien @ The Fictional Reader recently posted…Review: Scarlet (Scarlet #1) by A.C. GaughenMy Profile

  7. I want to read All Fall Down so badly. I haven’t read any of Ally Carter’s other books, but this one looks so good. I think the embassy setting is so interesting, and something I would totally want to read. No romance is also a plus because I’m getting sick of romance appearing in EVERY. SINGLE. YA BOOK, even when not all of them need it. Hmph. I also read in other reviews that the ending was pretty shocking, and I’m all for mind-blowing endings.
    Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination recently posted…My Kingdom for a Quest Blog TourMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      RIGHT? I’m so sick of romances in YA as well. it was nice for a change. I mean, I can see the nod to a future romance, but they don’t need to all be developed in book 1, right?

  8. Yay! You liked it, that makes me happy happy happy! Seriously, Noah is mine though, I can let you have him on weekends.. anywho, this book was just – fangirling away over here, I seriously loved it when I read it last year, made my heart sing and gave me Carter feels everywhere, I love her work and seeing other people finally read it, it makes me so pleased! Wonderful review Mel, woo! 😀
    Amanda @ Beautiful Bookish Butterflies recently posted…Weekly Recap | 9-14 Feb. 2015My Profile

  9. Alexei annoyed me so much. So cocky and bossy. Pfft.
    Julie @ Books and Insomnia recently posted…[REVIEW] Hellhole by Gina DamicoMy Profile

  10. I’m so so happy that you have read this book Melanie and something by this author. I agree, I found Grace to such a drama queen and for me she was quite annoying. I found that the plotline really had driven the novel, which I loved, especially with it’s fast paced nature. I’m you enjoyed it though. I love the Australian cover. Great review, Mel!
    Emma @ Never Judge a Book recently posted…BLOG TOUR: GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY – CONSPIRACY GIRL by Sarah AldersonMy Profile

  11. Maisha says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE (ok this could continue for a long time, but I’ll stop) LOVE ALLY CARTER!!! So I’m glad that you liked this book 😀 I still haven’t read this book, but I’m a little disappointed that the main character was annoying. I usually love the main characters in Ally Carter’s book because of how strong and cunning they are. And usually her books don’t have a lot of romance, but I’m hoping that the next installments in this series will. Great review, Melanie! 😉
    Maisha recently posted…ARC Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Mary Jennifer PayneMy Profile

  12. I liked this one too, excited for the next one. I love this cover better than the US one!
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…Weekly Recap & Book Haul (139)!My Profile

  13. I love Ally Carter. I read the Gallagher Girls series in junior high and loved them (need to read them again and see if my opinion changes but back then, I loved them). It is great to see you enjoyed this book, although the MC is annoying. I haven’t read it yet but I’m going to give it a shot because I love espionage when it is done right, so we’ll see 🙂 Btw, this cover is so beautiful! Seriously, US needs to get updated and change cover designers.
    Genesis @ GenGen’s Book Blog recently posted…Fictional BoyfriendsMy Profile

  14. Marianne says:

    Squeeeeeeeeeeeee. So glad you liked it. I love Ally Carter but I was hearing different things… So I wasn’t sure about this one but your review has restored my faith.. also I’d love to meet Noah! ❤
    Marianne recently posted…Books to Read to Forget You’re Single on Valentine’s DayMy Profile

  15. I’d definitely be itching for more politics in this too but I’m glad to see it was a hit for the most part. Definitely need to bump this one up my TBR!(:
    Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings recently posted…Review: Also Known As by Robin BenwayMy Profile

  16. Lara says:

    I just got a copy of this book and although I can’t wait to read it because I’ve loved Ally Carter’s other books, I’m also a little afraid because I’ve seen quite a few reviews with people saying it was just average… Hopefully I enjoy it 🙂
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  17. I’m really not sure about this one. While I have read and liked Ally Carter’s other books…I didn’t love them. But this actually does sound pretty good. So I’m sorry, I don’t know if I can permit you to have Noah yet because I haven’t read the book yet. Gosh.
    Olivia (Bookcomet) recently posted…Review: A Thousand Pieces of YouMy Profile

  18. Benish K says:

    I have an ARC of this book somewhere, I should get started reading on it seeing how much you enjoyed it – it seems intriguing enough.. Fab review Mel<3
    Benish K recently posted…Red Queen Review ♥ Victoria AveyardMy Profile

  19. HA! I AGREE PRECISELY. I loved Noah, and I was so so impressed with the concept (even though it wasn’t the spyishness I was expecting) and that quote with Noah jumping in and out of America is downright adorable. *snickers forever* The only part I didn’t like was, um, Grace. I agree, the way she totally decimated Noah’s sister was pretty awful. And random. I also wasn’t a fan of Noah’s “omg, you lied to me I hate you”. Little bit cliche, but apart from that?! LOVE.
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…Valentine’s Day Quiz: Who Said That?My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Right? I was hoping for spies and espionage but what we got in the end was also pretty damn awesome and unique. Ugh yeah I didn’t really like that lying thing either! It was just meaningless drama.

  20. Kim says:

    “Because I absolutely loved the idea of a place where all the embassy houses happen to be on the same street and for each step you make, you could be visiting the other side of the world.” I only had to read that sentence for me to be convinced to buy this book immediately and start devouring it. Amazing review, as always! 🙂
    Kim recently posted…ARC Review: Me Since YouMy Profile

  21. Hmmm, I kind of think if I read this I’d want to smack Grace 😛 I KNOW IT SOUNDS MEAN, BUT SHE JUST SOUNDS SO ANNOYING. I’d do it in a loving way though hehe

  22. I really like the sound of Noah Melanie! I’m definitely rooting for him over Alexei and I haven’t even read the book yet. I’m someone who is always looking for romance in my YA books, so I know I’m going to want a little more on that front, but Ally’s books are always so fun she usually makes me forget there’s not as much romance 😉 Glad this was a solid enough read for you!
    Jenny @ Supernatural Snark recently posted…Mini Reviews: Give It All & Quarterback DrawMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      I do love romance too but sometimes the absence of it is nice for a change. Also, the MC really didn’t need a love interest with the unsettled state she was in.

  23. Kirsty-Marie says:

    I’ve only read the first three in her Gallagher Girls series, which I loved, but didn’t find much depth with the characters. I haven’t read anything like it before, which is why I loved it. I liked Grace a lot more (mainly because of the sarcasm.) Right? I thought there was going to be romance too, I wouldn’t have minded it, but it’s nice for a change that it stuck with the plot more. NOAH. They need to hand out Noah’s.
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: The Thousand Dollar Tan LineMy Profile

  24. Hmm! I’m not sure I like the sound of Grace’s character very much. I still want to try this because the plot sounds interesting. But I’m sad there’s not much of a romance. 🙁 I love romance in YA!
    Anyways, I’m glad this was a good book for you overall, Mel.
    Great review!
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  25. Lily says:

    All fall Down was my first Aly Carter read and as much as I wanted to love her and this book it ended up falling flat for me. I wasn’t a big fan of Grace either–she definitely fell into the annoying protagonist trap early on in the book. And don’t even get me started on the lack of romance. THERE WAS SO MUCH POTENTIAL but it just didn’t go anywhere *shakes head* seemed like a waste to be completely honest 🙁
    Lily recently posted…Becoming Rain (Burying Water #2):ReviewMy Profile

  26. Bee says:

    Im actually just about to start reading this book. Thanks for sharing your review! <3 Bee @ Bee Reads Books
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  27. LOL, a little bipolar in this review. Sounds like you mostly liked it even if not all the character worked. I haven’t even heard of this one before.
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  28. Shannelle says:

    SO that’s why it’s called Embassy Row! That makes so much sense. But anyway, I’ve seen so many mixed reviews of this all over the place, and I’m going to have to abstain.
    Shannelle recently posted…ARC Review: Inked by Eric SmithMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      That was my reaction too when I found out! It all makes sense when you actually bother to carefully read and assess a synopsis. Aw that is a shame, Shannelle, but I totally understand. 🙂

  29. Wonderful review Mel! Definitely the embassy idea was pretty cool, and the Grace was a complex heroine, but at the end of the day it ended up being a typical story. More spies please! I’m glad it didn’t have romance either.
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Contemporary YA Reviews #5: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart & A Small Madness by Diane TouchellMy Profile

  30. Maya says:

    I really want to read this now! I haven’t read Ally Carter before either so this seems like a great book to start with:)
    Grace seems like the kind of character that was made to be rooted for by readers! But then it’s always annoying when characters judge other characters right of the bat-.-
    Noah sounds adorable! I love a goofy and sweet guy (*cough cough* Percy;)) so I hope she chooses him if romance ends up playing a bigger part in the books:)
    I never thought embassies would take centre stage in a novel but it sure sounds fun to read.
    Better go research embassies now;)
    Great review Melanie!!
    Maya recently posted…Review: The Bone Season by Samantha ShannonMy Profile

  31. I love the embassy premise of it all! Grace seems like she’s not the best main character… Haha Noah sounds hilarious. I really want to give this book a try. It sounds fun yet has some deeper tragic parts to it. Lovely review, Mel <33
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  32. I have read all of Ally Carters other books and she’s pretty clever. I am sort of plotting a novel involveing embassies, so this book would be really interesting. Also, hot russian guys ftw *cough*Stefan Bashkir *cough*
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  33. I dismissed this one once I read the blurb. Mysteries, especially murder mysteries just aren’t my thing. But now I’m not sure, you’ve piqued my interest. And now I really want to read about Noah!
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  34. Annoying MC? Oh noo! Well, I actually survived Captive by Aimee Carter, Kitty Doe was so annoying so I’m gonna try All Fall Down, it’s already in my kindle hihih <3 Thanks for the lovely review
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  35. I really need to read this book!I have the ARC stored somewhere in my kindle,but I haven’t got around to reading it yet.
    Just like you,I haven’t read any book by Ally Carter before,but I really want to.From what I’ve seen from Goodreads and other blogs,her books sound so action paced and thrilling.
    Great review by the way,Mel!
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  36. JennRenee says:

    This book actually blew me away. I have been a carter fan for quite a while and this is by far my favorite. Its a bit diffent than her others but with the same over all feel. whatI loved about this one… I didn’t know up from down. I wanted to believe Grace then I had my doubts then I believed than doubted it was a roller coaster for my mind. I did love it though… I also prefer Noah.
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  37. Despite its flaws, this is a book I will buy & read & love & review (in that order ahha) XD Hopefully, I’ll love it while reading. Ally Carter is one of my favorite authors. Super review, Melanie <3
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  38. Eeeeeeep. So many people loved Noah now nooo! Haha. Anyway, this was your first Ally Carter book? :O You must remedy that! I highly recommend the Gallagher Girls series!! The first one was the weakest but it gets better. 🙂 Wonderful review, Mel. <3
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  39. Vi says:

    Hmm, interesting. I’ve never read a Carter book either and was on the fence about this one. Idk, annoying MCs really turn me off from a book, even if the plot is good. This might not be my kind of read. Idk if I’ll be reading this. Great review!
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  40. Missie says:

    I got this one from my OTSP Secret Sister – I am excited to get into it!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings
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  41. This sounds like such a fun book! I haven’t read any Ally Carter books either, but I’ve heard good things. Plus I love the idea of the embassy houses and the whole mystery surrounding Grace’s story. Lovely review, Mel!
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  42. Romi says:

    I’m glad to read this was really good in ways, Melanie, though it sounds like Grace could’ve been a more enjoyable MC to read about. I’ve read three of Ally Carter’s Heist Society books, and have one of the Gallagher Girls books in my tbr pile, and I really, really enjoy her work. She makes me really fall into the story and embrace the characters- though I’m not sure how I feel about reading this book, at the moment.
    Excellent review and I hope book 2 better in the ways you’d like it to be! Xx
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  43. Hah, as a person who graduated from a course that basically screams “foreign service officer”, embassies are immediately my kind of thing! 😉 I did hear so many negative feedback about Grace, though, but the general consensus is it’s tolerable because the plot and character development are okay. Plus, no romance! That’s definitely up my alley. I love it when two characters develop a friendship first before going somewhere more serious.
    Faye le Potato recently posted…Review: Queen of the Tearling by Erika JohansenMy Profile

  44. TOTES AGREEEEE. Grace just got a tad annoying with the whole jumping to conclusions thing. BUT YOU CAN HAVE NOAH. BECAUSE I WANT ALEXEI OK <3

  45. Makali says:

    Hi, so I am reading this book now, and am enjoying it, but I can’t figure out the layout of the
    Embassy row. Like where is america compared to Russia and Brazil and Iran. It is making it hard to visualize and get into the book. Could someone help me out?

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