Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Release Date: February 1st, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, YA
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!~
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