Title: All Fall Down
Author: Ally Carter
Publication Date: February 5th 2015
Rating: 3 stars
This exciting new series from NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter focuses on Grace, who can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world, and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.
Now, at age sixteen, she’s come back to stay–in order to solve the mystery of her mother’s death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.
Note: This book is an eARC provided by Hachette Children’s Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The story revolved around the Grace believing her mother was murdered and searching for the killer. The subplots were nonexistent or badly developed. The pacing was also off for the majority of the book and it fluctuated between slow and fat. There were times when the story dragged and I felt like nothing new was happening (I really expected more plot and action from this book). Then 60% through the book, something interesting finally happened and it was actually related to the “Scarred Man” (Grace’s mother’s killer). Then the story picked up and I grew more interested…But if I were being honest, I would have ditched this book by then if I weren’t reading it to review it. I really expected more intrigue and suspense instead of random trivia about Adria and it’s embassies. By the time I got to the ending, I was seriously hoping that it would have been worth all the suspense and lack of action…Unfortunately it barely satisfied me and the cliffhanger really didn’t help matters.
On the upside, the book had good descriptions and some of the dialogue was interesting. I also learned a lot about (how) embassies (operate) and the city of Adria. The plot twist at the end was okay but I still wished the rest of the book was paced faster.
Grace, the main character and ambassador’s daughter was a complex interesting character. She was reckless and bold but plagued by nightmares and panic attacks (the by-product of watching her mother die in a fire). She is a bit relatable considering she is almost never taken seriously by the adults around her…but all of that mostly had to do with the fact that they knew the full truth and she didn’t. Overall, I just found her too immature and rude for my liking. She constantly rebelled and as a result embarrassed her grandfather. She also constantly complained about how she wasn’t fragile and didn’t need help. But her panic attacks and obsession with her mother’s “killer” clearly showed otherwise. And I’m not trying to be insensitive – I know whatever she experienced must have been traumatising and awful but her behavior made it hard for me to sympathize with her.
I was surprised and disappointed to see that there was no romance involving Grace and Alexei (hot Russian dude) although I kept expecting one of them to make a move. Since neither of them did make a move, I wasn’t sure whether he was a love interest after all. It was also a bit annoying how he just showed up randomly throughout the story.
Would I Recommend It? No. I was a huge fan of Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girl series but I didn’t really enjoy this book as much as I had hoped.