An Embassy Row Novel #1
by Ally Carter
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Series: Embassy Row (Book 1)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press; Signed edition (January 20, 2015)
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.
Ally Carter has written highly raved about books in the past. She wrote about Cammie Morgan, the spy-in-training who falls in love with a normal boy. She also wrote about Kat Bishop the thief who wishes to turn away from the family business. But now she writes about Grace, a girl who's grandfather serves as the ambassador for the USA. Grace has been affected by her mother's death, a death that she witnessed right in front of her eyes. Grace has spent every summer of her life with her grandfather in Embassy Row. Now that her dad is off fighting in the army and her mother is dead she lives with him year round. Now Grace is haunted by her past, seeing flashes of the memories she's been shutting out since her mother's death. As she keeps remembering, she uncovers secrets that could get her killed.
I read this in about three hours. It is a relatively small book so it wasn't that hard. With Mockingjay the movie coming out, and this book, and a couple others, crazy has been a popular theme. But still. Hearing from a crazy persons POV you never know what's what. Like is this person really evil, or is it all in her head? It's madness (please excuse my terrible pun). One thing that I thought was over the top was that if the kids on Embassy Row got in fights, they thought it would start a world war. If my dad was the USA ambassador and I punched the Canadian ambassador's daughter in the face and broke her nose, Canada would not be outraged and declare war on the spot. Let's be real here.
I did like the book though. It was a new perspective to see through the eyes of this devastated girl who is suffering from a broken mind. I liked the male characters. I personally liked Noah. He was a child of two ambassadors and him and his sister would switch Embassy's over the week. He was funny and cute. He would hang out with Grace, and he didn't think she was crazy, even when she acted nuts.
ALL FALL DOWN is much different than Ally Carter's other books, in feel and storyline, so if you come into this book expecting a light and happy main character, you'll be disappointed. But I think if you give it a shot, you'll end up liking this one. I know I did.