Wednesday, January 28, 2015

ARC REVIEW - ALL FALL DOWN by Ally Carter

All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1)
by Ally Carter
Publisher -  Orchard Books 
Release Date - February 5th 2015
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Grace 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.


As a lover of Ally's previous work of the Gallagher Girls when I was younger, I felt I was thrown back into her writing straight away with All Fall Down, a YA thriller based on a girl trying to find answers to her mother's death.

Three Year's Ago, Grace's mum, the US Ambassador's daughter died in a fire, but Grace thinks different, she was there and she saw The Scarred Man pull the trigger, or did she? Everybody thought she was crazy, after she was in hospital, under medication trying to come to grips with her mom's death. Every since them she has been pulled pillar to post with father being in the army. Now returning to stay with her grandfather after years of summers apart, she uncovers far more than she should, involving a prime minister and conspiracy against her family. With the political aspect and the setting of Embassy Row you are completely thrown into the deep end. Gradually we start to reveal Grace's past through her flashbacks which seamlessly unravel themselves as we meet new people and familiar places of her childhood summers.

Grace is a very hotheaded character. She is quite a built up character, what I mean is that she is so tense with memories, that with what everything has happened to her, it's built and built and built until she comes to the boil, like she is simmering on a low heat before she can really emotionally explode. She thinks on the spot, she doesn't wait for anyone's permission, she just goes for it, no matter the consequences. If I was honest I found her character to be a bit overly dramatic, though considering that they believe her to be crazy sort of fits her character perfectly. I've always said that I haven't been fond of characters younger than my own age as I find they I don't connect with them on an intellectual level. Whilst you can feel disconnected with Grace, I think the plotline itself is very overwhelming and you are so focused on the conspiracy itself, which really worked well for the novel Combined with a familiar written style as Ally's, it was very cleverly done, in my opinion. I found this to be in favour of Grace's character and I found more connection in the secondary characters, like Ms Chancellor, Alexei, Rosie, Megan and Noah.

As I said, Grace has quite a headstrong type of persona, which let her the other characters, shine through the book a little more. Rosie, is quite flexible character, literally. She tends to go with the flow a lot which I found quite refreshing. Megan, a familiar face from Grace's past likes to show where her talents lie, she is the your Cammie Morgan from the Gallagher Girls, which I loved as Ally hasn't quite lost her her connection to her first series. We have the Noah, who instigated to be Grace's best friend from the start, which was very sweet and adorable. There were hints at a more romantic aspect to their relationship but I guess that will be decided as the series goes on. Finally Alexei, for me he was quite a surprise, I didn't really like him at first as he was far to up his own backside to really care what was happening. Until he really saw what was going through Grace's head. She was vulnerable, a bit of a damsel in distress behind that rebel skin of hers, and he was the one who could save her.

Whilst, some of the story was overwhelming at times with Grace's character, I found that I really enjoyed the novel overall. If I'm honest after reading this it sort or reminded me of a younger version of Conspiracy Girl only with more of a political aspect which is very realistic. With it's fast-paced nature, like all Ally Carter books, it really is unputdownable, addictive and a classy first novel of the series.

Rating - 3.5/4


24 comments:

  1. I've enjoyed the addictive quality of Carter's past novels so I'm glad to see that, despite a few hindrances from the protagonist, this was a hit. Wonderful review, Emma, and I'm going to have to pick this one up soon!

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    1. I hope you do. Despite it being one of her less favourite novels that I've enjoyed. But I found to still enjoy this one as it was so addictive. Thank you, Keertana! :)

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  2. I'm not a big fan of flashbacks, if I'm being honest, but the story does sound quite intriguing! I'm sorry you didn't really connect with Grace, but I'm glad you enjoyed the secondary characters more. I love bff romances though so I hope that Noah and Grace are a thing as the series continues? I'm glad you liked this as a whole, Emma!

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    1. Oh I love flashbacks, I they are done well. I look forward to reading the next book to see what in store for Grace and Noah. :)

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  3. I started this one tonight at work and I can totally understand what you mean about addicting writing, I'm already at 52%!! And yes, Grace is such a act first think later kind of character!!

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    1. I found Grace to be so dramatic which sort of turned me off her character. But the plotline really drove the novel for me instead. Hope you enjoyed it!

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  4. Ooh I am glad that you enjoyed this one, Emma! It seems that Grace is one of those characters that you'll either love or hate, eh? Anyway, I am so excited to pick this one up!

    Lovely review, hun <33

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    1. Yes it is! I guess it depends if you like that sort of character. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you, Melanie! :)

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  5. I loved this book so much! I really liked Grace, though I can see why some might not like her all that much. I think all the supporting characters were pretty awesome and I'm really looking forward to get to know them more in the next books. I loved Noah, though I hope there will be nothing romantic between him and Grace. I don't like that in YA novels girl-boy (close) friendship is sort of nonexistent.
    Amazing review! :)

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    1. Yeah I think Grace is one of those characters that you either love or hate sometimes and I was sort of in-between. I'm not sure if I want anything to happen with Noah and Grace either. Thanks you, Veronika! :)

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  6. I really love her books, they are just so much fun. I am glad that overall you really liked this one. I have it in my TBR pile and now just need to make time for it. :)

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    1. I thought that when I read them when I was younger, so I was looking forward to reading another one of her novels. Hope you enjoy it! :)

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  7. I do love a mystery unraveling combined with political intrigue, and some romance of course. Sounds like that may be coming in the future. I haven't read Ally Carter's previous series but I know Jasprit loved it. Nice to hear you enjoyed this one so well! Wonderful review, Emma! :)

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    1. I do love these sort of books too, Rachel. I really enjoyed her series so it was nice to see the familiar style of writing. Hope you read this soon! :)

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  8. I don't know why when I first heard about this book I thought that it wouldn't be for me, but I loved Ally's Heist series books, so after reading quite a few reviews of this book, this one definitely sounds like something that I would enjoy. I'm sorry that you weren't able to connect with Grace's character much, but at least this didn't take away the enjoyment of the book from you. Fab review Emma! :)

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    1. I haven't read Heist Society series yet, but I have the first book so I plan to do so very soon when I get the time. I hope you you get to this book soon, Jasprit. :)

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  9. I didn't actually read Gallagher Girls but I have enjoyed Heist Society, and Carter's writing always stood out for me. I will definitely be reading this as soon as possible, although my schedule won't allow it for a few weeks yet. Stil, I'm very interested. I'll probably at least moderately enjoy it.

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    1. I haven't read that series yet, but really enjoyed her Gallagher Girls series so I will read Heist Society very soon. I really love her writing it was great getting back into it again! Hope you read this one soon. Thank you, Maja!

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  10. I've never read anything by Ally Carter, but it sounds like she writes fun, quick-paced books. I'm glad you enjoyed this!!

    -Lauren

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    1. Oh you must, you her books. They are great. Thank you, Lauren! :)

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  11. This one sounds nice, quite fun in fact but I don't know if it's something I'll go to soon either. I should try a book by the author though as I haven't yet. Thanks for the review!

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    1. Yeah sometimes its not for everyone. But maybe you should give it try!

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  12. Unfortunately I didn't like this one much. It was my first read by Ally Carter but I don't know, the characters felt too immature at times aand I couldn't really get into it :(

    Ps. I have a blog as well, if you want to stop by I'd appreciate it so much! It's both in Italian and in English :3 -> http://frannieinthepages.blogspot.com/

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    1. I can see what you mean, Frannie. But I loved her other series more, so you should definitely try Gallagher Girls or Heist Society. Thank you for stopping by! :)

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