Author: Ally Carter
Genre: Mystery, Contemporary
Blurb: (from goodreads) A new series of global proportions -- from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter.
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.
I'll be formatting this review a little differently today. I collaborated with the awesome Christina @Books and Prejudice (go check her blog out). We decided to break it down into some of the main aspects of the book, and give both of our thoughts. I'll be talking in blue, and she'll be talking in pink.
Me: It was interesting enough. The entire idea of her hunting after the Scarred Man and trying to get her revenge was really interesting. However, I feel like a lot of the plot was a bit expected, and some things happened "coincidentally" that wouldn't have happened in real life. I also saw the main plot twist coming at the end, which kind of downed the entire book. Also the ending. Who end a book like that? Just cut it off. Like what. the. hecky.
Christina: I really liked the idea of this plot. I started reading this without having read anything about it, so I honestly didn't know what it was about. But the idea of a disturbed girl hunting down her mother's killer in a foreign embassy. That's kind of neat. Some super silly things happened that made me seriously laugh. But that ending. I felt like Carter was attempting to do a cliffhanger but it just fell flat. It doesn't really lead me to want to care about the next book.
Me: This was a rough spot for me. I felt uncomfortable with Grace, the main character. I think her sort of "craziness" and her inclination to act on impulse was a bit disturbing and instead of feeling for her I found myself distancing myself from her as a reader. That made the entire book a bit distanced from me and didn't give me reasons for her doing the things she did and acting the way she did. I loved Ms. Chancellor. To me she didn't feel like the sugary-sweet counselor who pretended everything was okay. She understood what was going on, and she was okay with it.
Noah and Megan, I really liked. I think that their characters were well defined and described, and I found myself sympathizing for them, especially Noah. Alexei, however, I didn't like as much. I didn't feel the old relationship between him and Grace and their history. He was very...distant.
Christina: Our main character, Grace, suffered a severe trauma three years before the start of All Fall Down. This leads her to be quite mentally unstable. Many of the antics that she gets herself are quite comical. One of the things that annoyed me about this book was the lack of character growth from Grace. Yes, she's grief-stricken. But by the end of the book, I felt like she could have changed some and learned how to deal more with her grief. I love reading about people's takes on mental instability. So I really felt like there was so much room for personal growth here.
I really loved some of the minor characters. Ms. Chancellor and the Scarred Man are so complex it's almost impossible to guess who they truly are and what their loyalties really are. They had me guessing all the way to the very end. The two of them had me going thinking, "Is Grace really that crazy?" up until near the end of the book. I liked Alexei, but I wish he were better developed. It was almost like he was thrown into the mix for the sake of having a love interest. And then taken out at the last minute when the author realized that it wouldn't work. What was that? Cliffhangers are at least supposed to make sense... right?
Me: THIS. This was beautiful. Even though it was a bit of a fantasy setting, I could totally see the embassy happening in real life. The different nations and their embassies coming together on one island and having issues was plausible, and I also found it fascinating to think about. How would it feel to go to the next building and be in a country that is normally half way across the world? Love it.
Christina: Adria. What is this place?! A small Mediterranean country that is peaceful, and super powerful in trade... okay??? A made up country, I get it. The real setting, though, is Embassy row - the street lined with the houses of different embassies for different countries. This is actually a pretty cool concept. With it, we can mingle so many different nationalities of teenagers and have people correct our stupid Americanisms (it's football!).
Overall: An interesting plot with a great setting. A fresh concept.
Rating: 4 kisses!
How did you like our collab review? Any feedback? Thanks!