All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Amazon Synopsis: Grace has been shipped off to stay with her diplomat Grandpa in the glittering Embassy Row, a place where trespassing into the wrong garden can cause an international incident. Grace knows the rules - she's ignored them before - but however much she wants to change, she can't. Not while she's certain of three things:

1. She isn't crazy.
2. Her mother was murdered.
3. Someday she's going to find the man with the scar, and then she is going to make him pay.

Something I think should be universally acknowledged is that Ally Carter writes books that are destined to be read in summer. Every single one of her series can be devoured on a sun lounger or some other suitably summer themed apparatus- a hammock perhaps? For this reason a brand new book series by this fun author is a must read now that the UK seems to be getting rid of the colossus cloud that plagues our country for two thirds of the year.

In terms of concept this book is not that different to her others. When I first read the synopsis on the back of my copy there was even a moment of deja vu where I thought I had picked up the first Gallagher Girls book. This one changes our setting once again though to the world of Embassy's. Set in a fictional country - Adria- it follows 16 year old Grace as she moves back to live with her Grandfather in the American Embassy. Whilst she is there though the memory of seeing her mothers murder continues to haunt her. 

Carter seems to be stretching away from her tween audience into more morbid, dark territory with this novel. The idea of deal is not danced around like in previous books and is explored more graphically in flash backs. The main character has a type of post traumatic stress disorder and this wander into more serious, drawn out character development proved more interesting as a concept. Though sometimes it was not fully developed Carter is showing promise and growth as a writer. It is as if her writing is growing along side her audience which makes each book series more enjoyable.

The main problem I found in this book was that I did not connect with the main character or her friends. The situation seemed to be "I-am-the-worlds-attempted-most-hostile-person-but-it's-not-really-working-so-I-guess-I-will-just-keep-hanging-out-with-the-people-that-I-have-kind-of-been-forced-on" all the way through. There was only so many times Grace could shout 'I am not crazy!' in calm situations before I started to go crazy shouting that 'we get it'. 

Also that the suave handsome Russian boy that is proving to be a forbidden interest of Grace is called Alexei Volkov. 

I do not know if Ally Carter meant to name her love interest after a villain from Chuck season four but she did and I thought that was hilarious. Obvious foreshadowing perhaps for future books?

The ending itself was incredibly suspenseful though in a way that did not disappoint. It does eventually lead somewhere and this book as a first in the series truly gets you ready for the next one. 

Hopefully Grace will just quit it will the angry screaming. 

I swear she would preach her sanity even if she was ordering ice cream. Take a chill pill, Grace.


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