Embassy Row #1
Genre: YA Espionage
Page Length: 320
Publication Date: January 20th, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Physical Copy via Library
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
Have you ever experienced this as a book reader? Where you initially really like a book and then as you sit down to review it you realize that there were actually quite a few problems within the book. Well, that’s exactly what happened to me.
Initially, I was so completely immersed in the story. I started reading All Fall Down around 1:15 p.m. and finished by 6: 20 p.m.. I just couldn’t put the book down I had to know what happened to Grace’s mother. There were so many aspects of the book which I really enjoyed. For instance, how we are able to see the tension that there always there within the diplomatic community. Being able to see how the diplomats, as well as their children, always had to walk on eggshells around each other to avoid an international conflict. I thought that this was a fascinating aspect of the book and one that I enjoyed the most.
My only issue with the politics is how much All Fall Down focused on it. It sometimes felt that we lost the focus that had been on Grace and her finding out what happened to her mother and instead we were reading about how careful you have to be when your neighbor is a world power. All Fall Down is supposed to be about Grace finding out what really happened to her mother and if her death was really an accident. Instead we spend a lot of time reading about Grace as she tries to deal with her emotions, confronting her mother’s death, and reintegrate herself back into the life of being a diplomats granddaughter. Which I was more than okay with because I was thoroughly invested in Grace’s story and seeing whether or not she was sane. I didn’t like how even though I was inside of Grace’s head the entire book I still didn’t feel that I was able to get to know her. That the book was so focused on making her an unreliable narrator that we were only able to scratched the surface of her personality. I
felt like we were able to get to know better the side characters, Alexie and Noah, than the main character. I did, however, enjoy reading about the both of them and seeing their interactions with Grace. Noah seemed like a great friend and Alexie seemed like a potential love interest. However, I felt like they were too reminiscent of the male characters in Ally Carter’s previous novels. Like, Alexie was a mixture of W.W. Hale and Zachary Goode and Noah was Josh from the Gallagher Girls.
I felt like All Fall Down was lacking on character development. Usually, Ally Carter nails this. I don’t know why there were so many characters in this book when it didn’t feel like any of them were developed. Overall, I found All Fall Down to be an okay book. I wish that the pacing of the book had a little bit more fluidity and that we were able to get to know the characters better. While the political intrigue and Grace’s struggle to accept her mother’s death was fascinating to read about, I wish that Grace was a more like-able character. I found the ending to be underwhelming but, I’m still looking forward to reading the sequel.
Have you read All Fall Down yet? If so, how did you like it? Did you also feel like some of the characters were reminiscent of Ally Carter’s previous characters? Let me know in the comments!