All Fall Down (Embassy Row, Book 1)

Ally Carter
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.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2017-12-07
Initial Impressions 8/31/16: 2.75 - 3 stars
I'm actually really disappointed that this is a new series opener from Ally Carter. I guess I've only read two of her books (Heist Society and Uncommon Criminals) but her early books were SO GOOD and this book just fell so flat. I heard it had a bit of a rough start but truly, the whole book felt rough for me. We kept repeating the same five concepts over and over again and literally nothing happened for the first half of the book. I felt like the first 75% could have been crammed into a few action-packed chapters but instead, everything was drawn out. I wouldn't have minded spending time with these characters but I didn't get a real sense of who they were. I got them, sure, but they weren't personalities that jumped off the page and everyone fell a little flat.

There were hints at the snark and sass that I love so much but Grace was too busy falling apart all the time for that to really take shape. I get what the book was going for and I followed it, but it all felt a bit too dramatic for me. The visions and hallucinations were just way too much and they really bothered me.

After all that, I was waiting for the twist (I heard there was one) and... Flat again. There were parts of it that were a bit predictable and then I got it but Grace still didn't and I was like PLEASE catch on here. There was something I wasn't expecting because it was so cliche but it happened anyway.

Anyway, the reason I'm giving it three stars is because it was an easy read and I do think I'll continue the series. I might sneak a peek at reviews but gosh, book two better get better! I do love theHeist Society series and from the way this book ended, I am hoping for maybe a little more levity and a lot more intrigue in the second book.
Reviewed: 2016-07-30

All Fall Down is the first book in the Embassy Row series. Embassy Row refers to a group of embassies that are all lined up in a row in the country of Adria. The main character, Grace, has come to live with her grandfather who serves as US Ambassador in the American Embassy. Grace's mother was recently killed in a fire. Grace believes she was murdered, but her entire family has spent months trying to convince her that her mother's death was an accident. Throughout the book, there are twists and turns, and we are never quite sure until the end whether Grace is crazy or not. The story was not what I expected, especially a rather heart-wrenching ending without a suggestion of where the series will go from here. I'm not even sure if I want to continue reading it.

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