Thursday, April 16, 2015

Review: All Fall Down by Ally Carter

All Fall Down by Ally Carter
Published: January 2015 
Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Contemporary
Format: Hardcover 
Amazon • Goodreads

What is All Fall Down about?

A new series of global proportions -- from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author 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.


The premise of this book, as with all of Ally's other books, is glorious.   I have a love for mystery books that goes all the way back to my childhood.  So, I was beyond excited that All Fall Down had that mystery aspect.  This book is something that very much seemed like it could have been a thriller movie.  As the story progresses, the tension gets higher and the plot thickens until the final reveal.  Carter does a great job at building suspense and keeping the reader guessing.  And THE PLOT TWIST.  I certainly did not see that coming.  I was very surprised, but I'm glad that Ally went down that path, and didn't shy away from making All Fall Down a little darker than her previous books.  Just by the feel (and mental state of the main character) this book was reminiscent of the later Gallagher Girls books, specifically Out of Sight, Out of Time. 

Ally Carter has this brilliant talent for creating realistic characters that you fall in love with time and time again.  Grace, the main character, is an interesting one.  She has PTSD and is still going through so much pain and trauma from the death of her mom.  For Grace, even though everyone said her mom's death was an accident, she is convinced that her mother was murdered.  And never really knowing for certain is eating away at Grace, and she pretty much becomes obsessed with finding her mother's killer.  Considering all she had to go through, Grace is a very strong character that you find yourself rooting for.  Grace, despite her issues, is an amazing character, and I can't wait to follow her on her journey.  But, aside from Grace, there are so many other brilliant characters.  Noah, Grace's best friend, had me in love from the first page.  He is such a sweet, funny, down to earth guy.  Noah is willing to stick with Grace, even through all she is dealing with.  He is willing to help her on her crazy, dangerous, and sometimes illegal missions.  Ally Carter assembles this whole cast of characters, and it really feels like you get to know each and every one.  Nobody was just "there". 

 Ally never ceases to amaze me when it comes to her fantastic worlds, and All Fall Down is no exception.  Honestly, I don't know how she does it.  While in a contemporary setting, Carter always manages to make you feel like you're in a whole different world.  The everyday lives of her characters are so different from what the average person does.  The setting of All Fall Down is so much fun.  The setting of Embassy Row is so unique and provides so much diversity.  Noah is Israeli and Brazilian, and Rosie is German.   Not to mention Megan, who may or may not actually be a Gallagher Girl (I have my theories).  The dynamics of so many different countries that close to each other allow for some tricky situations, but it only adds to the charm of this story.   Adria, this book's actual setting, sounds beautiful as well, and I totally want to go there.   I loved the political intrigue in this book, as the setting definitely allowed for complicated happenings in the political realm.

The characters in this book really come together to form a kick butt team.  In all of Carter's books, the characters come together to achieve their goal.  Whether it be a mission, a heist, or solving a murder.  That's one of the things I really liked about All Fall Down.  It kept that close character dynamic, and placed emphasis on close friendships.  I feel like good friendships in YA are getting harder to find.  So, that's part of the reason why I love Ally Carter books so much.  The closeness of their group is so cute and it's amazing how they rally around Grace when she needs them.   The relationship between Grace and Noah is so adorable.  I love that they are best friends - I think it's great when an author has a guy and a girl be close friends and they aren't interested in each other romantically.  Personally, I think that Ally Carter is setting up for Alexi (her brother's Russian best friend from "next door") to be the romantic interest.  Don't get me wrong, as a character I LOVE Noah, but Alexi is really cool and I ship him and Grace already.  I feel like a romantic relationship with Noah would ruin their perfect friendship that they have.  


Final Thoughts:
Overall, All Fall Down did not disappoint, it had everything that I've come to expect from an Ally Carter book.  Intriguing world, great characters, emphasis on friendship, and plot twists!  This book did a great job of setting things up for the rest of the series.  Once you get to the end, you get the feeling that this book was basically just "backstory" and that the action is yet to come.  I am so excited for the sequel next year, and I can't wait to continue Grace's story.  Whether it be immersing yourself in a world of spies and espionage, temporarily joining a family of thieves, or solving a mystery amid the lies, deception, and intrigue of Embassy Row, experience an Ally Carter book today!



  1. Just put this on hold at the library and am so excited to read it! :D I'm a huge fan of mysteries / thrillers, and with its fabulous plot twists this one sounds like it doesn't disappoint. And yeah for an emphasis on friendship - we totally need more friendships in YA! ;)

    Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ♥ I hope I end up liking this as much as you did! xD

  2. That's awesome - I can't wait to hear what you thought of it! I'm glad you agree on the friendship thing - I feel like there needs to be more books featuring and emphasizing strong friendships.
    Thank you so much! I'm hoping you like it, too. :)

  3. I really need to try this author..I have one of her books but just never read it and this one sounds great too. :)

    1. Yes! I feel like not enough people have heard of or read Ally Carter books. You should definitely try one of her books soon - they're all great.