Allow me to start off by saying, this book shouldn’t be in the YA category. I know it’s just a category but, All Fall Down was written more as a middle grade book than a YA mystery.
A really big pet peeve of mine is when books aren’t categorized correctly. Although I may be the only person in the world to think of incorrectly categorized books, there is nothing that I hate more than reading a book that I have thought to be something that it’s not.
Before even skimming through the pages of this book, I knew that it wasn’t going to be even close to the kind of YA books I read. My view of Young Adult Literature contains strong heroines, a bad boy protagonist and some kind of evil antagonist. So basically books like City of Bones and Obsidian.
Many people will oppose against my thoughts but, they’re just my personal opinions. That’s what reviews are for, right? Giving our totally honest opinion.
So, yes, this review has started on a disappointed note but, I never said it was a bad book.
About the Book:
Title: All Fall Down
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: January 20, 2015
“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.”
This was my first time reading a book by Ally Carter and I started off setting my hopes a bit lower than they actually ended up being. I’m always uneasy with new authors since I’ve never experienced an adventure with their characters prior. Even Cassandra Clare or Sarah J. Maas for instance. I started off not really expecting to join the hype around their book but, what do you know, now I’m obsessed!
As I said above, I don’t think that this book was correctly categorized. Some of the characters didn’t exactly act/talk like they were their actual age (16 I believe, but I may be wrong) and then others acted like they were in the military (Alexei). But aside from that major fact, I actually enjoyed this book quite a bit. I dived straight into it a while back, not having huge expectations. But, in the end, I was totally surprised and left wanting more! Oh what plots can do to a book. This book basically showed that even a book with weak characters can still be good. Its the story line that really matters.
This series takes place in Embassy Row (hence the series title), where you can walk twenty feet and be in another country. The concept is very interesting seeing as there is actually a real Embassy Row in America. I don’t think it’s quite like the Row in the book but kudos to Ally for taking partially realistic ideas! The setting was most definitely my favorite part of this novel. Although it is a bit confusing when you first start reading the novel, use your imagination and trust me when I say this: be creative. Close your eyes and use the words that you read guide your imagination. I always saw Embassy Row as an old, row of houses with a bunch of flags!
As I said above, this book doesn’t exactly have the strongest characters. Grace is definitely extremely brave and determined to fight for what she wants: find her mother’s killer. Then, there’s also all of the side characters: Alexei, who was sent to keep watch on Grace by Grace’s brother, Megan and Rosie, some of Grace’s sneaky best friends at Embassy Row and Noah, the guy who lives down the street from Grace, alike the others. I loved Rosie’s character so much! She’s a little younger than I am and is super sneaky. She can even be as quiet as a mouse when she’s hiding.
So, overall, I would probably give this book a 3.5/5 stars. I will most likely pick up the second book when it comes out in paperback!
Until next time, Happy Reading!