Review: All Fall Down
Jun 28th 2015
All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1) by Ally Carter
“Think before it kills you.”
Genre: Young Adult Mystery Publisher: Scholastic Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5 Stars) Synopsis:
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.
verybody 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.
Ally Carter’s books are always the ones that I don’t want to put down until I’ve finished them, and even then I want to hang on. They are addicting and I love them. All Fall Down was no exception.
This first book in the Embassy Row series was much darker than the other Ally Carter books I’ve read, and I liked that. The main character, Grace, is understandably very troubled, and in many ways that makes her a bit of an unreliable narrator. One of the most interesting mysteries while reading this book is trying to figure out how unreliable she is.
All Fall Down also has great characters. Grace, and all her newfound Embassy Row dwelling friends are all great, and I am super excited to find out more about them in the next books in the series.
I also really love the setting. All Fall Down in set in the capital of the fictional european country of Adria (which honestly reminds me a bit of Genovia from the Princess Diaries) and it’s really a cool way to create the series. Who knows what could happen when the country is one we know nothing about in the real world?
In summary, All Fall Down is really good, but I don’t want to say too much here, because the mystery of it all is the very best part…
Review: I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter
Sep 29th 2014
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1) by Ally Carter
“I suppose a lot of teenage girls feel invisible sometimes, like they just disappear. Well, that’s me—Cammie the Chameleon. But I’m luckier than most because, at my school, that’s considered cool.”
Genre: Young Adult Espionage Publisher: Disney Hyperion Format: Paperback Source: Bought Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5 Stars) Synopsis:
Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school-that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it’s really a school for spies. Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real “pavement artist”-but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?
Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she’s on her most dangerous mission-falling in love.
I read Ally Carter’s series Heist Society a few years ago and I absolutely loved it. I loved it so much that I have already read the entire series multiple times. I have no idea why it took me so long to get to reading the first book of her older series, but I’m very glad I did because this book was likewise very good.
I loved the description of the scenery, and I loved the idea of a spy school for girls and the worldbuilding, and the plot was both engaging and amusing. But for me characters make a book, and I love Ally Carter’s characters.
The main character Cammie has a very interesting story and even though she’s been raised in a spy school she is a very relatable narrator. She’s strong, smart and very loyal to her friends- all qualities that make me like her even more.
Her friends are also very interesting, and their relationships with each other and Cammie are all very well written and have a perfect amount of inside jokes and good natured teasing, but there’s also great moments where it’s shown how much they really care about each other.
I thought the background characters were also amazingly thought out. Even characters who barely appeared in the book were given names, back stories, and reputations.
Another thing that was really great about this book was it’s writing style. It was mostly written in a standard first person style, but the chapters were interspersed with lists and investigation reports. There are also parts where Cammie talks directly to the reader, as the entire book is supposed to be a very long spy mission report, which is a concept that I think makes the book really cool to read.
All in all, this was a great and very fun book about teenaged female spies, and I look forward to reading the rest of this (already finished) series!