Title: All Fall Down
Author: Ally Carter
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication 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.
Ally Carter is best known for her Gallagher Girls series and Heist Society novels. All her novels follow strong women who defy societal norms, flirt with danger (and cute boys), and kick major butt. All Fall Down, the first in her Embassy Row trilogy, is no different.
All Fall Down follows Grace, a sixteen-year-old Army child, daredevil, and granddaughter of the U.S. ambassador to Adria as she returns home. It has been three years since she last visited Adria. Three years since she witnessed her mother’s murder at the hand of a Scarred Man. Despite her instance, no one believes her. Her mother died in a fire, they say. There was no Scarred Man. Grace knows she saw a Scarred Man kill her mother but the more she tries to convince her family, the crazier she thinks she is. After years in therapy, Grace knows that anything she says will be held against her and has decided to start anew in Adria.
Grace was realistically portrayed as someone with serious trauma. Here you have a teenage girl who saw her mother die in front of her, being told her recalling of the event doesn’t match the evidence, and treated with extreme caution. How could anyone not be traumatized by that? Even though three years have passed, this event has left scars in Grace’s psyche and heart. She is paranoid, anxious, and distrustful of others. All reasonably so! No matter what she says, no one believes her. Not her family. Not her friends. The only person Grace can trust is herself.
When Grace’s past comes to haunt her, all she can do is tackle it straight on. Thankfully, this time she isn’t alone. With an group of loyal friends, Grace is more than ready to make her mother’s killer pay. I loved every one of Grace’s friends! They’re funny, protective, intelligent, and supportive. My only disappointment? I wish there was more Alexei and Grace moments!
If you noticed that I avoided talking a lot about particularities, trust me when I say that it is because the excitement is in the journey. All Fall Down is a YA Contemporary mystery with a side of romance and friendship. You do not want to miss it!