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All Fall Down (Embassy Row Series #1)

All Fall Down (Embassy Row Series #1)

4.1 43
by Ally Carter

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for All Fall Down:

"Action packed and meticulously plotted… Readers will be clamoring for the next book in the series." -- Booklist

"Carter knows how to construct a gripping thriller." -- Publishers Weekly

"With its intrigue and clever plot twists, this series opener will leave readers hungering for more." -- School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly
Nobody believes that Grace saw a scarred man shoot her mother three years ago, insisting that she died in an accidental fire. Now, after being hospitalized and treated like she is “crazy,” 16-year-old Grace is getting a fresh start with her grandfather, the American ambassador to a fictional European country called Adria. But when the troubled and impulsive teen sees the scarred man in Adria and overhears him threatening another murder, she and her Embassy Row friends—Rosie, a former gymnast; Megan, a genius and hacker; and loyal Noah—try to stop him from striking again. This first book in the Embassy Row series from Gallagher Girls author Carter has plenty of promise, including clever characters, an underground tunnel system, and Grace’s hard-boiled narration (“whatever chance I had for normal disappeared three years ago”). The characters and setting are somewhat underdeveloped, and plotting can be farfetched, including Grace’s admission that she never wondered why someone would kill her mother. Even so, Carter knows how to construct a gripping thriller, and she leaves enough unanswered questions to keep readers eager for the next book. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Amy McMillan
Sixteen-year-old military brat Gracie has returned to Embassy Row in Adria where she spent most of her childhood because her grandfather has been the ambassador there for years. She has always been a magnet for trouble, from suffering broken bones to inciting near international incidents with the neighbors. But now she is the damaged shadow of her former self, suffering panic attacks and possible delusions after witnessing her mother’s murder three years prior. Now she fights to hold people at arm’s length and maintain a semblance of sanity while chasing the ghosts of The Scarred Man who she believes is responsible for the murder. When he shows up at an embassy function she loses the tenuous grasp she has on reality and finds herself racing through miles of ancient tunnels below the city in an effort to stop an assassination attempt, uncover government secrets and prove that she is not crazy after all. Packed with the kinds of charm and endearing characters that made Carter’s “Gallagher Girls” series a hit and balanced with some edge-of-your-seat twists and turns, this first installment in “Embassy Row” heralds another winning series. Reviewer: Amy McMillan; Ages 12 up.
VOYA, February 2015 (Vol. 37, No. 6) - Lindsay Grattan
This exciting first book in the Embassy Row series features sixteen-year-old Grace, who has moved into the United States Embassy on the coast of Adria with her ambassador grandfather. It is the first time in three years that she has been back to Adria, since her mother’s tragic death in a fire. She used to visit every summer, hopping the rooftops in Embassy Row and getting into trouble. Now she is looking for answers, trying to solve the mystery behind her mother’s suspicious death, which Grace thinks was a homicide. She is the only one who witnessed the fire and saw the strange man with a scar who did not show up on any security footage. When she thinks she has the answer, will anyone believe her? Grace, a self-proclaimed army brat and rebel, is haunted by the death of her mother. Throughout the novel, she hears her mother’s voice and has flashbacks to both happy and sad times together. Her quest to find the truth is one that readers will love to follow, through the twists and turns of Embassy Row and with a diverse array of characters. Some help her, and some stand in her way . . . but Grace is a fighter, and she will stop at nothing to find out what happened to her mother. Readers will love this first book in what promises to be an exciting, thrilling mystery series from best-selling author Carter. Reviewer: Lindsay Grattan; Ages 12 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
A 16-year-old Army brat, unpleasantly in the public eye, copes with grief over her dead mother and fears for her own mental health.In this new series by the author of the Gallagher Girls books, Grace is sent to live with her grandfather, the United States ambassador to Adria. Trouble-prone Grace causes an international incident on her very first day. Besides, everybody in Adria thinks she's crazy; Grace has spent the last three years insisting she saw her mother murdered by a gruesomely scarred man, though all the evidence says it was an accident. Grace doubts herself when she sees evidence of sinister doings in Adria: conspirators in the palace, secret tunnels and—worst of all—the Scarred Man walking Adria's corridors of power. Though some of the local kids try to help, Grace hates being surrounded by the competent and attractive multinational kids of Embassy Row while she's heavily medicated, prone to self-harm, and too pale and blonde to be pretty. Grace's adventure waffles among spy thriller, an examination of grief and an exploration of mental illness. It rockets wildly to and fro; the setup for the inevitable second volume doesn't follow even slightly naturally from the mystery's conclusion. Still, the mix-and-match bucket of tropes creates a not-entirely-infelicitous goofy whole: Hallucinations, mean girls and kidnappings abound. Will appeal not only to psychological-thriller fans, but to those who want a little glamour, some A-list social politics and a bit of high school nastiness mixed in with their suspense. (Thriller. 12-14)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Embassy Row Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Ally Carter is the New York Times bestselling author of the Gallagher Girls and Heist Society series. Her books have been published all over the world, in over twenty languages. She grew up on a farm in Oklahoma and has never caused an international incident (to her knowledge). You can visit her online at www.allycarter.com.

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All Fall Down (Embassy Row Series #1) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ally has done it once again. The writing is flawless and easy to follow. The first chapters all ready have you thinking and twisting. Each word leaves you hungry for more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would wait impatiently for each Ghallager Girl book and stay up all night to finish them (I'm a foreman for a communication contractor so this was a big deal). I enjoyed Katrina's exploits in the world of the big con. I could not get into this book. I did the unthinkable and had to read the ending to ensure myself that this book would eventually go somewhere. I am a huge fan of Allie Carter and will buy the sequel when it comes out, but this was not, by far, her best work. Frankly, if this book had been her first I don't think any of us would have ever heard of Cammie and Bex and the rest of the characters that we grew to love. My issues: Grace was a whiny, forgettable, embarrassing little girl. Yes she had reasons. Yes she was right in the end. I just couldn't get past the negatives. The book was too short by about 150 pages. I didnt feel like I got my money's worth. There were so many areas that screamed for more detail, more explanation, more character development. The two stars is because of Allie Carter's other works, I know she can do better. This book didnt have a quarter of the effort and work that made Heist Society great. It seemed like an outline that hadnt been fully fleshed out. If this becomes the norm then I will be done with this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Ally Carter's books. All Fall Down was just  as good as the others. I hope she makes more books from this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't normally write reviews, but this was the best book I have read in a long time.  All of her other books are amazing also.  The Heist Society series, and the Gallagher Girls series, are my favorite books ever! I love Ally Carter, and highly recommend people reading it!!  These books are not just for preteens and young adults.  My mom read it and loved it.  
Anonymous 2 days ago
Great cant even discribe it
Shawscribbles More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book but I haven't fallen in love with the series ... yet. I found Grace a character who was a bit tough to warm up to - mainly because as the reader I was stuck in her mind for the whole novel and I didn't really know what was real and what was in her head. And there are a number of different twists and turns in this futuristic, murder mystery novel. By the end of the book, I was a bit confused and not sure what to make of it all. The main weaknesses I found in this book circled around plot. Although it seems like a contemporary novel about Grace's mental unbalance (brought on by witnessing her mother's murder), it veers off in so many different directions that by the end of the book I was exhausted. I think this book just tried to be too many things at once (a murder mystery, a spy novel, a dystopian novel, a romance) and the intermingled plot lines leave the reader feeling tired by the end (rather than anticipating the next book in the series). If you are an Ally Carter fan, you may want to check this book out. For me, I doubt I'll be reading any more of this series.
ReviewerRachel More than 1 year ago
I finished this book in one sitting. I’ll admit, I was expecting a book (and series) similar to her Heist Society series, not in content, but in style. In other words, I expected it to be entertaining, but perhaps not out-of-this-world amazing. But this book was pretty much amazing. I was so engaged in Grace’s emotional/mental turmoil. My heart hurts just thinking about it. Clearly, some major research (or maybe even a close personal experience) went into this novel. Throughout the story, Grace’s friends and family beg her to give up the endeavor of looking for her mother’s killer. Because, according to them, there is no killer. I felt Grace’s doubts, and I felt her certainty of her memories. I myself was convinced of an event I was witness to, and many people, including some family, were absolutely convinced that nothing had happened. I’ve been in her shoes, where you are absolutely devoted to what you’ve seen….but the people around you are so good, and everything they say makes sense… I know what it’s like to almost believe it, but to ultimately reject alternate story lines. The Heist society was more of an event focused series, but Embassy Row is clearly a whole ‘nother bird. It’s beautifully balanced. While the plot line is almost completely mentally based, it keeps engaging the reader through Grace’s (and her friend’s) actions. In one particular scene, there was an exquisite interaction between Grace and Alexei. It was vulnerable and tender, and Grace’s thought process about the event were close to my heart. I felt her emotion, and at one point in my life, I had thought her thoughts. Grace’s flashbacks were necessary and invaluable, plenty of novels use them, but All Fall Down, made every single flashback efficient and effective. As for the physical aspect, the hunt for her mother’s killer was convincing, and came off as plausible. That’s saying something, considering how many contemporary novels also fail to execute assassin stories without turning on the Dues Ex Machina button. I absolutely CAN’T wait to get my hands on the sequel, titled “See How They Run.” I’ll definitely have an eye out for it at ALA Midwinter. I would absolutely recommend this novel to everyone. ANYONE can find something to like in this novel, I’m almost certain of it. I’m actually really sad that I read a library copy and now I have to send it back to the library. Ah well, maybe I’ll actually get a chance to buy it one day.
BoundWithWords More than 1 year ago
What I loved: · Grace: she’s an amazing main character and I knew it was love at first sight when I was laughing out loud with one of her snarky comebacks right on the first pages, she doesn’t take shit and always stand to herself and what she believes it’s true, also being raised with her military brother and father turned her able to kick-ass too. · The mystery: all through the book I was at the edge of my seat trying to figure out what the hell had happened on the night Grace’s mother died, Grace’s flashbacks and her reactions to them are so crazy and everyone seemed to be hiding stuff that it made me turn the pages very quickly – and I have to say I didn’t see that ending coming, now thinking back at some point I should have realized but I was so into the story and so worried on getting to the ending soon so I could find out everything that I didn’t really thought much about the hints while reading. · The setting: there is so much things that can be done on this setting! With Embassy for various countries of the world and all their rivalries it was so intriguing to see how heated things could turn out to be by just let's see... A scarf be saw on the wrong place *winks* What I think could have been better: · Noah, Megan & Rosie: Grace’s friends on the Embassy row just felt really… Forced. I mean, Noah starts to hang out with her because he’s told to do so and them a few chapters later they’re both really considering each other best friends, and okay Grace never really had many friends but still it was awkward. Despite this very sudden connection I did enjoyed these characters and always loved they’re on the pages, it was super cool their little group searching for clues together and the funniest moments are on their interactions so I kind of feel hard very quickly for them too? Oops, but I do expect to see more of them, not just helping Grace, having lives and interests outside the main mystery on the others books of the series. · Alexei: this characters suffers from his little time on the book (at least I thought it was little), he seemed an interesting character and I was hoping for a romance between him and Grace since their first interaction but there wasn’t enough scenes with them for me to get fully invested. Hopefully the sequel will remedy that! Overall this book was everything that I was hoping for and a little more, it was funny and snarky but it also had some emotional moments (I even teared up a little bit), the mystery took me by surprise and I loved the interactions between Grace and her friends/probably-future-boyfriend. I recommend it to every lover of detective things (like Veronica Mars) and people looking for a fast paced read that it’s fluffy but also not fluffy at all (this doesn’t make any sense, but it totally makes sense with this book).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ally carter was the first author whos writting i fell in love with. Her books has never been predictabe. This new series is going to be just as amazing as her other series of books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome Book - Lots Of Suspense, Overall, I Love This Book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love all of Ally Carter's books, and the same can be said for this one. I read it in one night and couldn't put it down. That being said, I found that this book was slightly rushed; it seemed there should be another hundred pages. Also I liked Grace overall but found her a little frustrating and annoying at points.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome ! Not as good as her Gallagher Girls Series, but still really great !!!! Highly recommend for you to read it !!!
TheAddLibrarian More than 1 year ago
All Fall Down is a great start to a new series. I didn't love it as much as Gallagher Girls or Heist Society, but I loved the characters and it's an interesting setting. Plus Ally Carter can deliver on plots! The twists still surprised me, even when I should have expected them! I'm looking forward to the rest of the series! 
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
Ally Carter’s All Fall Down had the kind of premise that made me want to jump for joy. A whole city where embassies from almost every country are next door to one another and where political scandals can occur from one wrong movement? That alone sounded interesting. Throwing in a main character whose mother was murdered and whose killer may or may not be coming after her next? That definitely sounded like my cup of tea. Having read Carter’s Heist Society, I was interested in seeing what she might do with a young female protagonist whose story takes place in an entirely different setting. All Fall Down was shocking and exhilarating and I’m not too sure I would want to experience the kind of dangerous lifestyle found in Embassy Row. I’ll stick to reading about it, thank you very much! After the murder of her mother years prior, sixteen-year-old Grace Blakely finds herself shipped off to live with her Grandfather, an American Ambassador located in Adria where he lives in Embassy Row. Though Grace feels out of place, it hurts her to know that nobody believes her about the cause of her mother’s death. Officially, documentation claims that her mother perished in a fire. But Grace remembers the night of the fire and she remembers a man with a scar murdering her mother. Reunited with her childhood friends, Grace just might be able to find some peace. However when the man with the scar resurfaces inside of Embassy Row, she realizes that there might be no time for peace, and that having friends in Embassy Row are connections worth every while. The world of All Fall Down is innovative and original. Never have I read of a setting quite like Adria and its embassy. Adria is (obviously) a fictional country that has the potential to allow teenagers to start World War III all for setting foot on the wrong soil. To say the least, it’s a place that is as glamorous as it is dangerous. Embassy Row itself is an interesting setting. The way that Carter introduces readers to the setting is done with clarity. There is no room for confusion on just what is going on in Adria or Embassy Row which is always a positive. Grace was a character who I could get behind for the most part. I loved her drive. I loved her ‘I don’t care’ attitude. She reminded me a lot of Kat from Heist Society overall in terms of her personality. I did find however that for a sixteen-year-old girl (and speaking as a teen of the same age demographic) that there were certain sections where she did not act her age at all. There were others where making her sound ‘young’ and ‘badass’ felt forced and unnatural. I’d read certain passages and just cringe with secondhand embarrassment for our protagonist. The mystery that unfolds in Embassy Row was one that kept me on the edge of my seat. All Fall Down is a story that makes you wonder about fact and fiction, what’s real and isn’t real, and the many ways that the mind might play tricks on you. Upon possibly seeing the man who killed her mother, Grace is thrown onto a path that will lead her to the truth, though the truth might not at all be what she expected. All Fall Down is a story that is definitely carried by its diverse range of secondary characters. The son of the Russian ambassador, son of the Israeli and Brazilian ambassadors, daughter to Germany’s ambassador, and the daughter to a CIA agent all carry the plot of All Fall Down. I would recommend All Fall Down to readers who are fans of Carter’s previous works. Readers who are looking for a good mystery/adventure story should also give All Fall Down a read. Any readers who are looking for a novel that is unique or want a novel that has an imaginative setting should also give it a read.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
It has been three years since Grace has seen her ambassador grandfather or set foot in the country of Adria. Now, with nowhere else to go, Grace is once again home at the American Embassy in the city of Valancia. Three years is a long time to be away, but distance has done nothing to dampen the painful memories of her mother's death. In fact, returning to her mother's childhood home only brings it all back in painful detail. Returning to Valancia, Grace is more convinced than ever that her mother was murdered; even more convinced that she has to do everything she can to find the killer and make him pay. Until then Grace has not one but two annoyingly present boys to deal with and a mess of secrets to untangle as she hunts for the truth. Living on Embassy Row among the other international embassies is like living on a very thin ledge where one wrong move can push Grace over forever in All Fall Down (2014) by Ally Carter. All Fall Down is the first book in Carter's Embassy Row series. It's hard sometimes to reconcile immeasurably high hopes for a book with the reality of reading said book. Ally Carter has already received wide (and well-deserved) acclaim for her Gallagher Girls and Heist Society novels as well as legions of loyal fans. All Fall Down marks a dramatically different direction for Carter's writing. Grace is still a witty and sharp narrator but she is also abrasive. Grace is also rash to the point of being reckless, something that can rarely be said for Carter's other heroines. The pain and grief of her mother's death is fresh and palpable throughout the novel. The sense of loss and regret is often so palpable that it is hard to read through. In many ways, All Fall Down feels like the natural progression for Carter's writing career as she continues to push her prose and her protagonists in new directions. The writing remains excellent and evocative as Grace delves into her new surroundings as well as a not-so-new mystery. While the plot sounds sleek and polished, All Fall Down is much grittier with as many raw edges as Grace herself. Unfortunately, this darker tone also lessens the charm and humor readers familiar with Carter's previous YA novels might expect to find here. Unfortunately, with such a radically new premise (not to mention a country entirely of Carter's own invention) almost all of All Fall Down is setup. Some parts of the initial plot are resolved but many are left dangling to be pursued in later installments. Instead of a start to a new series, this book feels more like a supplementary prequel as readers are left waiting for the actual story to start. All Fall Down does once again highlight what Carter does so very well as she moves in an entirely new direction. A promising start to a new series for fans of thrillers and twisty suspense novels. Possible Pairings: The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, 17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma, Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten, The Space Between Trees by Katie Williams
The_Hardcover_Lover More than 1 year ago
According to FTC guidelines, I must disclose that the publisher sent me a free galley of this book for review purposes. All Fall Down, the first book in the Embassy Row series by Ally Carter, is an excellent series starter. The novel reads rather quickly, but it has a very intriguing plot that I left me impressed and ready for more! This will be one of those books that you'll want to stay up until four in the morning just to read it. What I really love about this book is how flawlessly Ms. Carter ties together so many different elements. Ally Carter creates a world of grace, beauty, and elegance in Adria but it's also a world full of diplomacy, tension, and power. While I was reading, I was able to tell that there is some unrest in Adria between many of the many countries on Embassy Row, but I was also glad that it did not have a political feel to it. The characters in All Fall Down are ones that teens will enjoy reading about. Grace is sixteen, but because of something in her past, she is a bit immature. There were certain points where I could really tell that she had a hard time growing up because it seems like she is thirteen which is the age she was when her mother was murdered. She's a bit of a tomboy, and I love that Carter included some of her not so graceful moments. Grace has a new group of friends waiting for her when she gets to Embassy Row, and they include Noah, Megan, and Rosie. I was able to tell that they all really cared for Grace, but I was hoping to learn a little more about them, especially Megan and Rosie. I'll be looking forward to seeing how they develop in book two. Then there's Alexei, the Russian who lives next door to Grace. He was also Grace's brother's best friend when they were younger. He's a bit mysterious, and I enjoyed the moments that he shared with Grace. I really like Carter's writing style. It's easy to follow and entertaining. There were many humorous moments in this book, but there were also some serious ones, and her words reflect those types of moments. The book has a very nice flow, and readers will definitely be able to see a mental image of Adria in their minds. I already know fans of Ally Carter cannot wait to get their hands on this book, but I also think this would be a great book for readers who are graduating from middle grade novels and moving on to young adult literature.
Brookes_Books More than 1 year ago
I love Ally Carter's books.  I have read both the Gallagher Girls Books and the Heist Society Books.  HERE is a list of her books from her website.  I have not read her other books, but having read these two series, I was very excited to read what she had for us next.  She did not disappoint me. I spent 5 years of my life in Brussels, Belgium.  My dad worked in International Business.  We met people from all over the world.  In our neighborhood there was an Embassy.  I remember guards as we walked to friends' homes.  (OK, I just looked it up.  It was the Chinese Embassy).  Since I was a kid I have been interested in other countries, cultures, and customs.  This book added international relations/diplomacy as well as intrigue and mystery.  So many things that I like! I liked the mystery and conspiracy in this book.  What really happened?  There were times I thought I knew where this book was going.  I was SO WRONG!  Ally Carter did an excellent job of keeping the reader in the dark.  I loved the surprises. I loved the secondary characters.  It seemed to me that the only true main character was Grace.  All of the other characters were secondary to me.  Some of them were fantastic (I love Rosie!). Knowing that this book was the first in a series, I wasn't surprised by the in depth "set up".  We have to get to know this world, these characters.  At times it was a bit tedious.  I admit that it was because I wanted to find out what happened.  I was a bit impatient.  And as much as Ally Carter wrapped up the immediate story,  she definitely left us with a cliff hanger.  Now I have to wait for the next one!  When, Ally, when?!!! This book had a lot more angst than I am used to in Ally Carter's books.  Grace was told that she was crazy, was put on medication, and even restrained.  She questioned everything she ever thought and was worried about bringing other people down with her.  At times I didn't like her for it.  Then, there was one point where I empathized with her so much that I was brought to tears.  My heart broke for her.   Warnings: Death in family, mental illness, but I consider it a clean read I would definitely let my teenage daughters read this book.  They will love it!
bookshelfbelle More than 1 year ago
All Fall Down is, at the heart of it all, a novel about a sixteen year old girl with severe PTSD. Grace watched her mother die when she was thirteen, and never recovered. The novel then follows Grace as she struggles to identify and stop her mother's killer, and at the end of the novel we are rewarded with the full story of what really happened. An ambiguous cliffhanger ending is what really saved this novel from me giving it a lower rating, and the set up for the rest of the series is what gives me hope that the following books will be much more fun and interesting.  This novel takes place in only a few weeks during summer, but those weeks are hell for Grace and she is a changed girl by the end of it. Her mantra seems to be, "I am not crazy. I am not crazy," whether she is saying it to herself or shouting it to others. The weakest point of the novel was the development of the supporting characters who are all other teenagers on Embassy Row. Some grew better than others, but some fell completely flat. Hopefully these kids will become bigger players in the following books, because they are so interesting and have lots of potential to mature and have fun alongside Grace. Though this book is technically YA, I feel like it falls more towards the middle grade end of the spectrum similar to how Ally Carter's other novels do. There is minimal romance, violence, gore, swearing, etc. The standout in All Fall Down really is the beautiful setting in Valencia and the political intrigue that Ally Carter is so well known for.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good. Exactly what I wanted to read however, it was a tad predictable in certain places, however in others I was incredibly surprised where the story went. I love all of Ally Carter's stories and this one is no different.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I read this book in two days I couldn't put it down. I can't wait to read the next book you can tell that there will be an second book with the way it ended. I hope it comes out soon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
I'll be honest, I wasn't a fan of Ally Carter's first series so I wasn't as excited for this one as as everyone else. This time I thought I new better than to get my hopes up. But this time I was surprised. I ended up enjoying this more than I though. <br /> Grace's mother died in a fire. Well so they say. Grace believes she was killed but no one believes her. Grace will do everything in her power to ensure that they finally start believing her and that they find who did it. Proving that she saw a scarred man and he's the one who killed her mother is difficult as her grandfather is the US Ambassador and a very busy man.The fact that they're surrounded by other Ambassadors and Prime Ministers makes it hard to just exist. <br /> I loved that this mystery was so fast paced. There was something happening on every turn of the page! There were cliffhanger chapters and alot of things that surprised me each and every time. But that's something that I love. Making me say &quot;One more chapter&quot; and then making me say that five more times in the same sitting shows that the book is good and addictive. I love being surprised, especially with mysteries. <br /> The best part of this story was the fact that I wasn't able to guess the person who did it until the very end. Normally I can guess before every piece of evidence is given to the reader, but this time I didn't guess it until right before. I'm so glad I didn't get it too early. That kind of thing can ruin my reading experience. <br /> The only thing I wasn't happy with was the ending. I'm all for a cliff hanger and all, but to have one where nothing was really answered. I mean the facts were given, but there were no &quot;why&quot; questions answered. I get it, it makes me want to go and read the second one, but the rest of the story had already done that. I would've read it regardless of what the ending was. It just felt incomplete to leave it the way it was. <br /> Although I wasn't a fan of her first series, Carter's second one has definitely changed my mind on her writing. This fast paced mystery will have readers on the edge of their seats flipping page after page to get all the answers. Forewarning though... That ending is a doozie.<br />
valercrazy More than 1 year ago
I don't know if you've heard Ally talk about this particular book but she has wanted to write this book for years; right around the time that she sold Heist Society she got the idea for this book and that was way back in 2007. She loves this book and that's why I loved this book, I could feel her love infused in Grace and the pages which was a wholly beautiful and completely unique to me as a reader. I reviewed I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it but this, this was different. It was amazing. Grace. Grace, Grace, Grace, Grace. Oh, our main character was quite the flawed one. Ally describes Grace as someone with nothing to lose which makes her different, she has such blind passion that she doesn't notice the destruction that she leaves in her wake. Oh, Grace. She was a heartbreakingly beautiful character and I don't think I'll ever forget her. Her choices were not always logical but after her traumatic past paired with everyone's insistence that she's mentally unstable, the truth is hard to keep a grasp on. I could talk about Grace all day but there are other aspects to this book that I should probably address. The world building was stinking amazing, I could walk into Embassy Row and know everything about it; the picture is so vivid in my mind that it was easy to follow Grace and her friends around. Speaking of her friends... Talk about a motley crew. I loved them all. We have Noah, who keeps Grace on her toes and is the first person to truly trust Grace no questions asked, Rosie, the AMAZING little girl who is daring, Megan, who proves that a girl is much more than her appearances, and Alexei, oh Alexei. Ally writes good friendships and she did it again. The friendships were different because Grace is different but it was still reminiscent of her other series.  As with Ally's other books, the romance takes a backseat but it might take too much of a backseat for me. Meaning: I never want to end a book wondering if that scene actually involved a kiss or not. I need the words &quot;lips&quot; and &quot;kiss&quot;. I can't wait for it to develop in the following books though. Basically, this is all sorts of right. I have always loved Ally's writing but this is actually about an age-range that I'm more accustomed to. LOVED.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago