Title: All Fall Down
Series: Embassy Row #1
Author: Ally Carter
Oh look, Ally Carter wrote another book about a girl in a high-stakes world! Maybe this will be good!
I’m too cynical. But Carter’s well on her way to being pigeon-holed. And since I get bored with similar plot lines, I might stop reading her stuff soon…
Thankfully, All Fall Down has more redeeming qualities than Perfect Scoundrels did.
Grace is just a normal 16 year old girl living at the American embassy in (fictional) Adria. She’s surrounded by hot embassy guys, attending royal parties, and, oh, hunting her mother’s murderer. And she’s not crazy.
This is a typical Carter book – bit of glamour, dead parent, some sleuthing/breaking laws, hot guys, “normal” girl, etc.
It’s too short. Even though the novel claims 320 pages, the story feels like it’s barely started before it ends.
The relationships aren’t very deep. I get that this is a series, so probably some depth will emerge, but Grace’s friendships formed too quickly and typically. But maybe I’m just a jaded reader. Also, it’s possible I’m too old for Carter’s writing now. She is definitely not trying to grow with her audience, which is completely her prerogative, but a bit sad for early Gallagher fans.
Mental illness. The major conflict of the novel revolves around whether Grace is actually crazy or not. Kudos to Carter for tackling the topic. I’m very curious to see how she develops that issue in further books.
Nice light read, especially for someone younger/less jaded than me. Probably also worth the read if you like Carter’s writing or want to see mental illness in YA fiction. Otherwise, it’s a bit cliché.