Book Review: All Fall Down

all fall downTitle: 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.

Plot Summary

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.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: All Fall Down

  1. Great, evenhanded review! I have avoided Ally Carter’s books because they do seem a bit surface-level, though at the same time I know I should not have that judgment without trying one of her stories first. The mental illness portion of your thoughts inclines me toward this one, though I will wait and see. Sorry that you did not like it more, though I am glad you think others might enjoy it (also, I really appreciate your self-awareness of your jadedness.) (:

    • Ha! I’m so glad you think it’s an even-handed review – it doesn’t feel like one! If you want to read Carter, I strongly recommend the Gallagher Girls series – as individual books, they’re nothing spectacular, but taken as a series, it’s a pretty good read.

      I am honestly quite excited to see what she does with the mental illness. She touched on it throughout the book, but really threw a bombshell towards the end, and I hope she expands on that.

      I’ve been reading far too long not to know I’m jaded! Since “there’s nothing new under the sun” and I’m a prolific reader, it’s harder to find writing that really surprises me. Reader’s curse, I guess.

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