terça-feira, 17 de fevereiro de 2015

Review: All Fall Down [Embassy Row #1], Ally Carter

All Fall Down [Embassy Row #1]
by Ally Carter
Edition: 2015
Pages: 320
Editor: Hachette Children's Books
Grace is absolutely certain of three things: ´
1. She isn't crazy. 
2. Her mother was murdered. 
3. Someday she's going to find the man with the scar, and then she is going to 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 an 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 un-pretty 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 all stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

Rating: 4/5

This ARC edition was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. You can read the first chapter for free here.
As a fan of Ally Carter I would like to say that I wasn't sure about what to expect of her new book. Don't get me wrong I loved Heist Society and the Gallagher Girls and was excited that a new series was on it's way but at the same time I was sad that Ally's new book wasn't Heist Society #4 (which should totally have been by the way!). However Ally didn't fail to impress and now I can't wait for the next book in this new series.
Now Grace might be absolutely certain of three things but so are we as readers, The first is that Ally continues to use her first person point of view that she also used in Heist Society and the Gallagher Girls, so fans of the old series won't fell as much of a clash going in the new one. Second Grace, a bit like Cammie, has suffered a traumatic event and has experiences PTSD, and contrary to romanticizing this condition Ally does show us how it can affect day to day life, this also makes Grace a very unreliable narrator because sometimes the action is paused as she has her attacks which means that we lose bits of information or don't get to see a scene coming to an end. Third everyone would love to live on Embassy Row and by that I mean here's my passport, here are my bags, let's go.
Ally kept true to herself in this book, friendship is still the main theme, family is important, love takes time and makes funny puns when it's possible. Even so I have to say that this book seemed a little bit more darker than her previous ones, it also seemed aimed at slightly older audiences (for instants I would recommend Gallagher Girls for a 12 year old, not so sure about Embassy Row) I believes this is so because of Grace's PTSD which is explored through out the book. Now we know by flashes that Grace has been to psychologists and that she had therapy, we also know that she is trying to fight it on her own because she doesn't want her pills anymore. Grace's struggle is easily relatable to anyone who has gone through any of these things and might shed a light to people who haven't and make young people more aware that having PTSD or any other conditions don't stop you from being a hero.
Embassy Row is an amazing setting because, and let's be honest, it's a giant chess board. All this embassies side by side with walls that may or may not touch (looking at America and Russia!) are connected and one little inside might be reason for world war III to break out. Everyone is on their toes except, even the children of the ambassadors that have lived there all their lives know their places and how to act. Grace of course is our wild card, someone who has a vague idea of what's going on but still can't see the whole puzzle.
Although I fell Ally has a set of characters that she tends to re-create, like the funny one, the hurt friend, and so on, I like who she keeps exploring them and giving them new insights, Grace's group is a mixture of nationalities, ages and sexes which is something that Ally likes to do and creates a more diverse reading (also there's always someone who speaks Portuguese so kudos for that!).
All in all I recommend All Fall Down for fans of the previous works of the author because they will immediately recognize Ally's writing style and fell welcome one but I would also recommend the book for new fans as I believe this is one of Ally most interesting plots and very unexpected endings. I give it 4 starts and wait impatiently for volume two!
To finish I would like to say that I actually ended up buying the book and got free mascara with it. So that was a two in one Ala Gallagher Girls and Heist Society, looking fabulous while taking over the world.

 Cat / Ki
Known bookaholic and writer on free weekends. Cat loves books and everything that's related to them. Sometimes she has feelings and opinions about books and the world and she writes about them in her blog Encruzilhadas Literárias. She also has a personal GoodReads account and she believes the world is a better place for it (AKA no more repeated books from relatives as gifts). She lives in the UK and can often be found either in Waterstones or the Charity Shops.

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