Genre: young adult – mystery
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.
“All Fall Down” is overall a good young adult book with lots of action, likeable and mysterious characters and plot twists. While I didn’t find it as entertaining as the Heist society, or the mysteries as well though out as those of the Gallagher girls, it’s a nice beginning of a new series by Ally Carter.
The plot gets a slow, hesitant applause from me. A girl who no one believe when she says someone killed her mother? Sure. Living at a embassy? Better. Spying? Great concept. The characters? Mixed feelings. Predictability? Halfway into the book I could guess the ending, even if I was only partly right.
The flow of the book wasn’t like it should have been either. Some places the writing got messy because suddenly a lot of action needed to happen simultaneously. It’s especially a problem towards the ending. I have read worse, but it throws you off, especially for younger readers.
“Keep your chin up. Eventually, you will meet someone who cares about your opinion. I’m so sorry I’m not her.”
That quote describes Grace pretty well. I’ve always liked Ally Carter’s previous characters and Grace is no exception. She’s a sarcastic, brave, spontanious, witty and a paranoid person. Really, she jumps off brick walls into different countries. What is there not to like? However, she’s also troubled, in a way that added something to the story. First I thought she got panick attacks, which she does in a way, but it’s more like flashbacks. I don’t know if that was the best way to tell this story, but it works? Kind of. Something else I miss is the relationship between the characters. There are so much potential there. COME ON, they’re embassy kids. From all over the world, all different kids stuck in the same situation. The diversity, stories, cultures and friendships that could have been exchanged. But you really don’t get to hear a lot from them. Mostly it’s because Grace is stuck in her own head, which I can understand, but I feel like they haven’t got enough time together. Perhaps in the next book. Right now the other kids seem more like ghosts who follows her, but only because they’re bored.
There are also a few very cheesy elements in this book, like the fine line between peace and war. Could really this bunch of kids, actually teenagers – they just act like kids, start a war by running around? The adults seem to think so, but they don’t do anything about it. Except for those cheesy conversations and “don’t worry about it”. I’m not buying it.
I want to say I just felt a little too old for this book, but my eleven-year-old self would definitely like this book. It’s well-written in places, in others it seems unfinished. The plot is built on too many assumptions for it to feel remotely real. Teenagers, even if they act like kids, aren’t that far off from the rest of the world as this book make it seem. Especially not if they’ve grown up around dimplomats, I would believe. Still, I’ll read the next book when it comes out.