If you don’t really read YA fiction you probably haven’t heard of Ally Carter despite the fact that her first two novels were adult books. If you have heard of Ally Carter then you may be familiar with Cammie from the Gallagher Girl novels or Kat from the Heist Society series. I am happy to say that in January, Ally introduced the world to Grace from All Fall Down the first book in the new Embassy Row series. Grace, like her predecessors, is an amazing, relatable character.
Grace is actually the first of Carter’s main characters to not be raised for a specific special skill. Cammie attended spy school and Kat was raised in a family of conmen and women learning to case museums for heists. Grace however, grew up as an army brat with her dad and her brother who occasionally visited her grandfather, the United States ambassador to Adria, during the summer. Those trips stopped when Grace’s mother died and now three years later Grace has to go live with her grandfather in the embassy. Once she arrives, she believes she sees the face of the man who killed her mother, and with the help of her new friends she is determined to find him and bring him to justice.
What was really beautiful about this book was that the characters were from all different places. For the most part they had been raised in Adria but Grace’s friends were all children who grew up in their respective embassies. Grace’s closest friends are Russian, German, Israeli and Brazilian but there are characters from many more countries. Each character came from a different background and when they got together they made an awesome team because they each brought something different to the table. Grace and her friends Noah, Rosie, and Megan, are all from different places and have different skills but when it comes down to it, they’re alike in many more ways than they are different.
I really connected with Grace in this book. She’s clumsy and impulsive but the choices she makes are done out of love and compassion. No one besides her friends believe that she has found the man who killed her mother, so Grace has to tell herself that she knows she is not crazy, a word no one but herself has used for her. She is passionate, determined, strong willed, and overall an extremely likable and relatable character. Grace brings you on a journey to find out what happened to her mother and teaches you that sometimes to get the answers you need, you have to trust yourself and keep fighting for what you believe in.
You can find a local bookstore at which to purchase All Fall Down here. If you’ve read it, share your thoughts in the comments!