All Fall Down by Ally Carter
All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1), by Ally Carter • Published by Scholastic Press • ★★★½ • Goodreads • MILD SPOILERS!This is my first time reading a novel by Ally Carter, even though she already has several books out before the Embassy Row series, and I had a rather pleasant experience -- despite the somewhat crazy book.
The blurb on Goodreads writes that the protagonist, Grace Blakely, is "a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel". I say that she is crazy, which is funny, because the opposite is written on the back of the hardcover. Grace is absolutely certain she is not crazy. However, for the most part of the book, we follow Grace through her eyes so it is almost hard to not think that she is crazy. I kept wavering between thinking she's batshit crazy and the fact that she is haunted by her past.
I think that was what made the story hard to digest. It was very fractured and I don't mean the writing. It's just because Grace is broken and I feel that I'm motion sick as she kept making progress and then makes startling halts.
The supporting characters were decent. I liked them well enough but they felt more like tools. For a while, I even though Rosie was a figment of Grace's imagination, but it was just my own conjectures running wild. I was really attracted to Alexei though, despite his infrequent appearances. I guess I just like the brooding but caring best friend of the brother types.
What I really enjoyed was actually the plot twist, also the climax of the story! It was absolutely unpredictable and I didn't even imagine it. I kept drifting back to Alexei, the best friend of Jamie (Grace's brother), thinking he had something to do with it. I even suspected Ms. Chancellor and her grandfather. So for that excellent brainwashing, I give you the best Citizen Kane clap I can muster, Ms. Carter. Well played, ma'am, well played.