Carter has created yet another powerful teen girl in All Fall Down, the first book in her new Embassy Row series.
Grace has been sent to live with her grandfather, the ambassador, in the U.S. Embassy in the fictitious country of Adria. Grace's mother died three years ago, and her father is away serving our country.
Grace witnessed the death of her mother, who she believes was murdered by a man with a scar on his face. The authorities claim it was an accident, and that her mother died in a fire. When Grace sees the scarred man in Adria, all of the counseling she has received goes down the drain as she tries to determine who this man is, and make him pay.
Grace is assisted by some other teens -- all kids who live in various embassies in Adria. They sometimes believe her, but sometimes it is difficult because she has no support from the adults in her life. When she overhears the scarred man talk about committing another murder, their quest to find him and stop him gets even more exciting -- and dangerous.
Even though there are tense parts in All Fall Down, the story has a lighthearted tone, and even a hint of romance towards the end. Grace and her friends are rebels, doing things over and over again in defiance of the rules. This is especially dangerous because breaking the rules could mean starting a war!
As with Carter's other series (The Gallagher Girls and Heist Society) the plot is a bit far-fetched. But the determination and resourcefulness of these characters makes it worth going along for the ride. Grace seems to be a more troubled character than those in the other series. The dramatic ending reveal is, of course, a bit unbelievable too, but that's not why we read these books. The ending is satisfying, although it leaves much room for the continuation of the series.
The pace is frantic, and the book reads very quickly. Teens who have enjoyed Carter's books will definitely want to check out All Fall Down.
Published by Scholastic, January 15, 2015
ARC obtained from Library Media Connection Magazine
310 pages (qualifies for my Books You Can Read in a Day Challenge!)
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