ARC Review: See How They Run-Ally Carter

See How They RunGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

“Vengeance is like gravity for me. Always present, pulling me in a direction that I can no longer feel. It is simply the fact of my life, of who I am. Someday, though, I’m going to break free. And when that happens, I may very well just float away.”

“She looks toward a sky she can’t see, reaches out for a sun she can’t touch. One wing unfurled behind her, its tip long since rotted away. Her other wing is broken. And I know this poor angel will never fly again.”

synInside every secret, there’s a world of trouble. Get ready for the second book in this new series of global proportions–from master of intrigue, New York Times bestselling author Ally Carter.

Grace’s 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 stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

The twists get twistier and the turns get even more shocking in the second thrilling installment of Embassy Row.

review3/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via Edelweiss & Scholastic Press.

PROS: 

  • Grace has grown up a lot but is still flawed; that’s what makes her lovable and easy to identify with. She has doubts. But as the story progresses, she recognizes bold, and sometimes painful truths about herself. The girl is a poet. Some of her internal dialogue is stunning (see above quotes). She’s courageous, a risk taker, and pretty BA. She works through the lies and secrets, scrambling to get to the truth and she never gives up. She perseveres through everything. 
  • FINALLY. The tension has been building since book one and this book is even more intense. Grace and Alexei. ❤ ❤ ❤ Alexei is made of swoon. He’s always there for Grace, protecting her like an adorably, sexy guard dog. That accent, his general gorgeousness, and the way he slinks into the night and pops up out of nowhere. Hot, hot, hot. There are several moments where you’ll want to flip forward because of the anticipation and other, sweet intimate moments where you’ll want to strangle Alexei and say KISS HER ALREADY! Electric. absolutely, fantastically, off-the-pages lightning. 
  • Grace and her brother, James, open up to each other for the first time and it makes their relationship 10x stronger. James is a cautious and concerned older brother, he worries about his baby sister, treating her like she’s more fragile than she is. She’s precious to him, you can tell. Where Grace is always worried James will blame her for her mother’s death, never once does he look at her with anything but glowing love. Their bond is wonderful and solid. The scenes where they tease each other and share memories show a softer, younger side of Grace that came before her breakdown and loss of her mother. The playful, adventurous Grace that wasn’t bogged down by guilt and fear. 

CONS:

  • The plot twist felt randomly inserted and like a last minute add. So much that leads to the twist was thrown in towards the end that the result is pretty predictable. Yet, you’ll wonder, what’s the point? Is it even relevant anymore? 
  • All the secrets and history are revealed at once. While it connects, there are hundreds of questions and the answers are too few. It only leads to more questions and fury. It seems overwhelming, an overload because you’ll be plagued by so many information gaps.
  • There are numerous plot lines running simultaneously that don’t really work well together and make the story far less clear than it could have been. There story is unfocused and flits between different elements without and real guidance. The pieces are there, they just weren’t sorted well. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Happy reading,

Jordan

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Review: All Fall Down-Ally Carter

22571275Goodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

cooltext1889161239 copyA new series of global proportions — from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter.

This exciting new series from NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter focuses on Grace, who can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world, and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.

Now, at age sixteen, she’s come back to stay–in order to solve the mystery of her mother’s death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.

cooltext1889171582 copy3/5 Stars

All Fall Down is a tantalizing mystery that straddles the line between good old-fashioned sleuthing and reckless abandon. Grace questions her sanity and her heart as she struggles to find the truth buried beneath politics, lies, and expectations. 

PROS:

  • Grace’s hysteria and bull-headed certainty is wild, chaotic, and gets her in tons of trouble. Grace leaps into action in hilarious, clumsy antics that could potentially cause World War III-seriously. Bursting at the seams with emotions that propel her ever onward in her quest for answers, Grace barely has time to think let alone deal with the consequences of her actions. Grace is traumatized by an event that turned her world upside down, she has moments of panic-filled PTSD that typically turns into something embarrassing that she’s helpless to prevent. Grace gets worked up easily and lets her emotions rule. Grace’s fear and sadness is real, she’s desperate to find her mother’s killer, so much so that she’ll risk anything, even her life. This steady goal is almost manic at times and it’s easy to sympathize with her.
  • An unexpected and startling twist that turns the entire story on its head. What you thought was solid disappears in a cloud of smokey uncertainty. Nothing is what it seems.
  • Slight romance. What I loved and respected about All Fall Down was that it’s not romance centered. In fact, romance barely makes it into the plot. All Fall Down is about picking up the pieces after loss, self discovery, mourning, and justice. Romance is secondary and only when Grace starts to figure out who she is does it kindle. 
  • Noah is light and playful, he brings Grace out of her shell and gets her to laugh again. His friendship is honest and understanding, he believes her and that’s everything.

CONS:

  • Secondary characters, for the most part, were unremarkable. The premise was fascinating. Kids from all different cultures united under their parents’ roles in the Embassy. I wish there had been more of this-the culture, the friendships, the various relationships between countries. These characters were introduced and many faded into the background or were typical, like the cliché mean girl. 
  • Some sections drag. As Grace scrambles to find her footing and avoid stirring up an international catastrophe, a lot of speculation and wandering happens. While critical to the plot, it’s extensive and was slow to pick up until the end.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Happy reading,

cooltext1754437870 copy