ARC Review: See How They Run-Ally Carter

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“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:

sweet liar1713458991cMHG1mVaLsuspicion

 

 

 

 

 

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:

81eFjabvDxL91cMHG1mVaL91tCLhkkWfL 14798443

 

 

 

Happy reading,

cooltext1754437870 copy

Review: The Heist Society- Ally Carter

4/5 Stars

The Heist Society(The Heist Society, #1)- Ally Carter

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Thieves aren’t supposed to want too much-which is ironic, but true. Never live anyplace you can’t walk away from. Never own anything you can’t leave behind. These were the laws of Kat’s life-of Kat’s world. As she watched her father sip hot coffee and sneak smiles at her over the top of the cup, she knew that, strictly speaking, no thief is ever supposed to love anything as much as she loved him.

Plot: After years of learning the art of pickpocketing, lying, and techniques to rival the CIA when it comes to a good old-fashioned B&E or lifting priceless paintings from famed impenetrable fortresses with state of the art technology, all Katerina (Kat) Bishop wants is to be normal. For three months she gets her wish, attending the prestigious Colgan school and passing as an average, attractive, yet mysterious teenager. Kat is happy that she doesn’t have to think and she finally gets to relax, everything is going just as she planned until someone frames her for a school prank. When the headmaster’s mint condition Porsche ends up perched on top of the school fountain, Kat has to face the honor board, and some very incriminating evidence. For once in her life, Kat is telling the truth though everyone thinks she’s lying. Kat is expelled from school, and her chance at normalcy vanishes as quickly as the view of the school in her rearview mirror. Kat is whisked away in a limo by her very sexy friend Hale, and reunited with some family members. Kat comes from a family of the best thieves in the world, but she wants nothing more than to pack her bags and get back to school, away from the lifestyle. When Kat learns that her father has been framed much like she was, for a heist he couldn’t have participated in, and that the notorious mobster-like Arturo is after him, Kat puts her life on the line to save her father. Teaming up with Hale, her prissy cousin Gabrielle, and some other unlikely criminal masterminds, Kat will attempt to accomplish the impossible, robbing the highest security museum in the world, retrieving Arturo’s missing paintings, and granting her father a clean slate but will she be able to get the paintings, save her father, and escape scot-free? You’ll just have to read and see. 🙂

PROS:

  • Kat is a crafty, inventive, understated, gorgeous, witty, sarcastic powerhouse of a character. She is very Sherlock Holmes in with her sleuthing skills, and ingenious with her catchy names for robbing methods. The smallest details were fun, and just unbelievably quirky. Kat is so likable and easy to identify and sympathize with. Her confusion over boys, and internal struggle between who she is, and who she wants to be feels so genuine.
  • The writing style is simple, to the point, and flows smoothly.
  • Playful banter, cheeky comments, hilarious lines, and flirty dialogue flowed throughout.
  • The whole story was lighthearted and just a feel good book despite the threat of her father’s death, Kat was so passionately determined that there was little doubt that whatever Kat set her mind to she would succeed.
  • Hale and Nick. Both love interests have their own positive qualities and easily swoon worthy.
  • If you know nothing about spy technology don’t worry! You’ll learn and be amazed by the sheer information and how it is applied to make the story feel authentic.
  • The depictions of various countries and the use of Russian heritage was very interesting.

CONS:

  • There weren’t really any cons it just didn’t have the special something that takes a book to 5 star level.

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MindGames_coverthe it girl

-BB