Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

All Fall Down (Embassy Row, #1)

All Fall Down
by Ally Carter
From the publisher:
"A new series of global proportions -- from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter.

Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:

1. She is not crazy.
2. Her mother was murdered.
3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.

As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her -- so there's no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.

Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can't control Grace -- no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her 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."

I was torn on this book, there were things I loved and things that kind of turned me off. The Embassy Row concept was really fun and very interesting. I wonder how realistic it was? Living in a foreign country surrounded by other embassies would be a unique way to grow up. However, I had a hard time really liking the main character, even though I appreciated the pain and mental anguish she was in. And I really didn't like the ending. But the book kept me enthralled and I did enjoy reading it. Although I had a hard time liking the main character, Grace, I liked the kids who befriended her. I bet all of their personalities will be even more fleshed out in upcoming books. And I'm still not sure whether I trust one of the adult figures. I think middle schoolers and above will like this and I will recommend it to them. I'm interested to see what happens in coming books.  This author already has a huge following in my library because of her Gallagher Girls series and her Heist Society series (which are awesome!).  This one should be popular.

Areas of concern:
*I don't remember any bad language.
*There are some scary moments where the main character feels like her life is in danger.
*Intense flashbacks to her mother's death.
*A romance is hinted at.

Suggested Ages:
Booklist - Grades 7-10
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 12+

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