All Fall Down - Embassy Row #1
After three years, Grace is returning to live in the American embassy in Adria, where her grandfather works. Her mother's death three years ago has shaken Grace, especially because something about it isn't right. Grace has memories - not just of the fire, but of a scarred man. She has tried to tell people what really happened that night, but no one believes her. Her grandfather wants her to put on a dress and appear politely at diplomatic functions, but Grace isn't sure she can be that person. Instead, she wants revenge against the man who killed her mother.
This book is the first in the Embassy Row series.
This is a fast-paced story with lots of questions about who Grace can trust, and whether she is a reliable narrator, or whether she might be crazy. A strength is that there are many strong female characters who show their talents in different ways. A weakness is that the book is clearly written to be part of a series, so some relationships and characters are introduced, but never fully developed within the book.
The plot is not terribly surprising, and the writing is not full of lyrical delights, but it's an action thriller fit for middle school. The content includes danger without being deeply disturbing, and it's meant to be read quickly, turning pages, rather than re-read as a classical favorite that teaches you new things with each read.
"You are the daughter of a major in the United States Army. You are the granddaughter of the United States' foremost ambassador to Europe. You cannot break into embassies of hostile governments, Grace. I didn't realize someone had to spell that out to you, but I'm spelling it out now." p. 67
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