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December 26, 2014

Double Reviews: All Fall Down by Ally Carter & Little White Lies by Katie Dale

All Fall Down (Embassy Row, #1)Title: All Fall Down (Embassy Row, #1)
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Scholastic Canada
Publication date: January 27, 2015
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary/Mystery)
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 320
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 an 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 all stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.
I have always enjoyed Ally Carter's writing, so when I received All Fall Down in the mail, I was excited to pick it up. However, I feel that I might have grown out of Carter's writing? All Fall Down felt slightly childish in writing and might appeal to people younger than me. It has an air of mystery, especially surround the main lead, Grace's, mother's death. I thought Grace was such a rebel but sometimes it felt a bit too excessive? She's a military brat who witnessed something tragic so she obviously has many scars to deal with, however I wished the method of dealing wasn't as one dimensional and obvious as in this book. I have to point out that I loved that this whole book is set in an embassy and in the embassy area. All the embassy kids were a ton of fun especially Noah and Rosie. I also liked Alexei. If you are looking for a romance, it is pretty non existent in All Fall Down (but hints at a possibility in the upcoming books). 
The mystery aspect of the novel, even though I was able to predict part of it, was surprising to me in some other parts. I was delighted to see that I didn't predict it all and the mystery was able to surprise me. That is always a plus for mystery novels. This book is 320 pages but I feel that the content didn't have to necessarily be this long. I wish we got more information on the culture and city of Adrian (a fictional european country). It felt like all Grace did was figure out the mystery. I wished there was more contemporary in it. However, overall, I do think All Fall Down will be a hit for younger teens, especially with a very interesting mystery. I just wasn't completely invested in the story as well as all the characters. 
Little White Lies

Title: Little White Lies
Author: Katie Dale
Publisher: Random House Canada
Publication date: December 9, 2014
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary/Mystery)
Source: Publisher
Format: Finished copy
Pages: 384
The first time Lou meets mysterious Christian, she knows he is The One. But Christian is hiding a terrible secret. Why does he clam up every time Lou asks about his past? Why doesn’t he have any family photos, and why does he dye his blond hair black? When Christian’s house goes up in flames, his tires are slashed, and he flees for his life, Lou insists on going with him. But as Christian’s secret is unveiled in front of the whole world, it seems everything he’s ever told Lou is a lie. Can what the media are saying about him really be true? Should Lou trust him? Or is she in grave danger? And what if their accidental meeting wasn’t an accident at all...?
I am very disappointed in Little White Lies. Have you seen the ratings on goodreads? I am definitely in the minority when it comes to how I rate and feel about Little White Lies. Bottom line, I disliked it and thought half of what went on in the book to be completely ridiculous. It is a mystery contemporary but all I got was full on romance until the last 100 pages or so. Lou starts university, which is only mentioned very briefly at the beginning. Don't you think a university student would spend the majority of their time at university? that wasn't the case for Lou. Also, she has a 'best friend' who she literally met two weeks ago. Wow, they sure jump to best friend status fast. Then we've got the Christian infatuation (which is justified later one). However, I just couldn't get into his character especially since I knew something was up with him (and predicted 100% correctly). It was too much of a soap opera for me. When finally, I actually gasp at a revelation, immediately taints that fantastic twist by the most cliche plot line ever. I know I am being vague but I can't spoil anything. Which is why 90% of my frustration can only be told in coded sentences. 
As for the characters, the only person I actually liked was Kenny. He was typical rich kid but I found him really endearing and wanted more scenes with him.. plus he's a hacker, how cool is that? unfortunately I can't say the same about the other flat characters, including Lou. A last thing I disliked is the use of heavy hinting. It was done in such a n obvious way that I would have preferred the revelation to happen early on. I was rolling my eyes thinking if the author thinks the readers are that clueless to not guess everything from the beginning. I just really wasn't impressed. I only recommend it to fans of light mysteries and heavy romance readers (if you can get over the cliches).  
 

2 comments:

  1. I'm so excited for All Fall Down! I wasn't a fan of the romance in the first book of the Gallagher Girls series, but I loved when Zach was introduced :) Hopefully, it'll be similar in the All Fall Down series, with the romance being a bigger part later in the series. I'm glad the mystery was enjoyable, too!

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  2. Oh I'm sorry that you weren't able to enjoy these books more Juhina, I was actually considering giving Ally's All Fall Down a go, as I was a huge fan of her Heist series, but I think that my younger sister would have more luck with it. And I think I would have a hard time with Little White Lies too, so thank you for your honest review!

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