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All Fall Down by Ally Carter

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Person vs. Self.  A story of trauma. Of love lost and friendship found. 
     

All Fall Down, the first book in the Embassy Row series, is the story of a girl with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  Due to the fact she has a mild case of PTSD Grace has suppressed the memories of what truly happened to her mother.  Grace keeps seeing her mother’s killer. But it’s never really him.  All she can remember of that night is a man, with a scar running the length of his face, standing over her dead mother with a gun.  She remembers that he lit her mother Caroline’s shop on fire, and then she woke up in the hospital.  Her father is an accomplished military man, and her older brother, Jamie, is trying to follow in his footsteps.  Grace is sent to live with her grandfather, her mother’s father, in the US Embassy in Adria.  Her grandfather likes to play poker at night with some of his friends, and this is where she finally sees the man that she just knows is the one that killed her mother.  She gets her friends to help her investigate this man, whom she calls the Scarred Man.  And she finds out that his name is Dominic.  They use the Iraqi Embassy, which has been abandoned for many years, as a type of headquarters.  They figure out the deep and appalling truth behind Caroline’s murder.
     

All Fall Down is written in a very subtle way.  You slowly find things out over the course of the book.  And the author leaves some dots to connect for the major conflicts of the book to make sense.  You never know what is going to happen, but you are never bored on the journey to the end.  While some people would like to skim a book like this, it’s not a good idea.  Even some of the smallest details can make the difference as to how you see the ending coming.  If you skim then you could miss something that highly impacts the plot of the book.
     

This book shows the struggle one girl faces to overcome some things she has done and things she will have to do in the future.  A girl who is working through PTSD and the fact that things may not actually have happened as she remembers them happening.  Grace’s journey doesn’t end with this book, there is more to come.  If only you are willing to find out the truth.  The truth can free you if you don’t fear it.  But can Grace learn to live with it?




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