Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Review: See How They Run

Embassy Row #2
Ally Carter
Young Adult/Thriller
336 pages
Scholastic Press
Available Now
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Inside 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.

See How They Run returns us to Embassy Row and the life and death situations the children of politicians constantly barrel their way into, only this installment raises the stakes further as murder creates an international incident.

In the first book our protagonist Grace was in a fairly dark place, struggling to differentiate between fiction and reality with regard to the tragic death of her mother years before, and we couldn’t help but be sucked in as she drew ever-closer to the truth. With this sequel Grace has fallen even farther into darkness, the truth handing her ways to punish herself again and again, allowing her to drown in guilt while refusing any lifeline extended to her by friends and family. As a result of her determination to be solely responsible for what she uncovered about her mother’s death, she pushes everyone around her away, and that unfortunately includes us as readers.

So much of this second installment is Grace running away both literally and figuratively, retreating into herself even more than she did in this first book, and fleeing physically whenever her friends or her brother inquire after her well-being. Much of the dialogue consists of friends and family yelling “Grace!” at her back as she leaves them behind time and again, refusing to acknowledge that they could care for her after all she believes she’s done. Such a mental state, while understandable, makes it incredibly hard to really settle in with her, and we’re instead left to run up against the emotional wall she’s erected just as everyone else around her does.

Overall, See How They Run is a difficult read in terms of our main character, and while the murder and subsequent investigation succeed in grabbing our interest, Grace’s severe depression and unwillingness to accept even the smallest of comforts from her friends, brother or love interest leave us more detached from the second leg of her political journey than we otherwise might have liked.

Rating: 3/5

Find Ally:

This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.


  1. I didn't realize this second book was already out. I enjoyed the first although not as much as Gallagher Girls. From your review I'm guessing I'll enjoy the second one as much as the first - about a 3/5. Still worth reading though.

  2. And I managed to delete my comment, not my morning

  3. I had issues with exactly that very same thing, Grace pushing people away, and while understandable, it just made me struggle with the book... and hearing that it gets even worse in the sequel makes me glad that I decided to give up on the series.
    Great review Jenny!

  4. I didn't realize this series would be so dark and would tackle depression. I don't know how I would feel about that tbh because the cover sort of screams fun.
    I also don't know how much of the running away from problems I could take.
    Great review, Jenny!

  5. Oh bummer! I definitely understand her reluctance to open up given what happened in the first book. I do hope she finds a way to let people in as I can't imagine how lonely she must feel. I still want to read this one.

  6. AH it's complicated when you have a main character like that I understand. I don't remember what book 1 is but I'll take a look.

  7. I found an old ARC of the first book in the dark recesses of storage at the bookstore I work at and brought it home. So I'm excited to at least try this series. Only 3 stars is a bit disappointing for this one but at the same time I don't really *expect* this book to blow me away, just be a light fun read that delivers something a little different. I guess we'll see what I think!

  8. Maybe this is an in between story and the next one will have big happenings!

  9. Jeez, I didn't even know this book was out yet. I really liked book one and wanted to read this but this is literally the first time I see a review for it which is just sad...

  10. I haven't read the first book, but oh yeah, all that running away could get old real quick.

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