Book Review – See How They Run by Ally Carter

See How They Run (Embassy Row #2)

Author: Ally Carter

Publication: December 22nd, 2015

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Format: Kindle Edtion, 336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Mental Health

Read: February 2017

Ally CarterGoodreads


Digging up lost secrets is always dangerous.
For the past three years, Grace Blakely has been desperate to find out the truth about her mother’s murder. She thought it would bring her peace. She thought it would lead her to answers. She thought she could put the past to rest.
But the truth has only made her a target.
And the past?
The only way to put the past to rest is for Grace to kill it once and for all.
On Embassy Row, power can make you a victor or a victim; love can turn you into a fool or a fugitive; and family can lead you forward or bury you deep. Trust is a luxury. Death is a very real threat. And a girl like Grace must be very careful about which secrets she brings to light.


Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This book was very similar to the first one. It had mystery, suspense, drama and violence. There’s a lot of dark themes and twists and turns throughout the whole story. I loved learning more about the history of the world in this book and I think it was more entertaining than the first book. When I first finished this, I thought I’d liked it more but thinking on it, it was pretty much the same as the first book in regards to the plot.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I really like this author’s writing style. It’s simple and easy to read. The medium pace feels kind of weird with everything that happens and some things can get confusing enough for me to need to re-read passages sometimes. It was descriptive and detailed, but still had a lot of repetitive elements within the narrative.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
I’m still not the biggest fan of this cast of characters. The main character is still hard for me to connect to and while there’s more side character page time, I still don’t think they have enough interaction within the story overall.
Grace is kind of melodramatic to me. She’s an unreliable narrator and has had a lot of emotional and physical trauma before and during this series. I feel for her and all but sometimes it’s just a little bit too much. I don’t connect with her because she isolates herself from other people and the book is basically her internal paranoid monologue. I try to be conscious of her mental health and what that entails for her but it kind of took away from what I could’ve enjoyed of the story. She’s angry, confused, depressed and kind of rude to the people around her. Her character is still frustrating but getting better slowly.
Like I said above, there’s definitely much more interaction between the side characters and the main character but not enough for my liking. There’s also no character development for the side characters themselves. I feel like they’re just kind of there to help Grace out and I haven’t learned anything new about them from the first book to this one and that’s really disappointing.


I liked this one a little bit better than the first book but I’m still disappointed with the series overall. I was expecting something much more different than what it actually is.

The plot is dramatic. We follow Grace, who now knows the truth about her mother’s murder but it hasn’t brought any of the peace she desired, it’s only brought more secrets to the surface and much more danger for Grace and her loved ones. My biggest issue with this book is that nothing actually happens in the plot. This whole book is a kind of stand in, there is no forward movement at all. From the start of the book to the end of the book, they’re at the same place except with a little more information. I can say that it was entertaining overall, there was a mystery that keeps the reader guessing and there’s a lot of drama that happened but there was no actual situation change for the main character. She’s in exactly the same place when she started as she is when she ends the book and that’s really frustrating for me. I liked learning more about Adria and it’s history. I find the setting unique and interesting, how seamlessly it’s woven into modern history and the real world. It was really intriguing and it’s so elaborate and I quite like the way the author developed it and shared it slowly throughout the story. The Secret Society idea feels like a wasted opportunity. It’s been built up to be this big huge thing that’s been around for a long time. It sounds super cool but we don’t see any of it. There’s no training, no lessons, no meetings (at least none of that the main character is involved in). It’s just like “here’s the secret, don’t tell anyone” and that’s all there is. It’s supposed to have been a huge part of the Grace’s Mom’s life and I felt like there should’ve been something like mentor-ship from the older women to the initiates instead of just like dumping all this information on them and then ignoring them. The cliffhanger at the end of the book was really intense. It was a little bit farfetched to me honestly. I was kind of wondering where things were going to go with the series since the books all feel like separate entities. It felt untrue and again farfetched but it’s an interesting direction to go in.

Grace is still the same character. I’m kind of disappointed because character development is a huge thing for me in books and honestly, I don’t think she’s had any. She’s still obsessive but now with different things. Her mental health is the same but she doesn’t really try to seek help with it either. She sits in it and while I understand that (I’ve done that), it’s not something I like to read about a lot. Specially when the main character is involved in this huge mystery and closes herself off from everything and everyone. She’s self-centered but at the same time, the author just validates that for her by making her the center of everything. It got really frustrating, real quick.

I’m disappointed to say that while there was a bit more page time with the characters (mostly to push the romance), there wasn’t enough to create the connections the side characters say they have with the main characters. They get no development, little to no page time and yet their sole purpose and desire is to help Grace deal with whatever she’s going through. Even the antagonist is interested in that. It’s unrealistic and annoying.

Overall, I wish I was enjoying this series a lot more. I’m a big fan of the author but this series doesn’t make me feel anything. It’s trying too hard to be powerful and intense and dramatic and yet doesn’t really take the time to create the relationships require for the reader to care about all the drama and danger. The main character is frustrating and I kind of wish there was another narrator, it might’ve made the story more intriguing to read.

So that’s it for this post! I’d love to know if any of you have read this series and what you think of it. This instance is making me really sad because I’m such a fan of the author’s previous books. I really wanted to love this but it just doesn’t click with me at all. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!


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