Take The Key And Lock Her Up by Ally Carter Review

Take The Key And Lock Her UpTake The Key And Lock Her Up by Ally Carter (Embassy Row #3)

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: December 27, 2016

Pages: 336

Summary: The princess is dead. Long live the princess.

Centuries ago, the royal family of Adria was killed…or so everyone thought.

Now Grace Blakely knows the truth: There was one survivor, and that survivor’s blood runs through her veins. This simple fact could cause a revolution—which is why some people will stop at nothing to keep it from coming to light.

There is only one way for Grace to save herself, save her family, and save the boy she loves. She must outmaneuver her foes, cut through the web of lies that has surrounded her for years, and go back to the source of all her troubles, despite the risk.

If she wins, she will inherit a throne.

And if she loses, she will inherit the fate of all the dead princesses who came before her.

My Rating:★★★★☆

My Thoughts: Carter delivers a satisfying conclusion to her Embassy Row Series filled with intrigue and twists you don’t see coming!

With every novel, Carter always delivers a plot with such originality and I love that! There isn’t so much politics/intrigue and mystery to where it seems like too much and Carter knows how to balance them very well.

This novel concludes Grace’s adventures on Embassy Row as she learns more about her fate as a future princess, the mysterious Society and her mother’s secret ties to the Society + what she had uncovered all those years ago.

Carter continues to build upon the fictional country of Adria, introducing prince Thomas and the king, while also revealing more about the Society and how it plays a major role in Adria’s long and complicated history.

People want to get rid of Grace and her family, but she knows she’s not going down without a fight. Essentially this whole novel is Grace finding out more about what her mother discovered and how she can put an end to it.

As for overall plot, Princess Ann (now who I can gather was the overall antagonist) develops a plan for Grace to assume her role as princess and marry her son Thomas so Amelia’s lineage can continue. And Grace knows there is more to this than what she is led to believe.

Alexi’s mother is finally introduced! Overall she was a wonderfully written character and it was interesting to see how she was weaved into the plot and her history with Grace’s mother.

There’s introductions to the king and Prince Thomas of Adria who was definitely one of my favorite characters in this final novel (possibly even the whole series! Even though he was just in 1 book<3)

While he wasn’t in the book too much, Thomas was definitely one of the most memorable characters as was Alexi’s mother! Both were wonderfully written and developed.

While its obvious this series focuses on Grace, I felt the side-characters (Alexi, Rosie, Noah & Megan; even Grace’s brother Jamie who was quite an important character in See How They Run) weren’t given much page time for a majority of the novel and only showed up when it was convenient for the plot. That was a real bummer considering in book 1 All Fall Down, they were with Grace most of the time. They were wonderful additions to the story and it would have made this book much better if they were all together.

Regardless, it was definitely great to see Alexi and Grace together! There were more moments between them which was nice. Everytime they interacted it was clear that Grace really cared for him and vice-versa.

What I love about not only this series but Ally Carter’s books in general, is that regardless of what is going on in the story she always keeps her plot focused and doesn’t take the story in unnecessary directions. 

I did take off a star because while I adore the originality of Carter’s stories, I found myself annoyed with Grace’s voice/character. She was very repetitive about her craziness and in general repeated multiple lines over and over regarding it, among other things which really didn’t add much to the story itself a majority of the time.

Additionally, I felt certain characters (like Ann) were too cryptic and secretive about things, to the point where reading from Grace’s POV felt a little confusing at times, because no one would tell her anything!

Also as stated above, it would have been better if the side characters were included more in this final novel.

Aside from my cons about her, honestly I’ve never read about a character like Grace before, so it was great getting a unique 1st person POV and additionally what I do enjoy about her character is her independence and strength to fix problems on her own.

Overall Take The Key And Lock Her Up is a mysterious and engaging finale which ties together the mysteries that Grace has been trying to solve on Embassy Row!

January 2016 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 8

180033001.Love&Misadventure by Lang Leav

Love&Misadventure Full Review

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Release Date: September 17, 2013

Pages: 176

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: This book of poetry was wonderful! Each poem was written beautifully & was definitely a memorable read to start off the year!

frozentides_cover2.Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms #4)

Frozen Tides Full Review

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: December 15, 2015

Pages: 400

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: Morgan continues to develop her world & characters in this amazing series! Can’t wait for book 5!

97801475098883.Once Upon A Kiss by Robin Palmer

Once Upon A Kiss Full Review

Publisher: Speak

Released: January 5, 2016

Pages: 304 

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts:  The aspect of time travel/alternate universes made this a fun read! The plot is quick/easy to follow and overall just a fun adventure! Update (late Jan. 2016)-Since writing my review, I’ve changed my rating! It really was a fun read, but I lowered it after really thinking/realizing that this was a fun book for sure, but seems more like a 4-star read!

97800624353474.Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard  (Red Queen #0.1-#0.2)

Cruel Crown Full Review

Publisher: HarperTeen

Released: January 5, 2016

Pages: 208

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: A great addition to the Red Queen Series! Out of both of the novellas featured in this novel, my favorite is by far Queen Song. Steel Scars was good, but I felt it was lacking. However, from Steel Scars I really loved the friendship Farley & Shade developed! This definitely has me excited for Glass Sword.

252231155.Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler

Just Visiting Full Review

Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

Release Date: November 17, 2015

Pages: 348

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: This was a great coming of age story! The theme of friendship is the heart of this story and seen clearly through the journey both Victoria & Reagan take as they prep for college.

9780545654845_094246. See How They Run by Ally Carter (Embassy Row #2) 

See How They Run Full Review

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: December 22, 2015

Pages: 336

Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: A wonderful sequel! Ally continues to keep readers guessing till the very end! The plot further develops in this book and the ending has me excited for book 3!(**Additional note to review**) However, I do wish in further books, the characters would be more developed! They are interesting to read about, but I feel that the characters are only known on the surface level and should be further developed as the series continues!

97804514775387. Rebel Of The Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel Of The Sands #1)

Publisher: Penguin/Viking Books For Young Readers

Release Date: March 8, 2016

Pages: 320

Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: A great start to an amazing trilogy! The world and characters are very developed! More to be discussed in my full review coming soon!

9780374302160_a198d8. Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban

Paper Wishes Full Review

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Release Date: January 5, 2016

Pages: 192

Rating:  Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: A thoughtful and lyrical novel which explores many themes of family, loss, and friendship!

What books did you read this month?

Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

See How They Run by Ally Carter Review

9780545654845_09424See How They Run by Ally Carter (Embassy Row #2)

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: December 22, 2015

Pages: 336

Summary: 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.

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

My Thoughts:

Ally Carter crafts a non-stop, action-packed story that keeps you guessing till the very end!

This was a wonderful sequel!

In terms of characters, the main one’s such as Alexei & Jamie, are given a more central role in this story and through Grace’s eyes we see much more development and growth to them.

In terms of plot,  Book 2 picks up right where Book 1 leaves off.

Grace continues to unravel the mystery of the secret society her mother was a part of and find the answers she is searching for.

Ally does a wonderful job at keeping facts hidden and revealing them at the perfect time, but also giving the reader hints to unravel the mystery themselves.

When Grace’s brother and friend Spence come to visit, they are completely unaware of what secrets Embassy Row has in store for them.

Because this story is from Grace’s POV, we piece together the mystery little by little, but also come to understand Grace much more!

What made this sequel so great, was the expansion of the world. In All Fall Down we are introduced to  the fictional country of Adria and in this book Ally introduces more politics and history which makes this story even more interesting.

Throughout most of this story, I was making-up theories and trying to piece this mystery together. While reading, I didn’t know who to trust!

Now to end!

As more is revealed about this secret society, Grace fears her brother is in danger!

When he gets hurt during an Adrian celebration, it is revealed that Grace is a lost princess!

I did not see that coming!

Overall everything about this book was fantastic!

Ally is a master at crafting an action-packed mystery!

I will definitely be marking my calendar for book 3!

 

 

December 2015 YA Releases I’m Looking Forward To!

frozentides_cover1.Frozen Tides (Falling Kingdoms #4) by Morgan Rhodes

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: December 15th, 2015

The Falling Kingdoms Series really got me into YA Fantasy and I cannot wait to read the 4th installment of this 6 book series!

 

 

 

232084172.This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Release Date: December 22, 2015

I am a big fan of YA Contemporary & the synopsis of this book has me interested!

 

 

 

 

9780545654845_094243.See How They Run (Embassy Row #2) by Ally Carter

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: December 22, 2015

I am a big fan of Ally Carter! Her books sparked my love of reading and I cannot wait to see where her new series is headed with book 2!

 

 

What December Releases are you looking forward to? 🙂