Review // All Fall Down

Title: All Fall Down (Circus Hearts #2)
Author: Ellie Marney
Published: October 2018
Publisher: Bearded Lady Press
Readership: Young Adult #loveozya
Genre: Dark Romance
Rating: ★★★★★
RRP: $4.99 AUD

I received a copy of All Fall Down from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Carnival glamour and swoon-worthy romance in Book 2 of the latest dark YA contemp series by the author of Every Breath…

A ringmaster’s daughter and a bearded lady’s son join forces to stop a saboteur…

Nineteen-year-old Fleur Klatsch is loyal to her trapeze team and her ringmaster father, dedicated to the circus, and tough on everyone around her. After a series of accidents at Klatsch’s Karnival, Fleur is left holding the ball: she’s running the show, trying to stop a saboteur, and taking care of her dad. She doesn’t need anyone’s help, least of all Eugenia Deloren’s son, Marco, who’s been trying to break out of the circus life since the moment he was born into it. All Marco needs to do is get Klatsch’s back on its feet so he can leave. But after one fateful kiss with Fleur, will he really want to? And will Fleur and Marco figure out who’s trying to kill the show before someone kills them…

Circus Hearts – Step. Right. Up.

After last month’s release of All the Little Bones, the first book in the Circus Hearts series, I knew that I was going to enjoy All Fall Down, but I was left wondering how it could possibly top it.

I don’t have that problem now.

All Fall Down was a wonderful, tension-filled young adult romance set against the backdrop of Klatch’s Karnival, just like All the Little Bones, only this time we’re not following outsiders Sorscha and Colm. Our main characters are Fleur, the ringmaster’s daughter, and Marco, her childhood friend who left years earlier and has come back to help when a series of mysterious ‘accidents’ plague the carnival, including an incident that leaves Fleur’s father in hospital and Fleur juggling the duties of running the carnival, performing nightly and caring for her injured father.

All Fall Down was such a delight to read.

In Book 1, Fleur was one of the ‘unlikeable’ characters – she’d taken an instant dislike to Sorscha who’d come in and started making changes to the trapeze show she was a part of and she didn’t like it, which lead to a series of poor decisions on Fleur’s part, which she’s spent the time between Book 1 and Book 2 atoning for. Now learning the ropes (pun intended) for running the carnival from her father, she’s grown up and accepted judgement from her peers and worked hard to regain her standing in the group. She’s a tough cookie and she likes to be in control, which is why all the accidents and her father’s injuries place such a heavy burden on her shoulders. We see her struggle to maintain control, to maintain the heart of the carnival she’s grown up in, and to navigate relationships with workers and friends.

Enter Marco, Eugenia Deloren’s son, and Fleur’s former best friend. They grew up in the carnival until Marco moved away with his father to the U.K. Now he works in event management and when Eugenia calls in a favour, he returns to help Fleur manage the show and help curb some of her overwhelm.

Their relationship was fantastic.

It was a bit of a blend of the friends-to-lovers and enemies-to-lovers tropes, because Fleur is very hostile to Marco’s interference in the carnival to begin with, but their relationship was so very earnest and easy-going once they got past that, and once the romance starts? Swoon-worthy!

The mystery element tied in nicely to the narrative as a whole. Every night the carnival ran a performance, I was left wondering what would go wrong, and the stakes were very high for everyone. Even some minor disruption could cause serious injury or even death, and so that keep the tension up the whole way through the book.

But the heart of the story, of course, was the developing relationship between Fleur and Marco, and it was just wonderful.

All Fall Down is currently available as an ebook, and will be released as a physical book later in the year.

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