Saturday, 19 May 2012

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy - Ally Carter

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls, #2)Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy 
                        (Gallagher Girls #2) - Ally Carter
Grade: YA
Rating: 5/5 stars

Cammie Morgan may have a genius IQ and attend the best school in the country, but as she starts the spring semester of her sophomore year there are a lot of things she doesn't know. Like will her ex-boyfriend even remember she exists? And how much trouble did she really get in last semester? And, most of all, exactly why is her mother acting so strangely?

All Cammie wants is a nice, normal semester, but she's about to learn her greatest lesson yet—that when you go to a school for spies, nothing is ever as it seems. (Description from Goodreads)

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There’s something really special about a book that makes you smile the whole way through; despite the fact that finishing the book left me with incredibly sore cheeks. ‘Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy’ was an amazing sequel to the first Gallagher Girls book, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

I finished the first Gallagher Girls book with the feeling that I loved the series, that I was addicted already, but I wanted a bit more action and a bit more spying. The second book definitely gave me what I had been looking for. We start off during Winter break, between semesters; Cammie Morgan – spy-in-training – is making her way into CIA headquarters to be debriefed on her short-lived “normal” romance and wondering how she’ll ever get back to the life she had before boys entered her immediate radar. Little does she know that normal boys are just the beginning. I know I said it in my review of book 1, but I just adore Cammie. The mix of teenage spy and teenage girl makes Cammie super interesting. You’re never sure which side is going to push through more and when they collide, you can’t help smiling.

While the Gallagher Girls series is ultimately a story that focuses on Cammie, it’s not just about her. One of my favourite things about this series so far is the friendships. In YA books, the main character tends to have one or two stand out friends who sometimes know what’s going on in their weird and wacky lives, but despite how close they appear to be with each other the best friends are almost never completely involved in the story. For Gallagher Girls, this is totally different. Cammie has three incredible best friends: Bex, Liz and Macey; and they help her through everything. There is rarely a mission within or out of the school that doesn’t involve a team effort to achieve an outcome. These girls are always there for Cammie, in whatever way she needs and I love it.

‘Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy’ puts a lot more focus on spying and missions. There’s a hell of a lot more action and I couldn’t have hoped for more. Ally Carter has a way of making you feel like you’re really part of the missions; probably because of the way she has Cammie and her friends write up reports of their spy activities. There are whole sections of the book written out with Cammie and the gang referred to as ‘The Operatives’ and their mission target ‘The Subject’. Not in a third person sense, but in a fun we’re-learning-to-be-spies-and-writing-these-reports-are-what-spies-do way. They’re funny and they have random inserts that help interpret information in different ways; but most importantly they give you an insight into the life of a Gallagher Girl - and a spy-in-training - which makes you feel like you’re part of the story.

I’ll admit I was a little worried about the issue of boys for the series. After eliminating the town boys as an option for romance I figured we were in for a lack of heart-racing and tingly feelings. Boy was I wrong! It becomes painfully obvious the girls of Gallagher Academy, while incredibly smart and excellent spies, are at a disadvantage by not being able to socialise and work with the opposite sex – the people they may have to interact with in the future. So what’s the solution? Why bring 15 boys to the school for a semester, of course. Cammie can’t escape the attention of one particular guy. I won’t say more about him, because it’s really better to experience the relationship for yourself; but I will say, he made me smile so much!

This book was an excellent sequel. I think I’ve become a Gallagher Girl addict.

5/5 stars

(Originally posted on Goodreads)


  1. Kim, this series sounds SO fun! I ADORED Ally's Heist Society and I SO need to pick these up. Also:

    "In YA books, the main character tends to have one or two stand out friends who sometimes know what’s going on in their weird and wacky lives, but despite how close they appear to be with each other the best friends are almost never completely involved in the story."

    YES YES YES. Oh, it makes it that much more amazing when we see 'secondary' characters that are as real and amazing as the leads, though! It's one of the things I love so much about Rose and Lissa in VA :)

    1. Gallagher Girls is my first Ally Carter experience. So I'm going to have to look into Heist Society very soon. I just adore the way she writes.

      I know! Unless you're Bella, people tend to have actual friends and usually they feature in your life for more than a couple of pages. Rose and Lissa is another perfect example. They're in each other's pockets all the time. It's fun to see them be so normal yet have abnormal lives.


  2. Yay! *cheers* I do love this book. It's so entertaining and I LOVED the boy aspect of it. The girls being completely inexperienced and oblivious? Ah! <3 You don't know how excited I was when the boys where brought into the school. Didn't you just know how kickass it'd be? And oh...the missions. Don't even get me started. Fun fun fun! Great review, Kim! :)

    1. It just made everything more fun having them analyse every boy issue and being so clueless. You can't help smiling at all their efforts.

      Thanks for stopping by, Lisa.