I'd tell you I love you, but then I'd have to kill you (Gallagher Girls #1) - Ally Carter
Rating: 4/5 stars
Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school-that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it's really a school for spies. Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real "pavement artist"-but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?
Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she's on her most dangerous mission-falling in love. (Description from Goodreads)
~ * ~ * ~
My book of choice is nearly always something from paranormal, fantasy or dystopian genres, occasionally throwing in a few contemporaries here and there. This is mostly because they dominate the YA book range, so it’s hard not to pick up a new book without vampires, werewolves, witches or fae. I have never really considered the idea of a Spy book before, but I wish I had. I’m pretty angry at myself for not jumping on the Gallagher Girls bandwagon earlier. I haven’t read such a fun start to a series is so long. ‘I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You’ was a fantastic book, full of secret missions and spies-in-training and a few well placed kicks that had me smiling the whole way through.
Cammie Morgan is a Gallagher Girl. To an outsider, she appears to be a rich girl going to a privileged girls boarding school in the middle of no-where; but to those in the know, she’s an important young intelligent girl who attends a super secret training school: a Spy training school. The daughter of two secret agents (a.k.a. Spies), Cammie has some mad skills are her disposal – but life isn’t exactly easy when you’re learning to be a spy. I adore Cammie. Her voice was so easy to pick up; fun, relaxed, really easy to read along with. She speaks to you as though she’s specifically writing for the purpose of someone reading about her thoughts and events...almost like a journal without the dear diary part and with a lot more spy terminology. It made the book seem very conversational. A retelling of what happened and yet interactive. She’s speaking directly to you and makes references to that fact throughout the book. It was really enjoyable.
Cammie’s comfortable spy life takes a strange turn when she runs into Josh, a hot boy from the town nearby, who just happens to take an interest in her. She sees this as a potential mission: find out why a seemingly normal – but cute – guy could be interested in her and attempt to act just as normal. I love how awkward Cammie becomes when she’s around Josh; she’s trained to observe, trained to kill, trained to save the world...but can’t quite work out how to speak-boy; which is sort of understandable when you come from an all girl spy school. Despite being some super genius epic teen, she just could not figure out the boy and dating thing.
As one would expect from a spy book, there’s a lot of talk about going on missions and learning to create the perfect secret identity – we even get to see a bit of this first hand. Cammie talks to us in spy terms, outlines the life of a spy-in-training. It’s all very secretive and yet oddly informative and it’s fun to watch Cammie – and her best friends Bex and Liz – in their natural spy environment. It all becomes easier to understand the idea of secret agents because of Gallagher Academy. The school has some pretty nifty gadgets that help to teach the girls exactly what it’s like to be a spy. Teachers that are wanted in countries all over the world, underground passages that hold the more dangerous classrooms, flashing lights to tell the students which language they are allowed to use that day (they learn 14 different ones, so the possibilities are endless) and the list of secret inventions and missions mentioned throughout the book leave you with your mouth hanging open. I would have liked to see a bit more of the school life – exploring the grounds, taking secret exists or discovering a new passage, but it was just as exciting knowing there’s a Spy school hidden in plain sight!
The only issue I had with the book was the action. Sure, there was enough of it that you got a sense of the skills the girls are developing and you do get to witness it on one or two occasions. But for the amount of skill they brag about, there just wasn’t enough. Maybe it was the theme of the book, about Cammie getting a chance to step outside the lifestyle she grew up with – there were limited opportunities for kick-ass action to take place. But I was hoping for a little more.
(Originally posted on Goodreads)