A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{August 18, 2012}   I’d Tell You That I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

Plot: Cammie is a sophomore at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. Gallagher’s is a perfectly ordinary private school for gifted girls: if by gifted girls you mean future spies. But though Cammie speaks fourteen languages, practices several martial arts and knows many other useful skills (like defusing bombs), she is at a  loss when faced with a cute boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl. He notices her (in spite of her cameleon-like ability to go unnoticed) and she wants nothing more than for him to like her. So Cammie and her friends decide that they will use their considerable covert op skills to learn about boys and win his heart.

I love books with sleuthy ladies and female friendships so I was really excited to read this novel. But as soon as I started I ran into a little road block: Cammie keeps interrupting the narrative to tell us improbable stories of the feats and inventions of previous Gallagher girls. A few such comments would be amusing but there were so many that Cammie was starting to feel like that person at a party who keeps working their good fortune or accomplishments into the conversation. It stopped being funny pretty quickly. Fortunately after a few chapters this unlikely history takes a back seat to the much more interesting business of spying and falling in love.

The fun and adventure of the narrative made me forget my slight misgivings at the beginning. The girls are still learning a spy’s craft but they are good at it and take real joy in it. They turn a handful of ordinary dates into exciting escapes, careful surveillance and elaborate lies. But their lives are not all fun and games: there is also the constant knowledge that they are preparing themselves for a dangerous life, one that has already taken Cammie’s father. Fortunately, be they faced with a broken heart, bullies or missions gone wrong, they can count on a school full of sisters to have their back.

I have only one other minor complaint, a pet peeve really. The girls’ French is atrocious (I cannot comment on the other languages used). A note to authors: Google translate is simply not good enough, please get a real French person to read your dialogue.

However, if you are looking for a light book full of adventure, sisterhood and with a touch of romance, you will find much to enjoy the Gallagher Girls’ novels.

To date there are five Gallagher Girls books, check out Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy next. And if you prefer thieves to spies, check out Carter’s Heist Society novels. For more information, check out her website.

2012 (#85)

Title: I’d Tell You That I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You

Series: Gallagher Girls

Author: Ally Carter (http://allycarter.com/)

Publisher: Hyperion

Year: 2007 (first published in 2006)

ISBN: 978-1-4231-0004-1


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