Title: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You
Author: Ally Carter
Series: Gallagher Girls #1
Release Date: May 1 2006
My Source: Library
My Rating: 4/5
The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a fairly typical all-girls school—that is, if every school teaches advanced martial arts in PE, chemistry always consists of the latest in chemical warfare, and everyone breaks CIA codes for extra credit in computer class. So in truth, while the Gallagher Academy might say it's a school for geniuses what they really mean is spies. But what happens when a Gallagher Girl falls for a boy who doesn't have a code name?
Cammie Morgan may be fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti), but the Gallagher Academy hasn't prepared her for 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, and track him through a mall without him ever being the wiser, but can she have a regular relationship with a regular boy who can never know the truth about her? Cammie may be an elite spy in training, but in her sophomore year, she's doing something riskier than ever—she's falling in love.
Cameron (Cammie) Morgan is the descendant of a long line of spies, and she goes to an all-girls school (Gallagher Academy) where they learn everything about being a spy. The classes at this boarding school are different from normal schools- they're fluent in many languages, advanced martial arts fighter, and they're geniuses at everything. The Gallagher Academy's training is secret, of course. The public just think it's just a rich prep school. The Academy reminded me a lot of Hogwarts, actually. The classes are specialized, instead of in witchcraft it's in spying. I found this very fun and entertaining to read about. In the girl's sophomore year, they get to take a new class- Covert Operations- which plays a huge part in this book. It's their first chance to start going on "missions" like real spies, though all they ever encountered were just set-ups by the school.
Cammie is a typical fifteen year old girl, who sometimes drove me crazy. How is it that she's a super genius but still sometimes doesn't figure out simple things the reader grasps before she does? Sometimes she was a bit of an idiot, but it was okay, it didn't bother me too much. The romance she finds with a completely ordinary boy named Josh who lives in the town outside the school was very cute, but never seemed to progress beyond the "first crush" stage. It was appropriate because it fit with the lighthearted tone of the book, it just had none of the depth other YA books have.
The conflicts are minimal- I compared this book to Harry Potter earlier, but it has nothing on Potter when it comes to fighting dark forces and saving the world. Cammie's problems never extend outside her relationships with her family and friends, and deciding if the perfect guy she has a crush on really likes her back.
This is a book best enjoyed when you don't over analyze it or expect too much depth. It's a fun, completely clean read that I could recommend even to Middle Grade readers, though it would also entertain YA fans. I give this book a solid 4/5 stars. I can't wait to pick up the next book in the series!
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