Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Review of I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You - By Ally Carter


I had seen this Gallagher Girls series grow in number in the bookstore, and I always smiled at the quirky titles. When I learned that literary agent Kristin Nelson represented Ally Carter, I knew I had to read at least the first one. I wasn't disappointed.


I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You
(Gallagher Girls #1)
by Ally Carter

Description from Goodreads:
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.

My Thoughts:
Cam is likable, brilliant, can blend in like a "chameleon", and she's a spy in training. The writing seems to be for the younger side of young adult, but it's a really cute story. All the spy-type stuff was well researched and incorportated, and helped keep the reader interested in what was going to happen next. It was a clean, quick read, laugh-out-loud funny at times. I found myself getting sucked into Cam's secret romance with Josh, who believes every quick lie she tells him about herself - basically, her lies are the whole foundation of their relationship. You keep reading, wondering not IF he will find out the truth, but WHEN, and how big the bomb will be? Here's a little sample of the writing style:

[ "We have come to a time when—" But before she could finish, the doors flew open and not even three years of training at spy school prepared me for what I saw. Before I say any more, I should probably remind you that I GO TO A GIRLS' SCHOOL—that's all girls, all the time, with a few ear-drop-needing, plastic-surgery-getting male faculty members thrown in for good measure. But when we turned around we saw a man walking in our midst who would have made James Bond feel insecure. Indiana Jones would have looked like a momma's boy compared to the man in the leather jacket with two-days' growth of beard who walked to where my mother stood and then—horror of horrors—winked at her. ]

The one criticism I have, is the overuse of parentheses. Every few paragraphs seemed to have parantheses with a disclaimer or explantaion, and it got a little redundant - I skipped a lot of them, even though some were hilarious. After a point, it just became more to read.

If you're looking for a cute, girly, easy-to-read YA, this could be it. I plan to continue the series... just because the characters are that likable.

3/5 - Liked it

16 comments:

  1. I really liked this book! I thought it was really creative and fun. I was interested in what was going on with her mom and that teacher, though. Hmmmmm....

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  2. Jennifer - Yes, I kept thinking something was up with her mom and the teacher, too. Maybe the following books will touch on it...

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  3. I haven't read any from this series, but based on what you said (it seems written for the younger side of YA) and the excerpt, I think this would be a great book for my daughter (and me!) Thanks for the recommendation!

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  4. This does sound fun! Thanks for the review.

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  5. Lieing. Secret romances. Can't get any better than that! : )

    Thanks for the review. It rocked!

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  6. I bought this book and tried reading it. I just didn't care. I only made it 30 pages in, so maybe I should try it again? Yes, I'll try again.

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  7. Thanks for the review Kristin! I already have too many books to count so I may not be adding this to my list right now...but maybe later. Maybe.

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  8. Elana - Maybe it's just not for you? I just thought it was clever (I had never read anything about spies before), and the little situations they got in were interesting to me. Again, it is very young (the main characters are 15 I think?), so I can see how you'd "not care" about them. Maybe I was just in a fun-needing mood when I read it? :)

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  9. Kristi - I hear ya! I checked this out at the library mostly because I highly respect the agent who represents it, and I was curious to see the sorts of things she accepts.

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  10. I keep seeing them, and sometimes I think about reading them. But then, I think someone will point a finger and yell loudly, "You're too old for that!" and I slink away in shame :) I love the agent though, so perhaps I'll give them a go ...

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  11. Tiana - I know what you mean! I've been reading so many YA novels lately, that when I'm in the aisle in the bookstore I actually have a red face. It's like I'm getting caught. Funny, because I'm still sometimes mistaken for a teenager, so it really should be fine...

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  12. Great review! I definitely agree that this is a light and fun series, and it was definitely a matter of time before Josh found out. Sort of cliche, but cute all the same. :)

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  13. Thank you for the review! It sounds like a fun read. I have been hearing a lot about this, and am definitely looking forward to picking this up.

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  14. Hmm, I'm not sure if I'm mistaken for a teenager still. Maybe if I wear outrageous makeup and dress provocatively? Ha ha. I've left you an award on my blog. :) (Now you're it again. Don't worry, I know you've been doing a lot of award posts lately, so you don't even have to do anything if you don't want). http://www.tianalei.com

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  15. i have been wondering about this one... thanks for the review!

    as far as the J.Austen button.... eh i just found a few pictures that I liked, and used Microsoft Powerpoint and put text boxes over them... lol not that fancy ;) you can do some amazing effects with powerpoint ;) give it a try. you shouldn't have to do anything complicated for a button.

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  16. I love this series! The second book is even better. :)

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