Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You

Title: I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You
Author: Ally Carter
Pages: 284
Hyperion, 2006
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Spy
Recommended to: Teen girls, 12 and up
Rating: B-/C+

   Meet Cammie Morgan, just your average teen girl. Except....there's something not-so-average about her: she attends the Gallagher Academy, a school looks like your typical all-girls boarding school, but is really a school for spies, where Cammie (a Gallagher legacy) and her friends attend classes like Covert Operations and learn martial arts, fourteen different languages, computer hacking, how to break CIA codes and the different ways to kill a man (you'd be surprised by how many there really are). This year, Cammie's a sophomore, which brings along a good-looking teacher who introduces the girls into the real world of spying, a difficult new girl, and....something that she's totally and utterly unexperienced in: boys. And even worse, Cammie's fallen for a guy who doesn't know her huge secret. She can track him around town, plot a stakeout in his backyard without him knowing, and tap into his phone, but can she really be with him if he can't ever know the truth about her? 
   First off: I want to go to the Gallagher Academy! I really loved how much creativity Ms. Carter put into her novel. I mean, meals in a different language every day? Bookcases that trigger secret passageways? A teacher that gets plastic surgery to change his cover yearly? Just genius. All the fun details just made the book so much more interesting. Second, I loved Cammie's friends, Bex and Liz. They were so lively and realistic, probably my favorite characters in the book. Third, the cover is amazing. I just love it: the cut-out letters, uniforms, plaid spine....Fourth, The plot was unique and humorous, and I loved how Ms. Carter really captivates her readers and introduces them to a fifteen year old living in a spy world, which brings me to my next point: I liked how, even though Cammie was practically a girl genius, she still acted like a fifteen year old girl. 
   But this wasn't a perfect novel. In fact, several things about it irritated me:
a) The narration was constantly in spy-talk, which made it really confusing at times to understand what was going on. I had to keep on flipping backwards and rereading paragraphs so that the context finally made sense. 
b) My BIGGEST problem: nothing ever happened! Sure, I knew that the book mostly would revolve around this whole secret-romance thing, but I kept on waiting and waiting for something spy-ish to happen, like a secret mission or a conflict, but it NEVER DID! This really bugged me. There was no real climax, so the plot fell flat and was sort of pointless to me after that.
c) [spoiler] It made me so mad that Cammie just kind of ditched Josh and didn't feel sad at all, just kind of dumped him with this huge secret and left. I was so confused about the ending. Did they break up or not? 
   So...am I going to pick up the sequel? Sure, I will. After all--I do want to see what happens next for the Gallagher Girls. But I can't say that I'm not disappointed. I've heard so much good feedback about this novel, that I was excited to begin. But after awhile, I got sick of Cammie's lies and was starting to get restless for something real to happen. So do I recommend it? Sure. It was actually quite fun and enjoyable, just with a few kinks to work out! (:


Anonymous said...

I love the cover! I don't understand why some people are getting annoyed with the headless model thing. It doesn't bug me at all.

Great review!

Katie said...

I just ordered this from PaperBack Swap and I'm so excited to read it! It sounds like a lot of fun!

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

Yeah, I know what you mean. I read the second book and thought it picked up a little bit. I was pretty annoyed about the Josh thing too though. I like happy romances! I'm glad you read it.

Prada is coming to you soon!:)

sharonanne said...

aren't you on yabook swap? I just added Chloe to my inventory. Offer me something I can't refuse and it is yours.

Lenore said...

Yeah, I always wanted to go to spy school too!