Friday, June 22, 2012

Review: Gallagher Girls, #1 by Ally Carter

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I’d Tell You I Love You, 
But Then I’d Have to Kill You
Ally Carter
Series: Gallagher Girls #1
Release date: April 25th 2006
by Hyperion


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.

*A copy was provided by Disney-Hyperion for review purposes*

Yes. I’m a full grown adult. Yes, I thought this was pretty freaking awesome! Don’t laugh at me!! *scowls*

These are the kinds of books I turn to when I want something fun and silly; a change of pace. A high-school-drama-filled book that I can read and enjoy without the need to use my brain a whole lot. It doesn’t claim to be a deeply significant story that will blow your mind with its complexity. It’s a relatively straightforward plot, but with all kinds of shameless fun, plenty of humor, an adorable romance, and of course, cool gadgets. Welcome to spy school!

“Every time I caught a glance at the world around us, I saw another year of my life flash before my eyes.” 
Quoted from finished copy of I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You

Cammie, spy in training, is witty, smart, independent, yet clueless when it comes to boys. She’s the perfect protagonist for this story. She got me laughing at her ridiculous antics and hilarious inner (sometimes outer) dialogue. Obviously, being a teenager, she makes plenty of dumb decisions especially when it comes to a boy she likes. However, her own logic is intelligent enough to make it rather amusing instead of annoying. Alongside Cammie we’ve got a truly fantastic cast of supporting characters who are well-rendered with relevant roles and loud personalities. Friends, family, teachers, classmates, outsiders; there’s a big bunch of colorful characters which I think is the main reason why I enjoyed this rather fluffy plot so much.

The spy elements in the story are kept fairly simple. We do see the characters in spy-mode, but it’s nothing that got me taking notes (yet. – Hey, you never know!). I found this book to be more of an introduction to the spy-school. We begin to uncover the secrets behind Gallagher Academy, which is thought to be a school for privileged elites, but instead, brims with magical possibilities and secret passageways. Oh, and martial arts training!! Boarding school stories are a guilty pleasure of mine. It’s unfamiliar territory for me in my small town, nowhere, Canada; I find myself enchanted by their mystique. Since I know we’ve only just scratched the surface of this uncanny school, I’m particularly looking forward to digging deeper inside its walls, as well as its inhabitants. This first book in the Gallagher Girls series has a plot that concentrates more on the cute, though predictable, romance between the protagonist and an outsider who has no idea what he’s getting into.

Strangely, with this said, regardless of how different both series obviously are, I kept being reminded of Harry Potter. The magical, secretive school, the large cast of sparkling personalities; evidently this series is quite a bit more frivolous and lighthearted (at least so far), but the vibe I get from it feels similar.

Fun and quirky, immature at times, implausible yet entertaining, I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You – which by the way I have to admit I love the titles in this series – is a delightful escape from reality. Yes it’s written for young’uns, but damn it, I had fun too!

4 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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36 Responses to “Review: Gallagher Girls, #1 by Ally Carter”

  1. Meg K.

    Your review just makes me want to read this all the more! D: I think it’s awesome that you’re reminded of Harry Potter when you read this–especially the part about the sparkling personalities in the book. I’m so glad to hear that. A lot of the characters in YA books nowadays could use more characterization.

    Great review, Giselle! I’ve got to go hunt around for it in the bookstore. 😉

    The Book Galaxy

  2. Amy

    This sounds really fun and entertaining. I have read plenty of adults reviews on this series who have loved it. After reading your review I want to pick up this book and read it. Everyone loves a fun book once in a while. Awesome review chick!! You know I would never laugh at you. *scowls at anyone who does*

  3. Nick

    I just wrote a comment, but it seems that blogger ate it. >.<
    It seems like you really enjoyed reading this book, Giselle ! It sounds totally fun and entertaining. I haven’t read this book yet, but I might have to change that soon. Cammie sounds like a fabulous character since she’s independent and all. I love spy books, so I have a feeling I’ll enjoy this series!
    Great review, Giselle. 🙂

  4. Hannah Doermann

    I’ve read the first two books in this series, but maybe I should read the newer ones, too – you’re right, these books ARE fun! And I totally get what you mean – I got Hogwarts-y vibes from the spy school, too!! Great review 🙂

  5. Candace

    I just read this yesterday and agree that its a great read! Light hearted and funny and loved her cluelessness when it came to boys!

  6. ShreShre

    YES! YES YES YES YES YES!!!!! I’m so glad you loved this one, it was a light and funny read wasn’t it? 😀 I absolutely can’t WAIT for you to start the next, like i’ve told you before, you’ll love it even more!!! SQUEE!!!!! 😀 *jumps up and down* READ IT NOW, READ IT NOW, READ IT NOW!!!!! >.<! LOL….i'll go now…haha

  7. Sam

    Well this does sound like a lot of fun! Sometimes it’s nice to read something that doesn’t require a whole lot of brain power. 😉 Amazing review, Giselle! I’m glad you enjoyed yourself with this. 🙂

  8. Danny

    I love these kind of books! Books you just read because you want to be entertained! I have been eying this series for a while and I’m happy to see you excited!

  9. Aneeqah

    I’m definietly going to have to pick this one up at the library the next time I go!! It sounds like such a cute read- which is perfect for the summer time. I also like boarding school books too, so I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed that aspect of the story.

    Lovely review, Giselle! I’m definitely going to be getting a copy of this!

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

  10. Shooting Stars Mag

    Nice review. I’m glad you enjoyed this. It really does sound like a fun series and I’m addicted to the cute titles. Too adorable. I love seeing the names of the new ones. LOL And I’m a big fan of boarding school stories too!


  11. Katie @ BlookGirl

    I loved this review 🙂 Sometimes you just need a light, fun read – especially after some of the darker, heavier stuff you’ve been reading! This book sounds like one my niece would love. That school sounds SO cool! I wish there had been a school like that when I was a kid. Haha 😉

    Thanks for sharing, muffin!

  12. Alexa

    It does sound like it was a lot of fun to read! I’ve seen it around, but always worried that it might not be too enjoyable for me. I’m willing to give it a try now though!

  13. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Pfft. Fully-grown adult or not, this series is quite adorable and super-fun for anyone! I like the cute immaturity of it. Besides, aren’t books supposed to be an escape from reality? (Well, many of them–the ones I read, anyway!) 🙂

  14. Annabelle Marie Veronica

    I love this series! Definitely not the most well-written books I’ve ever read, but they’re fun and sweet and that really helps make up for it. It reminded me of Harry Potter, too! I thought I was the only one who noticed that, ha. I agree that even though it’s aimed at a younger age group, I still enjoy them, too. I’m pretty sure my boyfriend also likes them too, for all his complaining. I also agree that they’re a marvelous escape from reality!

    Excellent review, as always!

  15. Sophia

    Laugh at you because you liked this book? NEVER! I’m such a huge fan of this series! I love Ally Carter and all of her books. I’m so happy to hear you liked this book, Giselle! I hope you continue the series. <3 🙂

  16. Suzanne @ Paranormal Book Fan

    I love boarding school stories too and this one sounds really fun. Not what I thought this book was about to be honest so I obviously never looked that closely at it. I might get to this one someday. Great review Giselle

  17. Camille Picott

    Heh, this books sounds like a romp! The title cracks me up. A few years ago, back when the tv show Alias was big, I heard about a “spy school” for adults in southern California. 🙂

    Great review!

  18. bookworm105

    Oh how i love this series! You should really continue reading it. I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You was enjoyable and really fun. I have to agree what you said in this review. Though i didn’t think of the Hary Potter elements in it. I’m glad that you enjoyed it!

    Excellent review! =D

  19. Nazish Reads

    Your review makes me want to try reading this book again, I tried reading this book about two years ago, but I just couldn’t get into it, I think it’s because of how I was feeling at that time, any book I read in those few months, I wouldn’t be able to finish. So now I decided to try reading this book again, and hopefully, I will enjoy it too, I mean, I love spies, especially after watching those Spy Kids movies when I was a little kid, those were awesome.

  20. Mel - Thedailyprophecy.

    So, I wasn’t so thrilled about this book until you mentioned Harry Potter. That’s the thing that made me want to read it :p I love HP and everything that has the same feeling is welcome in my collection. Thanks for sharing!

  21. reutreads

    This is a really cute book. I have to re-read the second book before I can continue with the series, though! I picked up the fourth, realized I had no idea what was happening, and decided to re-read them. The books actually turn pretty dark, and less predictable after this one. My favorite parts were definitely the spy bits!