Monday, July 27, 2009

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

Pages: 284

Cammie Morgan is a student at The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school--typical, 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 seven different ways with her bare hands, 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 is not your ordinary girl-next-door, though she may look it. Cammie Morgan is a spy-in-training at The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. Where girl-geniuses roam, The Gallagher Academy is the most high-tech, place-of-knowledge in the United States. From the grade of seven, The Gallagher Girls are tested at every turn and are expected to be prepared for what comes at them. During her first Coverts Operation, Cammie is unexpectedly flabbergasted by the fact that she has been spotted--and not by The Subject she was assigned to dutifully keep surveillance on. That is when Cammie realizes that she has a whole other test, operation, experiment that is hers to accomplish, no matter how unskillful in the subject. One that doesn't exist inside the containment of The Gallagher Academy's walls. One that is going to take all of her roommate's help.
Can I just say that there is probably not another novel out there that has a title as accurate as I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You--the book, not the title. This debut novel was something very different from my collection of urban fantasies and paranormal trilogies. They did not prepare me for the boy-challenged genius Gallagher Girls. Though, to my surprise, the novel captivated me from the first few pages to the unexpected last ones. I'll have to admit that there were parts where I had to put it down because I knew the next event was going to be a bit mind-blowing--or hilarious, which I enjoyed; but, in the end that was a good thing. Albeit, thinking at times that there could have been more details about the girls, but what was supplied was enough to satisfy to the very end. The creative details of all the Academy's gadgets and secret passageways were impressive and so unprecedented that you do not see it coming. That's not just about the material things at The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, the girls will shock you with their knowledge--or with Tasers, whichever the situation demands best. I applaud Ally Carter for her creativeness and courage to bring to the YA community something I am sure must have been top secret. Seriously, the ending was so well-planned and -plotted that, in the end, I was amazed. Though, as a reviewer of YA novels, I have to say that this really is a new taste for me and I'm still testing out the flavor. I recommend this YA read to fellow reader of the age, to try something of variety for once and check out The Gallagher Girls; you will be impressed, I know I was.

Grade: B