Friday 1 November 2013

Book Review - I'd Tell You I Love You..

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You
Author: Ally Carter
Series: Gallagher Girls #1
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery | Young Adult
Release Date: 25th April 2006
Publishers: Orchard Books
No. Pages: 284
Source: Purchased
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
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.

The Gallagher Girls, at first, appears to be a teenagers fiction dream; female spies, a group of sassy girlfriends and a large dollop of cheesy teenage angst, but I'd Tell You I Love You was much more than that, although it did obviously include the aforementioned features. Having surprisingly never read any sort of spy orientated book in my entire life, yes I know, shocking isn't it, I decided that the only way I ever would would be if I found one central to those of the female kind, and when I found The Gallagher Girls series, I thought I'd hit the jackpot, and still after reading the first in the series, I stand by my hitting said jackpot.

Cammie, our leading lady and her group of sassy girlfriends attend a high school, much like a boarding school, which is specifically catered to training young women to be spies, and our ladies are doing just that. I was taken by the short synopsis explaining this straight away and this book shot it's way onto my 'seriously considering' pile quicker than a duck to water. However, when I saw this book in the charity shop I volunteer at for £1.25, it was mine, and no-one was stopping me. Boy was I ready to get into it. Plot wise, this book reminded me of my shopping trips, the kinds where I know exactly where I'm going and what I'm doing, yet I still find myself going into other shops for no reason whatsoever. The story had a good direction, and flowed really easily and realistically, however, it also had a thing for just vanishing somewhere else completely unrelated for maybe 30 pages a time and I just couldn't take to that, and that was probably my only real problem with the book, alongside our leading ladies talking about and referring to 'love' way to often. I do remember what it was like to have your first boyfriend and believe it's meant to be and true love and all that yadda yadda, but I was pretty disappointed when this 'love' feeling affected how independent and unique our ladies were. I was so pleased to have finally come across some ladies who didn't dismiss other people for a guy, especially as spies, as that would be highly unprofessional, yet they still seemed to; school work went out the window, friendships started to form cracks, and while this leads for some serious character development in the following books, I was just a little, upset that it wasn't how I wanted it to be.

I did however take to all the characters in the story completely and I could seriously relate to near enough all of them. They each had traits personal to them, they all, especially our sassy ladies, took on new challenges and realised their little school world is actually a lot bigger than that, much like real life. I completely adored the how Ally Carter took simple feelings and actions of teenage girls and gave them new, exciting levels relating in every way to the spy world our characters lived in, and I also liked how that gave the ladies a great advantage over men, and I felt this was how Ally Carter could get a message through to young girls; that they are just as good as any man, if not better. The story also covered sensitive subjects such as your standard working single parent/child relationship and how that balance between homelife and school life can be quite difficult, especially when your Mother is in charge of your education, the loss of a parent at a young age, and especially how your attributes don't reflect who you are as a person, and I felt I connected and learnt a lot about and with our leading ladies. The romance, well, it was shall I say a little cliché in parts, but it really hit the nail on the head in the last few 5o pages, and I was impressed and a little excited to see where exactly it would go.

I would also like to, as I always do, talk about how really happy I am that there's some consistency throughout the series and these covers, because boy do they say a lot about the story, our characters and the overall feeling and atmosphere throughout. I'm insanely happy and can't wait to have them all pretty on my shelves. I am aware I sound about 11, but who cares.I decided about half way that if this book was a 4 stars, I would continue with the series and buy the next three without hesitation in the New Year, and it turns out, this book was bang on target. There were parts I didn't like, and parts that blew my mind, yes, I am talking about the fantastically written action-teamwork scene near the end of the book, which trust me, is totally worth the wait, and I seriously can't wait to see more action, more sass, more character building and of course, some more of that cute romance that I guess every YA book needs. I wish I'd found this book about 2-3 years ago as I probably would have adored every moment, so I would definitely recommend it to anyone 15+ and I seriously look forward to reading more about Cammie's adventures with The Gallagher Girls, and romance.

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