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Book Review: Gallagher Girls #1: I’d Tell You That I Loved You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter

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Fifteen year old Cammie Morgan is a spy. At least, she will be once she gets out of spy school. And if she doesn’t end up getting her heart broken, failing field training with the hot new ex-spy teacher, or getting found out. Bringing public attention to Gallagher Academy would be so not cool.

As a sophomore, Cammie and her friends Bex and Liz are now able to take classes in Covert Operations. CoveOps specializes in field training assignments and being able to observe a person of interest without getting found out.

I liked the overall setting of Gallagher Academy, but it takes a lot of willing suspension of disbelief. It’s like 007 and the CIA on steroids, and then there is the conceit that everything really cool (like Velcro and other inventions) were all created by Gallagher students needing them in spy school. I would have been happy with just the spy stuff without all the product claims.

The tension between Cammie and Mr. Solomon is good, and it deepens the mystery of what happened to Cammie’s spy father. I know this will probably be a staple of the series and I hope it gets resolved at some point because it sounds like a good story. The relationship Cammie maintains with her mother, who is also the director of the school, is fairly well developed. I’m not sure how I feel about the potential for a relationship between Mrs. Morgan and Mr. Solomon because I still have hopes that Cammie’s dad is still alive and one of her missions will be to rescue him at some point.

I do love Cammie’s best buds. Bex is an over-the-top Brit goddess and I liked her in-your-face attitude. Liz as computer geek/expert hacker is good and I liked her cautious nature. The three of them together make a good combination, and I enjoyed their repartee a lot.

The plot hinges primarily around Cammie’s sudden interest in a local guy, Josh. That relationship is played primarily for laughs and I had a good time with it. The backstory of the Gallagher Girls against the townies also manifests in that relationship, though I felt like some of that conflict was heavily contrived.

I do have to admit that I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t an actual threat or villains. I’d love to see the Gallagher girls matched up against their international counterparts. But the book is a teen romance with an interesting background, so that may not be in the cards. I’ll have to read the next few books to see if that happens.

And I will be reading the next books. Ally Carter delivers a wonderful first-person narrative filled with charisma and humor. I want to see the characters again, and I want to know more of their stories.

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