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2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

So. Much. Fun.

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

At first glance, The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women looks like any other East Coast boarding school.  But that's just its cover.  No one would ever guess the school's real purpose—to train the next generation of super spies.  Gallagher Girls may look like ordinary teenagers, but they're not; they're the best, the brightest, the most elite spies-in-training on the planet.

The daughter of two legendary spies, 15-year-old Cammie Morgan can't wait to put the skills she's learning at Gallagher Academy into action.  She just never imagined she'd be practicing covert operations on the hot guy she meets in town one evening.  If only she could talk to Josh without sounding like an idiot, Cammie wouldn't have to hack into his computer or tap his phone to get to know him better.  But she can't.  She's tried.  And, she definitely can't "be herself" around him because everything about who she is is classified.  What's a love struck super spy to do?  Get her man by any means possible, of course!  Will her first mission be a roaring success or a miserable failure?  How about a little of both ...

Considering the book cover and title, it doesn't take a genius (or a super spy) to figure out that I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter is a whole lot of fun.  It's one of those light, funny stories that just makes a person smile.  The tone is upbeat, the story moves swiftly, and there are some plot curves to keep the reader guessing (a little).  Yeah, yeah, it's predictable, but who cares?  This is a delightful beginning to a popular series that I should have picked up a lot sooner than this.  Did I mention how totally fun it is?  

(Readalikes:  The other books in the Gallagher Girls series [Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy; Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover; Only the Good Spy Young; Out of Sight, Out of Time] and Heist Society by Ally Carter)

Grade:  B

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG for mild language and a (very) little innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find


  1. Great review! I'm kind of worried that I will have the whole "I can't suspend my disbelief enough to get into this book" problem I had with Heist Society. I realize this is a lot coming from a woman whose favorite book last year was about a HALF-DRAGON girl (Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, will dig it, Susan! I really think you will!) but still: I kept thinking "They're way too young to be stealing priceless art. Sneaking into R rated movies? Yes. Breaking into world famous art museums? No." I might give this one a shot when I have another Audible credit, though. Fun, fast audiobooks make housework and carpooling much more enjoyable.:)

    1. I liked HEIST SOCIETY, but I liked this one MORE. Is it realistic? Nope. It's so cute and fun, though, that I didn't really care. I just enjoyed the ride!

  2. We love this series around here. My 11-y-o just finished the series for the second time. We love the clean-teen feel and the hilarious voice.

    1. It really is fun, isn't it? My 11 yo wants to read it, too, but I'm making her wait a little bit since it's got a lot of what we call "lovey-dovey stuff" and I think she can stick to the middle grade stuff for now. Think this mom is having a hard time with her little girl growing up? That would be a resounding YES :)

  3. I've been pondering a post on predictable done right. Maybe I should read this one in prep.

  4. I have yet to read one of these books!

  5. These really were a lot of fun!

  6. I just finished it based on your review, and enjoyed it for the same reasons you liked it: snappy tempo, funny voice, and good clean fun. Thanks for the recommendation!


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