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12 / 30 books. 40% done!

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69 / 165 books. 42% done!
Monday, January 26, 2015

A Second Helping of Gallagher Girls Charm? Yes, Please!

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note:  Although this review will not contain spoilers for Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy, it may inadvertently give away plot surprises from I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

With the less-than-desirable results of her last mission fresh on her mind, all Cammie "The Chameleon" Morgan wants is a drama-free sophomore year at her elite boarding school.  Apparently, that's a little too much to ask for when you're a 15-year-old super spy (in training).  From the minute Cammie overhears chatter about a mysterious mission called Blackthorne, she's intrigued.  When she learns that it involves a group of teenage male spies-to-be moving onto the campus of the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, she's flummoxed.  She can take down a target using a shoelace and a ping pong ball without breaking a sweat, but dealing with boys—on a daily basis—is another matter entirely.  

With the highly-skilled Blackthorne boys on their turf, the Gallagher girls have to step up their game.  Which isn't easy with cute guys watching their every move.  Determined to ignore the unwanted attention of the aggravating (and totally hot) Zach Goode, Cammie vows to use every tool in her (not inconsiderable) arsenal to beat the boys at their own game.  But with confounding security breaches threatening the top-secret status of her beloved Gallagher Academy, Cammie realizes that working with the boys may be the only way to save her school.  Can she trust Zach and his comrades?  Or will the girls have to go it alone?

If you're looking for a fun, fluffy series to take your mind off life's stresses, you can't go wrong with Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls books.  They're cute, clever and just all-around entertaining.  Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy is no exception.  Sure, the ending's predictable but, really, who cares?  The novel remains an easy, exciting read that will keep you reading, laughing and cheering for the always irresistible Gallagher girls.


Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for mild violence and lots of references to bras/cleavage

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

Giver Companion Novel As Powerful, Thought-Provoking As Its Predecessor

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

With the club foot she's had since birth, Kira should have been kicked out of her community long ago.  If it hadn't been for the protection of her mother—a skilled weaver, highly valued in the village—she would have been sent to the Field of Leaving, where the dead and useless are buried.  When her mother dies, Kira fears the worst.  To her great shock, not only is she spared death, but she's given a home inside the luxurious Council Edifice.  Because of her magical talent with a needle, Kira's been given a special job.  An important job.  One that she must perform to perfection, no matter how much it drains her.  

At first, Kira's honored by the appointment.  But, the more time she spends in the Edifice and the better she gets to know the other "gifted" people in residence there, the more uneasy she becomes.   With the Council controlling these unique talents for their own purposes, Kira and her comrades are little more than slaves trapped in gilded cages.  This fate is better than death, surely, but what will become of them when they've outlived their usefulness?  As Kira tries to make sense of her new place in her old world, she makes many incredible discoveries—revelations that will, ultimately, make her question where she really belongs.

Considering The Giver's ambiguous ending, it's natural to assume that Gathering Blue continues Jonas' story.  Not so.  Although it's set in the same general world Lois Lowry introduces in The Giver, Gathering Blue is a completely different story with a whole new set of characters (although the people from both books do intersect in Messenger and Son).  It is similar to its predecessor, however, in tone, theme, and the deceptively simple nature of its presentation.  The novel's bleak landscape provides the perfect background for a tale that's both imaginative and colorful.  Harsh but hopeful, Gathering Blue is a must-read for anyone who loved The Giver.   

(Readalikes:  The Giver; Messenger; and Son; by Lois Lowry)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for violence

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of Gathering Blue from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.  
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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

Listening

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The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain



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