I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1) by Ally Carter
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.
This was a book that I’d never been particularly interested in reading before, but I finally read the synopsis for it on Goodreads a few weeks ago and decided that it sounded like a lot of fun. So I checked it out from my local library and gave it a read. And I was right: this was a really fun book.
Cammie Morgan is a student in a typical, prestigious, private, all-girls school called The Gallagher Academy. Or, at least, it WOULD be typical, except that this is a school for female spies. While on an assignment for her Covert Operations course, she meets a boy named Josh, and that’s when Cammie’s well-planned, well thought-out world completely changes. She can’t tell Josh anything about herself, because of where she goes to school and who she’ll be in the future, so what follows is basically Cammie living two different lives: her real one at the Academy, and the one she creates for herself when she’s with Josh.
First of all, all of the spy stuff in this book was awesome. I loved all the backgrounds for the teachers, and the lessons in their classrooms, and the little asides about various accidents that the girls have had while learning to be spies. However, the big draw of this book for me personally was just that the whole thing had a really fun, totally cool vibe about it. I absolutely loved Cammie. She had such a quick wit and sense of humor, and there were some serious laugh-out-loud moments in her narration. She just seemed very real to me, and I loved every second of her. Her interactions with Josh were absolutely perfect; this is truly a book that describes that feeling you get when you meet your first crush and are starting out in a relationship. Honestly I can’t find any other word to use to describe Cammie and Josh except for “adorable”. The whole thing just made me want to draw hearts all over it. <3
I really enjoyed watching Cammie grow up. She definitely deals with a number of new things in this book, including a roommate she and her friends don’t want [SPOILER] who turns out to be pretty awesome, if I do say so myself [/SPOILER], her first crush on a boy and what it might mean to have a so-called “normal” life, some eye-opening experiences regarding not only her future career but her mom as well, plus loads of other things I don’t want to mention to avoid those spoilers. She was a very strong character – physically able to take care of herself, but still just a sixteen-year-old girl who is growing up and trying to deal with everything that comes with that. Her friendship with Bex and Liz was first-rate, and included all those bumps that can pop up when you start trying to balance spending time with the boy you like and your friends who have always been there for you.
All in all this was really a coming-of-age book, set at an all-girls school for future spies. If you want a really witty and fun, but still totally relatable teenage girl narrator, Cammie is your girl. Honestly my thoughts upon finishing the book were simply that all 280+ pages of it were pure fun, which I loved every second of. I will definitely be picking up the next book in this series.