I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You (Ally Carter) – Review

I'd tell you I love you, but then I'd have to kill youI’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter
Age: 12-16
Genre: Fiction / Spy-School / Chick-lit
Source: Library
Publisher: Hyperion Paperbacks
ISBN: 9781423100041 / 284 pages
Find this book at your local library 

Cameron Morgan is not your typical teenager. She attends the Gallagher Academy, a secret school for child geniuses with spy and covert-ops training as part of the daily routine. The girls speak 14 languages fluently and can even kill a man with an uncooked piece of pasta. During a class exercise in town (Roseville, VA), Cameron (aka Chameleon) is seen by a very cute and normal guy. Although she can speak 14 language, can she act like a normal teenage girl?

I finished Carter’s Heist Society books (Heist Society & Uncommon Criminals) last year, and I really enjoyed both. I had high hopes for this one, because in theory is sounds awesome. In the end, it’s an amusing, quick, fluff read. There were a lot of staid character types (the nerdy heroine, the book smart friend, boy-smart friend, and the muscle-friend). There isn’t much depth given to any of the characters, except Cameron, but even that was in shallow water. Carter was on-key with the portrayal of teens and their crushes on boys and feeling clueless about boys. I love Cam as the narrator. She’s equal parts inquisitive, anxious, confused, and confident when it comes to dealing with boys, juggling school and friends.

Parts of the book reminded me of Harry Potter (secretive boarding school, a headmistress that’s dangerous and yet also Cameron’s mother, deceased parents, etc). I think any kind of secret-life-of-awesome theme is a go for teens and tweens. Still, the entire concept of Gallagher School sounds amazing and nothing like this existed when I was a teen. I would have devoured the series in high school.

This is Carter’s first book, so I guess allowances have to be made. After all, Heist Society is an amazingly fun read. I did notice that a lot of the a character styles in Gallagher Girls did get recycled and upgraded in Heist Society.

I’m curious to see how the next few books turn out. I like the characters and hopefully we’ll learn more about them and see some character development.

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