Thursday, July 23, 2009

Book Review--but the title is too long so see below...

I just finished a fantastic book: I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter.

Strangely, this series (because it is a series and number two is on it's way) is about a private school for girls devoted to teaching students the art and science of espionage.

Yes, the Gallagher Academy is a spy school, training hundreds of teenage girls to eat their tests (edible paper that tastes awful but allows for sensitive documents to be destroyed at a moment's notice), blow up car tires, disappear in a crowd, and oh--drive.

But remarkably, these books are engaging and believable. The girls experience real emotion that we all can relate to: not knowing what a boy means if he says, "see you around," hating the snobby new girl who calls you names, or missing a lost loved one. The spy stuff is treated as commonplace, so the whole novel revolves around the characters and their problems--like a novel should--instead of sounding like a how-to manual for future secret agents.

Which could be interesting, but could get all of us on a federal watch list. Which would be bad.

Especially if you all want jobs at some point in your lifetimes.

Cammie's mother is the headmistress, as well as a former spy. She gave up the undercover life when her husband, Cammie's father, went on a mission and never came home. Cammie doesn't know the details.

And, as with most things in spy life, she doesn't ask. She knows no one could tell her, even if she really wanted to know how it happened.

But her new Covert Ops professor, Joe Solomon, knows all about it. And mentions it in class.

And it gets worse, because he's shown definite interest in her mother. Much more than Cammie wants him too.

And she has a new roommate--a horrible spoiled rich girl who's jumping head-first into the world of espionage--and she doesn't even speak Farsi!

And did she mention that special assignment? The one that had her tailing a professor--a Real spy--through a street carnival? And the ending--her meet-up with the townie, Josh, oh-so-cute but totally unaware of Gallagher's real curriculum?

What results is a comical clash of Cammie's world and the Normal World, a world of town dances, meeting the parents, and first dates that has her feeling as off her guard as anyone who's version of Rock, Paper, Scissors involves using the aforementioned articles to kill her two opponents (or at least disarm them).

You'll love it. I did.

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