Review: I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter

Gallagher Girl's 1

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter

Title: I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1)
Author: Ally Carter
Genre: Spy, Young Adult
Publisher: Orchard Books (6th May 2010)

“Do you ever feel like you’re invisible? I know I do – just call me Cammie the Chameleon. But at my [blank] school, that’s seen as cool. Why? Because Gallagher Academy might say it’s for geniuses, but it’s really a school for spies.”

Cammie Morgan might be capable of killing a man in seven different ways, but she’s about to begin her most dangerous mission yet: falling in love.

Rating: ** (2 stars)

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You is the first book in Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series. The series is about a group of girls who go to an all-girl boarding school, where they just happen to learn how to be spies. The series stars, and is narrated, by Cammie Morgan.

I’ve read and adored Ally Carter’s other series Heist Society, and as there is a long wait until book three is out, I thought I’d try her first series. So I went into this book with rather high expectations, and I have to admit that I’ve come away disappointed. The Gallagher Girl series seems to be aiming at a younger audience – and maybe I’m just too old for it – but as I was reading I found it harder and harder to get why Cammie did certain things.

Books with crime plots are something I really enjoy, so seeing as this is a book about learning to be a spy I thought I’d really enjoy it but it just missed the mark with me. I found myself wondering why Cammie was coming up with complicated lies for an undercover story, when surely every good spy knows that you want to keep your lies as close to the truth as possible so you don’t get caught. Events in the book at times also tended to get perilously close to farce, and whilst having read the genres on Goodreads I get that there was supposed to be a bit of tongue-in-cheek to the narrative it completely went over my head.

There are elements of this book that I did enjoy, especially Cammie’s close relationship with her friends – Bex and Liz. Carter does a great job at making them believable friends and still individual. In fact, Carter did an excellent job with the cast overall – though some were close to being stereotypical. I also enjoyed reading Cammie’s relationship with her mother.

If you’re looking for a good spy novel, then I’m afraid this isn’t it. If you are looking for a bit of chick-lit, then you will probably enjoy this. It’s light and fun, and the romance is well written.

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