The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women lives up to its name. Not only does this exclusive boarding school teach advanced language skills and correct deportment; its students also master the arts of tapping phones, hacking into computers, and spying in public places. At school, second-generation Gallagher Girl Cammie Morgan has impeccable credentials: She is fluent in 14 languages and able to kill an assailant in seven different ways. But recently life has dealt Cammie a card that she never anticipated: She has fallen in love with an ordinary boy who knows nothing about her exotic double life. A truly covert romance.
Why I read this:
Book the first from Ally Carter, I think. It was hunted down immediately after finishing Heist Society.
First things first, this book is not the Heist Society. It still has humour and family and touching moments, but I also think that the voice for this too is a bit younger. A bit more uncertain of ones confidence in the world. This is absolutely not a bad thing, just if you’re coming to it wanting it to be a continuation of what you loved from Heist Society, it isn’t. It’s something altogether different to like for its own reasons.
What I like was that she took spies, and make a spy school. Hello, another theme I totally forgot that I loved in movies. Like a lot. An all girls school for spies posing as a prissy boarding school. Girls who are trained weapons and code experts and geniuses. Then throw in one cute town guy who is supposed to loath the boarding school but doesn’t know that Cammie is from there, and bam, she’s a babbling idiot who doesn’t even know hot to spell her own name. (okay so I made up the name bit, but dudes, she goes completely dumb around boys).
And yet this works. This works really well. Because it is believable with the background she has grown up with. It doesn’t feel dumb. It kind of feels like we all do in our first relationship, weird and awkward and fumbly.
I liked how the book was written from the flippant younger voice of Cammie. How she was trying to be serious but words of her age group just kept cropping in. It felt fresh and not forced. I also really like the case study report strewn throughout the novel. It made me giggle more than once. Also, the spy terms, especially Legend. It makes me wonder what kind of research was done for this series?
Another element I totally loved about this story was the overall arch of the plot. This book focuses on her first relationship, but there is also the overall arch of her Dad having gone missing in the field, and the grief that is still present between her and her mom. This is not solved, this is ever present, and I can see how this thread will string together to arch through the series. Very Veronica Mars-esque a ala first season.
I’m onto the second book in this series, and I would totally recommend this to any lover of YA. I also think that for girls this would be a great cross over from MG into YA.
Rating: a solid 7/10