Friday, October 9, 2009

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.
Author: Ally Carter.
Publisher: Hyperion.
Date: April 1, 2007.
ISBN: 1423100042.

Critical Analysis:
Ally Carter wrote a fast paced funny spy thriller adventure of a teenage girl named Cammie Morgan who attends a posh private school called the Gallagher Academy where gifted girls learn how to become top rate spies. Cammie and her friends set out to perform covert operations but unfortunately a local boy named Josh spots Cammie and she develops a crush on him. Her friends help her find out more information on Josh and to help her figure out if he likes her or not without letting Josh or the outside world know their Gallagher Academy’s secret identity.

Readers will enjoy the humor in this story! The plot takes a little while to fully develop, but the humor will keep the reader engaged. According to the Publishers Weekly Review, “Though the plot takes a while to unfold, fun details and characters will keep readers engaged (Cammie and her friends speak 14 languages, take classes in Covert Operations, can rappel down buildings and plant tracking devices)” (Publishers Weekly, vol 253, issue 20, p73). The characters in this story were very interesting, funny and full of surprises. Unfortunately, this story lacked the one true hated villain which results in the story not having such a climatic hero finale. Miranda Doyle of the San Francisco Public Library wrote, “The stakes never seem very high since there are no real villains, and the cutesy dialogue quickly becomes grating” (School Library Journal, vol 52, issue 7, p98).

The literary style of the first person narrative through Cammie Morgan was easy to follow and the co-ops reports that she included gave a James Bond type feel. While I would not associate this book as a realistic fiction novel, I would say there are realistic relationships between some of the characters to which readers could relate. The story lacks the intensity of a deep plot but is enjoyable to read especially for a young teenage audience looking for a good clean fun chick lit book!

Review Excerpt:

Horn Book (The Horn Book Guide, Fall 2006):

"Cammie attends Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a school allegedly for geniuses but actually for spies. The coursework is rigorous, the teachers are experts in their fields, and her mother is the headmaster. Disappointingly, Cammie's undercover skills are only used to investigate a boy she likes, but the book--more romance than spy thriller--is still entertaining. Category: Older Fiction. 2006, Hyperion, 284pp, 15.99. Ages 12 to 14. Rating: 4: Recommended, with minor flaws" Retrieved from the Children's Literature Database (accessed on October 10, 2009).

Claire Rosser (KLIATT Review, May 2006 (Vol. 40, No. 3)):

"Carter introduces The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women--a school for spies, actually, but no one outside the school knows that. The main character is Cammie Morgan, and she is preparing for a life as a spy by learning how to speak many languages, how to collect information from many sources, and how to kill quickly, and in many ways. She is happy in her life, surrounded by equally brilliant friends. The plot revolves around more typical situations: she meets a boy in town and falls for him; and a new girl who thinks she is better than anyone else has difficulty fitting in. Cammie's mother is the principal of the school and she is supportive and loving. The teachers are nothing if not fascinating and different. This is escapist fiction for those who like unusual school stories. Category: Hardcover Fiction. KLIATT Codes: JS--Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2006, Hyperion, 284p., $16.99. Ages 12 to 18" Retrieved from the Children's Literature Database (accessed on October 10, 2009).


Black-Eyed Susan Book Award, 2009.
Kansas Notable Book, 2007.


I found an intersting website that had a short quiz on the story which could be used to get the thought process started for discussion. You can access this quiz by clicking on: (accessed on October 10, 2009).

Other books that may be of intrest:

Cross my heart and hope to spy, by Ally Carter, Publisher: Hyperion Books, Date: 2007, ISBN: 9781423100058 (second book in the Gallagher series).

Don't judge a girl by her cover, by Ally Carter, Publisher: Hyperion Books, Date: 2009, ISBN: 9781423116387 (third book in the Gallagher series).

Private, by Kate Brian, Publisher: Simon and Schuster, Date: 2006, ISBN: 9781416918738 (first book in a nine part series).

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