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The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter

September 20th, 2013 (12:27 pm)
accomplished

Current Mood: accomplished
Current Song: Giving It Up For You by Holly Brook

The Gallagher Girls are here to save the day - and maybe have some fun along the way.

With a killer title and a great cover, Ally Carter's teen fiction debut I'D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU, BUT THEN I'D HAVE TO KILL YOU will certainly grab the eyes of potential readers. Thanks to the author's quick wit and the book's squeaky clean romance-meets-teenage spy girl storyline, the book will keep readers both laughing and interested.

Cammie Morgan attends the Gallagher Academy, an all-girls school that is known for its emphasis on academics. Adults know it is prestigious; local kids wrongfully assume that the students must be privileged snobs. What outsiders don't know is the school is actually training the young ladies to become spies. Gallagher Girls are trained in the martial arts, taught "real" history, learn political secrets, and are multilingual.

Cammie's mother and father are spies - or were, in the case of her late father, whose death is shrouded in mystery. Her mother, Rachel, is a retired CIA operative and the school headmistress. Cammie is an only child who finds solace in her best friends and classmates, such as clumsy but lovable Liz, brassy British Bex, and anxious Anna, all of whom are also Gallagher Girls. Little does Cammie know the surprises that await her as she enters her sophomore year at the Academy: a new teacher, a new high-profile (and highly caustic) classmate, and a first crush.

Cammie has never had nor wanted a "normal" life - until she meets a local boy who is funny and kind. Of course, he doesn't know she's a spy-in-training, and she can't tell him. This leads to mistaken identities, covert meetings, costume changes (can't wear the spy gear, don't want to wear the private school uniform, must find clothes an average teenager would wear!), and plenty of pratfalls.

Though Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series is all about spies, the first book relies heavily upon the comedic aspects of Cammie's misadventures and has very little violence. It is appropriate for girls in middle school and up, great for adults who read light spy stories, and perfect for fans of The Princess Diaries and Moonlighting. Later books have more violence and traditional spy fare (running from the bad guys, facing off with the bad guys, etc) than the first book.

I don't want to spoil whether or not Cammie gets the guy in first book, but I will tell you that there's a guy in the second book. In fact, there are a lot of guys.

If you liked I'D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU, BUT THEN I'D HAVE TO KILL YOU, then you'll definitely like the follow-up, CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO SPY. The Gallagher students know how their school operates and are used to it being an all-girl campus. When the guys from Blackthorne Institute for Boys come to the Gallagher Academy share their studies and their teachers for the spring semester, some of the girls get distracted while others become suspicious.

Cammie is a bit of both camps. She appreciates the fact that the guy spies are smart and savvy, but she doesn't trust them. She kind of got off on the wrong foot with Zach, one of the spy-guys, and she can't stop thinking about Josh. She also thinks her new schoolmates are hiding something - and they might not be the only ones. Old photographs and overheard conversations make Cammie question her father's schooling and spy work. Will she ever find out what really happened to him?

DON'T JUDGE A GIRL BY HER COVER, the third Gallagher Girls book, is a little more serious than the first two books in the series. At the end of her summer vacation, Cammie visits Macey in Boston, where Macey's father is about to accept a nomination for the vice-presidency. When Cammie follows Macey (and Preston, the presidential hopeful's son) to an appointed place, something happens that neither of the trained spies were expecting: a kidnapping attempt.

It would be easy to say that they escaped unscathed, but that's not true. The attack shakes the girls up, leaving physical and emotional marks on them that will take months to heal. (This, combined with Macey's parental political associations, reminded me of Long May She Reign by Ellen Emerson White.) By the time they begin their junior year at the Academy, things have yet to really settle down - in fact, they're about to be shaken up even more.

Favorite characters from the first two books appear throughout the third, as do a few new interesting faces. Cammie notably matures throughout the course of the novel, becoming more introspective as she considers what it means to be a spy - what she has to gain, and what she has to give up. While Macey becomes more and more withdrawn, Cammie becomes more determined to figure out the identities of the attackers/kidnappers. In one memorable scene, teacher Joe Solomon discusses motivation:

"What, ladies" - he took a step, scanning the dim room - "is almost always tied to why. There are six reasons anyone does anything: Love. Faith. Greed. Boredom. Fear . . . " he said, ticking them off on his fingers; but he lingered on the last, drawing a deep breath before he said, "Revenge."

I thought about the people on the rooftop, wondered which of those things had brought them there. And why.
- Page 187

Additional favorite lines from COVER include:

I found myself remembering that I know fourteen different languages and yet my life is ruled by things I cannot say. - Page 32

There are things spies often carry with them: pocket litter, fake IDs, the occasional weapon-slash-camera-slash-hair accessory. But the heaviest things, I think, are the secrets. They can drown you if you let them. - Page 77

So the three of us sat surrounded by books and secrets and the light of a dying fire, finally realizing that we were the only people in Macey's life who knew not to judge a girl by her cover. - Page 214

Note: Quotes and pagination are from the ARC and may differ in the final version.

If you couldn't tell, I was quite happy with the serious tone which permeated COVER. When the stakes were really raised in the fourth book, ONLY THE GOOD SPY YOUNG, I was positively thrilled. Familiar faces may not be welcomed, as some of the good guys are revealed to be (possibly) bad guys. New characters in powerful positions are introduced, shaking up the school's chain of command and the students' back-to-school routine. When everything goes topsy-turvy, Cammie must decide whom to trust - and trust her gut. Without giving away the ending of book four, I will say that it is, hands down, my favorite ending of any of the books in this series. No contest.

The fifth book, OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF TIME, and the sixth and final book, UNITED WE SPY, cover Cammie's senior year, when the attacks become more personal and the danger even more real. Senior-year Cammie experiences some things that sophomore-Cammie never considered. (Consider, if you will, the difference between early episodes of the TV series COVERT AFFAIRS to its later seasons...then imagine a crossover between these books and that show. Can't you see Annie and Cammie comparing notes, and Liz hanging out with Auggie?) With lives on the line, Cammie is pushed to the edge.

Read the Gallagher Girls books in order:
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy
Don't Judge a Girl By Her Cover
Only the Good Spy Young
Out of Sight, Out of Time
United We Spy


Also pick up Double Crossed, which is a crossover story between two Ally Carter series, Gallagher Girls and Heist Society. Double Crossed is a novella, not a full-length novel. It was released after Out of Sight, Out of Time.

This series has become a big hit with my middle school and high school customers. Those I've given the first book to have come back for the second and the third and the rest. One copy of CROSS MY HEART circulated through three girls in less than a month; I then happily discussed the books with each of them in turn. I'd tell you what they said, but then...you know.

Read my exclusive interview with author Ally Carter.

Sneak a peek at my Spies and Sleuths booklist.

Comments

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: October 24th, 2007 02:02 am (UTC)
I Loved both the Gallagher Girls books

Both books where wonderful and i think she should write a third book. It might just be me but i got the impression that there was a Gallagher Academy for girls. it might just be me. It would be wonderful if there was a school like that somewhere in the world.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: October 24th, 2007 02:33 am (UTC)
Re: I Loved both the Gallagher Girls books

I enjoyed the books as well, as you can tell.

Perhaps there is such a school. The world may never know...

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 27th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC)
Re: I Loved both the Gallagher Girls books

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 27th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC)
Re: I Loved both the Gallagher Girls books

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: July 17th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC)
Re: I Loved both the Gallagher Girls books

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: July 17th, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC)
Re: I Loved both the Gallagher Girls books

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: April 7th, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
Re: I Loved both the Gallagher Girls books

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: May 16th, 2008 10:40 pm (UTC)

these are the best books in the world!!!!!!!i hope zack comes back into the story!!!!!!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 16th, 2008 10:52 pm (UTC)

I'm looking forward to the next book.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: June 24th, 2008 02:30 pm (UTC)

i love both of these books and can't wait for the third! :)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: June 24th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)

Ditto!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: July 4th, 2008 01:30 am (UTC)
josh

i think that josh likes cammie, thats y he was so upset!! and thats y deedee was s o serious when she told cammie i hope you and zach are happy!!!! does any1 agree?

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2009 02:57 am (UTC)
Re: josh

Maybe they'll explore this in book 3!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: January 3rd, 2009 03:30 am (UTC)
Re: josh

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2009 03:31 am (UTC)
Re: josh

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 21st, 2009 08:42 pm (UTC)
Re: josh

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 21st, 2009 11:37 pm (UTC)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: June 7th, 2009 02:09 am (UTC)
Re: josh

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: June 7th, 2009 04:14 am (UTC)
Re: josh

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: April 7th, 2009 08:16 pm (UTC)
Re: josh

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: June 2nd, 2010 09:46 pm (UTC)
Re: josh

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: June 2nd, 2010 09:49 pm (UTC)
Re: josh

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: October 26th, 2008 05:56 am (UTC)
3rd book

Ally Carter released a (tentative) title for the 3rd book: Don't Judge a Girl By her Cover.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: October 26th, 2008 06:17 am (UTC)
Re: 3rd book

Yes, thank you! I added it to my Spies and Sleuths booklist when it was announced earlier this year, but hadn't added it here yet. Now I have. :)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: December 1st, 2008 03:54 am (UTC)
Anna...

Anna wasn't one of her best friends. Liz and Bex certainly and Macey is becoming one also but definitely not Anna. She refers to Anna as more of an acquaintance. Just thought you should know.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: December 1st, 2008 04:18 am (UTC)
Re: Anna...

Okay, perhaps I should have said 'classmates' instead!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: January 3rd, 2009 02:52 am (UTC)
the boy's school namee!!

i love this series:)
but just to let you know.
its not Ethan Frome Academy
its Blackthorne Academy (for Exceptional Young Men) ;]

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2009 02:58 am (UTC)
Re: the boy's school namee!!

Blackthorne Institute, right? Thanks.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: January 4th, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC)
Re: the boy's school namee!!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: January 4th, 2009 05:20 pm (UTC)
Re: the boy's school namee!!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: July 26th, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC)

http://gallagherxblackthorne.webs.com/
a roleplaying website for blackthorne boys and gallagher girls

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: July 27th, 2009 02:33 am (UTC)

Cute idea - Have fun!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 20th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
I <3

OMG I LOVED ALL 3 BOOKS. DON'T JUDGE A GIRL BY HER COVER WUZ MY FAV!!!!!!! CAN'T WAIT UNTILL THE 4TH BOOK!!!!!!!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 20th, 2009 10:21 pm (UTC)
Re: I &lt;3

:)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 30th, 2009 02:44 am (UTC)
Re: I <3

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 30th, 2009 05:07 am (UTC)
Re: I &lt;3

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 30th, 2009 02:47 am (UTC)
4th book

Does anyone know when the 4th book comes out and what its called?????

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 30th, 2009 05:06 am (UTC)
Re: 4th book

Here's Ally Carter's mini-FAQ:
http://www.allycarter.com/labels/GG4.html

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: October 11th, 2009 04:34 am (UTC)
gallagher girls

i love zack and cammie's relationship she an tell zack the truth unlike josh. and i can't get over there love\hate relationship it's so funny and cute! i can't wait for GG4 if i have to wait any longer i'll explode BOOM!!!! can't wait for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: October 11th, 2009 07:12 am (UTC)
Re: gallagher girls

:)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: December 1st, 2009 02:19 am (UTC)
Re: gallagher girls

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: December 1st, 2009 02:21 am (UTC)
Re: gallagher girls

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: May 14th, 2010 03:08 am (UTC)

ok why dos it say that only the good spy young comes out in june 2010 when i am getting it from the library this week? it says the same thing on Ally's website...june.....but im getting the book now...and im not a spy(lol)...or maybe i am....id tell you...but then...you know....

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 14th, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC)

I believe the official release date is June 29th, but perhaps your library acquired a review copy in advance and put it into circulation. Enjoy!

Posted by: my name is Emilia and I AM CANADIAN! (hpfan4life)
Posted at: May 28th, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC)
pic#81084693

I love those books :)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 28th, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)

:)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: June 9th, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC)
Josh

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: June 9th, 2010 03:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Josh

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: June 20th, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC)
i absolultly LOVED these books!!

I swear, this is one of my favorite series!!!!! Actually, its tied for my first favorite with twilight. I love the way Cammie can relate to some of the readers, but in other ways, she is soooo different. She as boy troubles, just like the rest of us, she as dramas, just like the rest of us. But she as totally different ways of handleing it. I love these books and im SOOOOO excited for Only the Good Spy Young. :D

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: June 20th, 2010 10:21 pm (UTC)
Re: i absolultly LOVED these books!!

Hi there! Thanks for leaving a comment. Glad to hear from another Gallagher Girls fan. :) Make sure you visit readergirlz at http://www.readergirlz.com and http://readergirlz.blogspot.com in July to discuss the books with other readers - and with Ally Carter herself!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 16th, 2010 02:15 am (UTC)
love these books

ilove these serirses they are my fav book

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 16th, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
Re: love these books

:) What did you think of the twist at the end of GG4? I'm on the edge of my seat, awaiting the next!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: November 18th, 2010 03:28 am (UTC)

Ok I've finished GG4 today. I loved it and expected to. I think that these books are really amazing. Cammie's relationships with her friends, Zach, and others such as Joe Solomon are set up very well. I love her relationship with Zach. He is so sweet and caring for Cammie. I kind of miss the old days when Josh was around but Zach is meant for her. No secrets. The ending of GG4 surprised me. But in a good way. I can not wait for the next book. I wish this was a true in the real world. This might sound crazy but I kind of want Cammie's life. All the mystery and adventure and romance. Except for the part about the life threatening situations. Anyone agree? Well anyway, I heard that the series will stop at six books. I hope not. I feel like I personally know Cammie... But all good things come to an end right? In conclusion, congrats to Ally Carter for making my favorite and most captivating books in the world. :)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: November 18th, 2010 03:29 am (UTC)

I enjoyed GG4 a great deal as well. Oh, that ending...!

Posted by: Miranda Cosgrove (Ladyselenafan10)
Posted at: March 23rd, 2011 10:23 pm (UTC)
love the gallager adcadamy

i read all the series and now i am re reading them all again and if it became a movie i would watch it over and over again

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 24th, 2011 11:27 pm (UTC)
Re: love the gallager adcadamy

Excellent. :)

Posted by: Cinthia Juarez (Cinthia Juarez)
Posted at: May 9th, 2011 12:07 am (UTC)
i can't find the movie

i look every where i can't find the movie only trailer

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 9th, 2011 03:30 pm (UTC)
Re: i can&#39;t find the movie

The movie hasn't been released yet. It hasn't been filmed yet. :)

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