Review | I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

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“The time for crying with your girlfriends about a broken heart is over chocolate ice cream and chick flicks—not stun guns and bulletproof vests.”

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Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school-that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it’s really a school for spies. Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real “pavement artist”-but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?

Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she’s on her most dangerous mission-falling in love.

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You know those books that are quirky, a little simple, maybe even childish, but you just can’t help falling in love with?  Well ladies and gentlemen, this is one of those books.  I adored it!  I admit, I was a bit skeptical over the cheesy title and cliché synopsis, but I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You was clever, cute, and overall a great read.  I haven’t laughed as much reading a book since The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  The plot is fairly uncomplicated, but packed with ridiculous humor, snarky remarks, and a hilarious romance.

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“I suppose a lot of teenage girls feel invisible sometimes, like they just disappear. Well, that’s me—Cammie the Chameleon. But I’m luckier than most because, at my school, that’s considered cool.

I go to a school for spies.”

Cammie Morgan is in for quite a treat for her Sophomore year.  Nothing is out of the ordinary as our protagonist is on a Covert Operations mission – blending into the crowd, tailing her target…etc.  Cammie’s a pavement artist; no one’s notices her unless she wants them too.  That is, until she meets Josh.

“Hey, Cammie… tell Suzie she’s a lucky cat.”
Have sexier words ever been spoken? I seriously think not!”

Hence, the start of a beautiful relationship…or maybe not.  When you attend an all girl school for spies, it’s not exactly easy to be in a relationship.  Once Cammie’s friends Bex, Liz, and Macy find out about her acquaintance with Josh, they assume he’s a honeypot – aka a spy. Naturally, they decide to tap his phone, scavenge his trash, and survey his house.  Great idea.

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“If he’d looked like a cross between Mr. Clooney and, say, one of the hobbits, I probably would have been far more capable of coherent thought.” 

Cammie.

This is a very character-driven novel, so if you aren’t particularly fond of Cammie, I would not recommend this book.  I however, loved her.  Her inner and outer dialogue cracked me up.  I found it absolutely comical that despite Cammie’s vast knowledge of languages, martial arts, and stealth, she is ultimately clueless in understanding boys.

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Bex, Liz, and Macy.

“Did you say something Macey?’ I asked, but she cut me a look that could kill. She reached into her bag, ripped off a sliver of Evapopaper, and scribbled:
‘Can we study tonight? (Tell anyone, and I’ll kill you in you sleep!)”

Their personalities were all unique and distinct, but I honestly found them all to be underdeveloped. However, their remarks and behavior (especially Bex) nearly make up for their lack of depth.  The conversations in this book truly are outstanding.

Josh.

Similar to Bex, Liz, and Macy, Josh lacks character depth, but he’s supposed to be an average teenage boy, so his lack of depth is understandable…even though it was annoying.  Nonetheless, his and Cammie’s conversations were still enjoyable.

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The Gallagher Academy is practically the offspring of Hogwarts and Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing School. I’m really interested to discover the significance of all the hidden passages and chambers for the rest of the series.

-The characters were spectacular.  They constantly kept me entertained – they’re teenage girls, of course they’re going to do some stupid things! Their anxiety, confusion, and complete ignorance of teenage guys cracked me up.

-The story line was a simple, yet lively adventure.  What at first seems cliché’d, is surprisingly unexpected and incredibly amusing.  Carter does a marvelous job of taking a relatively stereotypical concept, and putting a unique spin on it.

-The dialogue was marvelous.  I loved all the references to movies and TV shows.

-The spy elements weren’t at all arduous to understand.   This is a Middle Grade book – I don’t want to have a ton of confusing terms shoved at me.  In my opinion, a book written for younger audiences shouldn’t be over-complicated.

-The Gallagher Academy was an intriguing setting.  I always like the idea of castles and manors filled with secrets.

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-The cover and title.  I know, I know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but honestly, that’s like saying don’t eat a banana based on how brown it is. For the longest time I didn’t read this book, purely because the title was pretty cheesy and the cover didn’t look unique or very eye-catching.

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-As I mentioned earlier, Josh and the supporting characters lacked any development, whatsoever.

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Well, it was pretty fantastic.  Great characters. Great dialogue. Great story.  I can’t wait to read the rest of the books…oh yeah, I’m reading them all!  I definitely think I would have liked this series even more if I read it when I was in middle school, but it’s still entertaining no matter your age, in my opinion.

If you’ve read this book before, let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. 🙂

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