2014 EVENTS:
Holly Bourne, Non Pratt and James Dawson - 30th October
Becca Fitzpatrick - 15th November

Sunday, 19 October 2014

REVIEW: I'd Tell You i Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You - Ally Carter

Sunday, 19 October 2014
GENRE: Contemporary YA
PAGES: 320
PUBLISHER: Orchard Books
BUY IT: Waterstones
RATING: 4 Stars

Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses - but it's really a school for spies. Cammie Morgan is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti). But the one thing the Gallagher Academy hasn't prepared her for is what to do when she falls for an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through a mall without his ever being the wiser, but can Cammie have a normal relationship with a boy who can never know the truth about her?

Cammie and her friends go to an exclusive school for exceptional girls. But really, it's a cover for a school for SPIES. Whilst on her first training mission shadowing a teacher, Cammie meets a boy that she can't stop thinking about. How can she risk blowing her cover for a boy she doesn't know?

I put off reading this series for so long because the cover made me think they were going to be shallow stories about girls who are obsessed with makeup, clothes and sneaking out to see boys. I was so wrong. It is a smart, witty novel that made me totally jealous that I had to go to a normal boring school for normal boring non-spy people.

The female characters are fantastic role models: they are serious about their schoolwork, are ambitious about their careers and make the most of each particular skill set they have. I liked that although they had to be privileged and of a good background to attend the school, the don't squander it. They recognise how lucky they are and know that their lives will never be normal or safe. They're also really loyal friends, which is what a girl needs when you have to spend the whole of you life looking over your shoulder for impending danger.

The school itself is also as much of a cool character. If you have never visited the school you would think it was just an academy for over-rich, bored 'preppy' types, but you would never make it up the drive; a series of booby traps would stop you on your way. And if there is ever a surprise visit the school can go all Harry Potter and convert itself inside. It's so much fun. They learn lessons like 'Covert Ops' and have to speak different languages on different days. It is so smart, and so witty.

In terms of Cammie's relationship with Josh, the boy she meets in the town, I was worried that it would go really soppy, that she would forget about her studies and because a helpless depressed damsel. I'm so glad she didn't. She still tries to have a normal life, growing up and starting to notice boys, and although she is nowhere near a normal teen, she is still relatable for any teenage reader.

The writing style is simple and easy and I devoured it, so my advice is to read these, they're so much fun. I recommend them for anyone wanting an easy fun read, or for any parents who want something for their girls to read that isn't smutty, depressing or just bad for the psyche.

These girls can kick anyone's ass, and most importantly they could outsmart you in a second.

- Bex.

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