Monday, March 9, 2009

Book Review: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You

Title: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You
Author: Ally Carter
Genre: YA, Commercial Fiction
Rating: B-

Summary (from "The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a fairly typical all-girls school that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE, the latest in chemical warfare in science; and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes computer class. So in truth, Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but its really a school for spies. Cammie Morgan is a second generation Gallagher Girl, and by her sophomore year shes already fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways. 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 shes 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 she have a regular relationship with a regular boy who can never know the truth about her? Cammie may be an elite spy in training, but in her sophomore year, shes beginning her most dangerous mission--shes falling in love."

Review: This book was so-so throughout (except for one fateful sentence at the very end). I picked up this book because I've been interested in Ally Carter's agent, and wanted to see what kinds of books she represented. So, I read (and read and read), I think I read this whole thing in about a day and a half (sporadically throughout), it was really quick, but nothing really stood out.

In the beginning the characters kind of all ran together for me (which I guess can tend to happen when you're trying to populate an entire school full of girls), but they got fleshed out well enough in the end. Truth be told, I probably kept reading because the guy/boyfriend was kind of interesting... I wanted to see what would happen with him (not so much him/Cammie, just him). The drawback about the guy/boyfriend is that he was clearly an woman's idealized version of what she'd want a boyfriend to be like. I kept wanting him to be a little bit more real, have some flaw, something, but he never really comes through like that.

As I said earlier, the book was essentially a throw-away for me (actually, the technical term should be a "sell it at the 1/2-price book store because I'll never read it again"), but there was one parting sentence from the guy/boyfriend that I'll censor slightly (to avoid spoiling it), but he says, "Tell your mom I said thanks for the [spoiler alert]," and with that one sentence I knew I had to go out and get a copy of the second book in the series, Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy. I haven't rushed out and bought it (not sure when I'll get around to that... maybe next year), but that one sentence saved the whole book. Otherwise, this would probably have only been about a C-.

So, I'd recommend this book to anybody who likes YA literature and a little mystery-type thing thrown in. The rights have been optioned by Walt Disney for film, and I'd probably see it... it seems like a story that actually would work better on film than it did in book format. We'll see.

1 comment:

Lenore said...

14 languages! Whoa! That was totally my dream when I was in high school. I've only got 3 1/2 so far though.

I won this and the sequel in audio book format and I plan to listen to it on my next road trip.