Thursday, May 14, 2009

Book Review: Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy

Title Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy
Author Ally Carter
Genre YA, Commercial Fiction
Rating B+

Summary This book is the sequel to I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You, and picks up the story of Cammie--after her first love with Josh fizzled--and the rest of the Gallagher Girls (who are at, lest you forget, Spy School). This year the Gallagher Academy is infiltrated by boys from a brother Spy School, and drama ensues.

First Line "'Just be yourself,' my mother said, as if that were easy. Which it isn't. Ever. Especially not when you're fifteen and don't know what language you're going to have to speak at lunch, or what name you'll have to use the next time you do a 'project' for extra credit. Not when your nickname is 'the Chameleon.' Not when you go to a school for spies."

Review I'm having a hard time reviewing this book in a vacuum (i.e., without comparing it to the first book in this series), so I'm not going to beat myself up over it, and I'll just go with that line of logic. That's what Ally Carter does--what worked the first time, she trots out for the second time--so I'll follow her lead.

This book, like I'd Tell You..., is super-heavy on the plot and states (probably a million times) that The Gallagher Academy is a school for spies (in case you missed that). Actually, in my opinion, the plot was a little better in this book (which is why it was rated a little higher than Book #1 in the series). The element of having the boys in the school added an extra twist, and there was some drama of the who-dun-it variety and there are a couple of really good red herrings. It's a credit to Ally Carter that I didn't see the ending coming. I wasn't necessarily pleased with the ending, I didn't see it as "original", but it did surprise me, which is something, right?

I liked the characters a lot, she has the advantage of building off of well-liked characters from the first book, and added some new guys into the mix, that helped the book. She does a good job with everyone--Cammie, her friends, the guys, and even the teachers--and I can see her books translating so well onto the big screen.

The book was a cute, fun read, and I'll plan to read the final (I think) installment, Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover, and I'll even go so far as to not pretend that it'll be in a year or so. It'll probably be shortly after it's released this summer (June 2009).

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