Thursday, September 18, 2008

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter

Plot Summary: The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women has a reputation...but it’s the wrong kind of reputation. According to the locals, the school houses spoiled “daddy’s girls” who can’t do anything for themselves. In reality, the school takes in girls with genius IQs and abilities that can translate into espionage. So when sparks fly between Gallagher-Girl-Cammie and Local-Josh, she does what she’s been trained to do: lie about everything.

This has been on my TBR pile forever. Countless people have recommended it to me, and I FINALLY got around to reading it. Very lighthearted and fun. And there were a few scenes that had me laughing out loud.

As with all my book discussions, there are SPOILERS below.

It was so refreshing to read a YA novel for girls that didn’t involve petty maliciousness. There was potential for it in this story, and I give the author lots of credit for not going there. Instead, she focused on the fun, and on trying to understand the nuances of “normal boy” without making a complete moron of the main character. I wish there were more YA novels out there that did this.

I do think that there could have been some more development between the characters, specifically with Macey. There was much potential for conflict there, but she and Cammie seemed to form an alliance a little too well. I would have liked to see more of Macey through Cammie’s eyes, and to see her develop from the ridiculous rich-man’s-daughter to a real and true Gallagher Girl. She does make the transformation, but we don’t really see it happen.

I also would have liked a little more oompf at the end. The story felt unfinished, and the climax happened a little too quickly. I think more could have happened from a determined Josh getting in the way of Cammie’s finals, messing things up for her instead of for her teacher. Then maybe it wouldn’t have been so obvious that a sequel was coming.

Still, a very enjoyable read, and I will be picking up the sequel.

14 comments:

beth said...

I read this book last year or so, about the time when Pub Rants started to post a lot about it, but before NYT status.

I'm like you--I liked the unique-ness of the plot (it's what sold it for me), and I enjoyed that cattiness was kept to a minimum. I HATE catty-teen-girls books. I wasn't like that, my friends weren't like that, and if my friends had been like that, I'd have punched 'em in their catty faces. Wow, that's a bit violent. Just sayin', I'm more of a tomboy than a snide little backstabber.

That said, I also agree with you on the lack of development and not very oomph-fantastic ending. Maybe she was setting the book up for the sequel?

Carrie Harris said...

Yeah, I enjoyed it too. It was just a light read, with plenty of laughs, that I would have liked when I was a kid. Nothing wrong with that, I don't think!

Tabitha said...

Beth - ugh, cattiness is ridiculous. You probably hate it more than I do seeing as you teach high school and see it more often. Glad to hear from a fellow non-catty girl who had non-catty friends. :) The world needs more of you. :)

Carrie - I completely agree. This book didn't get the greatest review from School Library Journal because of the lack of oompf. But I still found it a fun read, and I would have liked it as a kid, too. And there are probably lots of other kids who've enjoyed it as well. :)

Anne Spollen said...

I read the review of this on School Library Journal, and it was so tepid. I know they are a respected journal, but I find that I am often in disagreement with them about their YA picks and critiques.

Yes, this is on my TBR pile - and two high school girls told me to read it! (Much better source than any journal)

Gottawrite Girl said...

I don't like cattiness. There was enough to suffer through in real life; I don't need to re-live it! I am definitely going to get this book! Thanks for the recommendation!

Tabitha said...

Anne - I don't mesh with the School Library Journal either. Booklist is closer to my wavelength. Kirkus, too, though sometimes they're *way* out there. :)

GWG - this is such a fun book, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. :) I hope you'll share your thoughts after you've read it! :)

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks for the review of this! It does sound pretty good, light, fun!

Tabitha said...

It's a really fun read. You'll enjoy it. :)

keri mikulski :) said...

I can't wait to read this book. :) It's also on my TBR. Thanks for the review.

Marcia said...

The light story and turn-your-back-on-cattiness do sound refreshing. I've noticed in a couple of other books lately that "set it up for the sequel" work going on. I wonder if this is a new trend? In other words, sequel guaranteed?

Tabitha said...

Keri - Somehow, I missed your comment. Sorry about that! I don't know why it took me so long to read this book, but I'm glad I did. :) I'm sure you'll enjoy this book.

Marcia - I've noticed the same trend with sequels. Seems like everyone's doing a sequel these days. While I'm all for more of a great story, I only think a sequel should exist if the story warrants it. This story, I don't think warranted it. I think it was incomplete, and could have been more effective with more story. But I still enjoyed it. :)

Polenth said...

I had similar thoughts on Macey. I would like to have seen her settling into the school, but most of that was hidden.

Tabitha said...

Polenth - Yeah, I would have liked to see much more of Macey. She was a golden opportunity to introduce more story and more conflict (not cattiness, just conflict) which could have given it more oompf. I like oompf. It keeps me interested. :)

Anonymous said...

I loved these books and currently there is a third being written. The plot was interesting and captitvting.