Hi everyone! Today I’m reviewing the book I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter! This is the first book of the Gallagher Girl series by Carter. It is a Young Adult series and was published in 2006.
I had read it when I was younger and I had loved it. Recently I posted my July reading wrap up and my dear friend Amelia from Amelia in Hull commented she’d read this book and enjoyed it. It brought back all the fun memories of the series as I believe I read the first three or so books before I lost interest because the books weren’t coming out fast enough for me. So I’ve decided to go back and reread the series and review them.
Oh before I go on, I have changed my blogging schedule a bit! Nothing too drastic, I just wanted to define the themes of each day a bit more and change the “monthly” post schedule a bit. You can view the new schedule at the bottom of my About page.
Onto the review!
So as usual I’ll start with a spoiler free review and then sandwich the spoilery section in between the photos of the book cover below.
A quick summary of the book from Goodreads:
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.
The story revolves around Cammie, spy-in-training, as she explains she’s a legacy student at the school where her mom is headmistress and the other girls who study alongside her all come back after the summer. Cammie, with her friends and roommates, Bex and Liz, along with the rest of the sophomore class all get to start CovertOps, and juggle their schoolwork as well as adjusting to the new girl Macey and hiding Cammie’s new secret boyfriend from outside of the school.
I rated the book 4 out of 5 stars as I really enjoyed it and it was a fun story. It seemed to cover all the spy “must haves” such as having the students speak different languages at each meal, high tech gadgets, code cracking (for extra credit) and so on.
Once Josh, Cammie’s secret boyfriend, stepped into the book properly though, the spy aspects of the book that I was enjoying so much took a step back from the spotlight. The skills they were learning seemed to only come up because they needed it for their mission of stalking the poor boy and some projects that they did to earn extra credit were only mentioned in passing. All their hard work was glossed over for that.
That is likely due to the fact that the book is YA and has a smaller page count (less than 300 pages) so there’s quite a bit of info dumping in the book because there just isn’t room or time to fit it in. For example, Cammie mentions a ton of classes they take but we never get to go with the students to them or really hear much about them other than in passing. Of course, it would not be the most interesting book if we only went to Cammie’s classes and the research to write it may have been more burdensome for Carter but it would have been nice to know more about it.
The teachers seem to be a little too out there. There’s a teacher that comes back after each summer with extensive plastic surgery, one that decorates her classroom with silk curtains around the entire room, and so on. But I suppose if your work is to blend in, you might overcompensate if given the chance. Cammie’s mom, the headmistress of the school, doesn’t appear much although it’s clear that she’s involved in Cammie’s life.
Now for the main characters. Cammie, the legacy student, is known as the Chameleon as she is excellent at blending in and not being seen. She’s smart and aims to have a career in the field as her parents did before her father was killed on a mission. Her friends Bex and Liz are very different from her and each other. Bex is a British student who is the daughter of two accomplished British spies. She was admitted as the first foreign student and also plans to work in the field as well. Liz, however, is the genius of the team who is much more comfortable anywhere but the field who came from a non-spy background. Like most geniuses, she can be clueless about common sense life things but at the end of the day she’s not afraid to step up when needed. Together the girls are such a strong team and have a deep friendship with each other.
Oh, and they get a new roommate at the start of the book, Macey. A lot of their friction with Macey stems from the fact that Macey is a spoiled rich kid and therefore what the town around the school assume the Gallagher girls to be. Macey is rude and has constantly been kicked out of boarding schools. However she ends up choosing to stay and become a Gallagher girl at the beginning of the book and the girls don’t see a ton of her as Macey is taking classes with younger students to catch up with the others. Of course, this does end up as a subplot as the girls and Macey get to know each other a bit more.
And the last main character is Josh, Cammie’s love interest. They spot each other when Cammie is doing a school assignment. Cammie then has to juggle school and sneaking out to see him for their dates. And as the description says, she doesn’t have the ability to tell Josh the truth about who she is, so that causes a lot of stress for her.
Overall I loved the book as it was a ton of fun to read and remember. For the most part I did recall a lot of the book but there were some parts that I had forgotten about and it was so fun to read those bits. I would recommend this if you want something fast and fun to read.
I’ll start some spoiler comments after the picture. If you don’t want to read the spoilers scroll down to the second picture of the book to the end.
So I know that I mentioned how Macey and the girls had to learn to get along and I thought it was hilarious how they did it. They literally bonded over Macey’s experience in the “real world” and her ability to “decode” what Josh said to Cammie and to his friends about her. Despite the girls knowing more than Macey in general and being super smart, Macey stole the show when she would use her common sense with them.
There was a part where the girls were going out to town and worrying about what to wear so Macey points out that people likely aren’t worried about looking “glam” to go into the shops. I also loved how Macey steps in when Dillon (Josh’s horrible friend) is picking on Anna, a fellow Gallagher Girl. Although Macey hasn’t taken classes or known Anna too long, she easily defends her. Oh and when Dillon notices Macey on the cover of a magazine in a photo with her family and the caption “The Most Powerful Family in America?” All she does is say “We appreciate your vote”! I remembered how much I had loved Macey in the book.
I mentioned this a bit earlier on how silly it was that the classes seemed to fit perfectly with what the girls needed to complete their “mission” of spying on Josh. For example, driver’s ed is typically a sophomore activity but the girls seemed so surprised by it that I almost thought that sophomore don’t typically take that class. Also it was surprising that the teacher didn’t stop Bex with more conviction when they stopped to get the garbage from Josh’s home. Of course, Bex seems like the kind of person that doesn’t get too many people going against her but still.
One thing I found so unbelievable was how much Cammie and her friends didn’t learn. They were constantly being told to remember their stories and characters but Cammie would tell Josh something about her life and instantly forget. For example she had told Josh she had a cat named Suzie and was confused and surprised when he bought toys for Suzie. To be fair she forgets a lot of important things and doesn’t seem to prepare much such as when she told Josh her birthday was November 19th but didn’t realize why. Turns out it was her father’s birthday and she didn’t remember until the end of the day when she saw her mother crying. She also didn’t anticipate Josh asking her what her last name was or anything about her family.
That might be because she’s so detached from normal situations because her circle is only her schoolmates and her grandparents in Nebraska who already know her. But most people can anticipate what they’ll be asked when meeting someone new and Cammie should have been better prepared as she’s supposed to be a spy.
Like I said, I did enjoy the book and I do plan to continue the rest of the series as it’s fun and quick reads.
Let me know if you’ve read this book and if so, what did you think?
Thanks for reading!
Follow me on social media!