Friday, April 29, 2011

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

"When lunchtime rolled around, Macey strolled over to our table, and I braced myself for what was going to happen. If the Communists and the Capitalists could fight together to take down the Nazis...I told myself. If Spike and Buffy could fight alongside Buffy to rid the world of demons... If lemon could join forces with lime to create something as delicious and refreshing as Sprite, then surely I can work alongside Macey McHenry for the cause of true love!"

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

Author: Ally Carter

ISBN: 1-4231-0003-4

Publisher: Hyperion Books

Copyright: 2006

Plot Summary: The first of a Gallagher Girl series, I'd Tell You I Love You begins with the start of a new school year at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. As daughter of the headmistress, Cammie Morgan is the epitome of a Gallagher Girl, skilled in spy-craft, intelligent, and well-mannered. The beginning of the new year is a good one for her, in that she is reunited with her two best friends Liz and Bex. On the other hand, there is a new girl in the Academy, Macey McHenry, a glamorous heiress whose enrollment in the Academy is her last chance at schooling, having being kicked out of multiple other schools. Standing out like a sore thumb amongst the sophomore spies, Macey's true strengths are shown when the similarly new teacher gets all the girls flustered: the handsome new Covert Operations teacher Joe Solomon. For their first CovOp test, the girls are thrown into the most difficult mission ever: stalking their highly paranoid teacher and discovering what sort of carbonated beverage he enjoys. Macey's fashion tips grate against Cammie's spy-morals as the girls doll up for the test, but little does Cammie know that despite her great Chameleon skills and her drab clothing, she catches the eye of a normal boy, one who will change her life...

Critical Evaluation: The first of a multi-volume series, this novel is an amusing introduction into the world of teenage spies and the relationship issues that they have, among the difficulties of training and missions that prepare them for the stressful and potentially fatal hazards of espionage. The variation of tension between mission scenes and teenage girls frantically deciding what to wear adds humor to an already humorous writing style and characters. Cammie is a sympathetic narrator who is the wallflower of spy-life, which in her line of work, is a good thing, despite how the blatant beauty of Macey irks her. Similarly, the dialog within the story is witty and the only issue is the use of the many varied languages without including a translation. Showing the importance of being multilingual as an international spy is one thing, but not providing a translation while being in Cammie's point of view could make readers believe that Cammie, like them, do not know what is being said.

Reader's Annotation: Cammie Morgan is the epitome of a Gallagher Girl, enrolled in an elite school for girls that secretly hides an intensive spy-training center. During a Covert Ops test, Cammie bumps into a boy who notices her, when all her training has led her to hold the nickname Chameleon, and suddenly everything changes for Cammie....

Information About the Author: This is Carter's first book out of the Gallagher Girls series of young adult spy novels. Carter has also written the Heist Society series.
Carter lives in the Midwest United States with degrees from Oklahoma State University and Cornell University. Read more about the author at her website.

Genre: Spies; Fiction; Romance

Curriculum Ties N/A

Booktalking Ideas:
  • What sort of protagonist and narrator is Cammie Morgan? How does her ability to blend into her surroundings belie her inner strength and spy-abilities compare to the glamorous new girl Macey?
Reading Level: 14+

Challenge Issues N/A

Why This Book?: Staff Recommendation

Reference Page:
Carter, A. (2006). I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You. New York: Hyperion Books.

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