November 13, 2006

The Exceptional Gallagher Girls

This book is a 2006 Cybil Award Nominee for YA Fiction.

Cammie Morgan is nobody's wimpy sophomore -- she can kick butt with the best of the Gallagher Girls. No, really. She can kick butt. She could probably kick your butt with her right boot after kicking, with her left boot, your teeth down your throat. Or she could do it concurrently. Cammie Morgan could drop down on your from the ceiling, immobilize you hand and foot, and slap a knock-out patch on you in about fifteen seconds, and you'd never know what hit you. Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women isn't your average ordinary girl's school... it's a school for spies.

If you're not NSA, FBI, or M15 or CIA, though, Cammie sort of has to keep part of her life away from you. And, when you've met a boy outside the school gates, um... how does that work out?

It doesn't. Well, mostly it doesn't. There's a lot of stuff Cammie and her friends Bex, Liz and Macey can do -- go through a guy's trash, hack into his phone line, stake out his house -- but none of those are particularly romantic, nor particularly what a NORMAL girl would do with a NORMAL guy in a NORMAL relationship. Cammie has to figure out if NORMAL is ever going to work for her.

And it might not.

Told breathlessly, I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You details the dramatic lifestyles of the larger than life Gallagher Girls. If it feels like it's a series that's just getting started, you're probably right - after all, the novel has been movie optioned, and it has that 'Jr. Bond series' feel to it. However, readers who truly love spy thrillers will hope that more worthy escapades are planned for the girls which don't revolve around them using almost every skill they have just to get close to a BOY. Also, the angle of a missing father without a body to be sure he's dead is fairly typical soap-opera fare which allows for said dead dad to pop up miraculously alive in a few books, perhaps, but this is still a reasonably entertaining and fun start to the Gallagher series; here's hoping they get even better.

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