Series: Gallagher Girls #1
Rating: 3 / 5 Stars
So when I first got this book, I thought it was going to be a teenage version of Sydney Bristow/Alias. After all, the girls go to a school that doesn't teach basic mathematics and English and physics; it teaches Covert Ops and Protection & Enforcement. I thought the girls would be called out on crazy missions to save the world (just like the gang in the Heist Society series by Carter travels the world to steal invaluable artifacts). After all, if you're going to go teenage spy novel, you might as well go all out.
Sad to say, this scenario in my mind did not play out in the novel. In fact, the novel was more of a young girl's first love story, with just a touch of dumbed down spy terms to appeal to the YA crowd. While romance is about my least favorite genre out there, especially with the current state of YA romance, I do have to say that Ally Carter made it easier to swallow. In fact, this may be the most creative way yet to shove YA romance down my throat without me gagging immediately.
If you're looking for a good spy novel, this is not it. The attention to detail is not the greatest. For example, the show offish Dillon says they like to jump the wall and moon the girls at the Gallagher Girl. For a school that is supposed to have tight security to protect all the future spies of America, this does not seem like a possibility. Also, Cammie has an awfully easy time sneaking out of the school over and over (and over and over) again to see Josh. Again, not something you would think you could get away with at a school full of ex-spy teachers.
But I digress. This novel, after all, is aimed for the YA crowd. It is not supposed to be taken seriously as a spy novel. And as a YA novel, it's not bad. If you get over all the Cammie and Josh business, the characters are likable enough. I dare say I can even somewhat relate to them. The style is classic Carter; while it won't win her any legitimate literacy awards any time soon, I thoroughly enjoy it after being introduced to this author through the Heist Society novels. And I am certainly willing to keep the series going to see where she takes it. Maybe I will get more "legit" spy opts, apart from sneaking out of school to meet with a townie boy. Here's to hoping!