Friday, September 16

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You – Ally Carter

Cammie Morgan is a Gallagher girl – she not only attends, but is daughter of the principal at Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. Truly exclusive, Gallgher’s is a private school like no other, for it educates the next generation of America’s spies and high hopes are held for the child of two of the most successful covert operatives of recent times, even if Cammie’s father died on a mission.
Appropriately, given her name, Cammie’s specialty is camouflage. She’s able to blend in to the background at will, which comes in useful when she and a cadre of her friends are set their first task – to follow highly paranoid former agent-turned teacher Professor Smith and determine what he drinks with his donut during the Roseville town fair. What Cammie doesn’t expect is to meet a town boy – and Josh doesn’t stand a chance against a group of girls trained in espionage and surveillance.
ITYILYBTIHTKY is the first in a series that is billed as a successor to boarding-school-with-a-twist success, Harry Potter. It’s not even close, reminding me far more of an American version of Muchamore’s CHERUB series but with less grit, guts and believability. I didn’t find the universe at all compelling or absorbing, the characters rarely moved beyond two dimensionality, and the ending was a dull thud. I’m clearly something of a minority, as I saw three further instalments on the Waterstone’s 3-for-2 table (with similarly cloying titles), but I also suspect I’m far from the target audience. This is not a series that will appeal to the Twilight crowd, but perhaps to their tweenage younger sisters – it’s surprising, given how young the book read, that the protagonists aren’t also in the twelve to fourteen age range. If you’re not a girl, that age, and interested in action lite redeemed only by having a female protagonist, move on. – Alex

No comments: