United We Spy

Author: Ally Carter
Series: Gallagher Girls, Book 6
Publisher: Lothian
Star Rating: 5/5
Date Read: January 21st to 22nd, 2014
Read Count: 1
Review:
I have arrived. The last one. I am so much more emotionally attached to characters like these ones who have been with me for so long than to characters from stand alone novels. I have watched these girls grow and mature from giggly sophomores to seasoned operatives in their senior year. I have laughed with them, cried with them, and now I have to let them go. I always knew I would. I just never imagined it would be so hard.

Cammie has recovered from her subconscious a list of very important names identifying the key players in the Inner Circle of the Circle of Cavan. They are very close to taking them down and ending it all. But there are other people who want that list from here. Who will stop at nothing to get it.

There was a point of this book that reminded me of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Cammie and her roommates along with Zach leave the Gallagher Academy on a dangerous quest and return for a final showdown. But I believe this book stands on its own merits too.

United We Spy is a fitting title for this novel and perfectly describes how our team stands: together. They are a united front against the wrongs, the evil being committed against the world. The girls are just as tough and just as smart as any boy and can hold their own against the men and also the crazy ex-Gallagher Girl after them. I can’t help but feel a bit proud of who they are and how far they’ve come. I love their friendships, their sisterhood and how they will do anything to protect each other. And while I love Zach, and I love him with Cammie, he is not as important to the overall theme of friendship and sisterhood so central to this story.

This sixth and final Gallagher Girls story is another action packed adventure that I have come to expect from Ally Carter. There were a couple of things I picked from the start,  but there was more I didn’t expect. I cried watching my Gallagher Girls graduate and reading Liz’s perfect speech.

I felt like a Gallagher Girl.

And Gallagher Girls are forever.

Find my review of Book 1 of this series, I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You, here.
Find my review of Book 2 of this series,
Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy, here.
Find my review of Book 3 of this series,
Don’t Judge A Girl By Her Cover, here.
Find my review of Book 4 of this series,
Only The Good Spy Young, here.
Find my review of Book 5 of this series,
Out of Sight, Out of Time, here.

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Out of Sight, Out of Time

Author: Ally Carter
Series: Gallagher Girls, Book 5
Publisher: Lothian
Star Rating: 5/5
Date Read: January 19th to 21st, 2014
Read Count: 1
Review:
I have reached the point where I stop rereading the Gallagher Girls and am simply reading the last two books for the first time. Frankly I cannot remember why I stopped and I curse my laziness.

Cammie wakes up in a convent in Austria, four months after leaving her friends, her mother, her sort-of boyfriend and her school behind in an attempt to keep those she loves safe. The ancient terrorist organisation, the Circle of Cavan, wants something from her. She goes into hiding – only when she wakes up in Austria, injured and weak, she can’t remember how she got there. In fact, she can’t remember anything after leaving the Gallagher Academy. Where did she go? What did she do? And why won’t anyone tell her what’s going on?

This has been my favourite Gallagher Girls novel to date. Full of action and an intense plotline, I realised that my favourite Gallagher Girls have come a long way from the four girls who conducted surveillance on a boy in town to see if he liked Cammie. In the midst of their senior year, they learn what it’s like to become real operatives, rather than just spies-in-training. The problem with that is if you screw up – you’re dead.

Through these books, I’ve felt a connection with Cammie that I didn’t quite feel with the other girls (though I love them too!). Maybe it’s because we see the world from Cammie’s point of view, but I felt so deeply for her through everything she was dealing with. The fear of what she might have said or done in those months she can’t remember, the knowledge that she may now be a threat and the feeling that she may still be putting everyone she loves at risk. Add that to the fact that she still doesn’t know why the Circle wanted her so badly, and the pressure of senior year at a spy academy – needless to say Cammie has a lot going on. You could feel it getting to her. She’s so exhausted by it all and she’s barely even started. Yet she’s handled herself remarkably well considering the circumstances. She is a beautifully written character who feels very real. Cammie is just someone who can endure.

And it’s not over yet.

Find my review of Book 1 of this series, I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You, here.
Find my review of Book 2 of this series, Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy, here.
Find my review of Book 3 of this series,
Don’t Judge A Girl By Her Cover, here.
Find my review of Book 4 of this series,
Only The Good Spy Young, here.
Find my review of Book 6 of this series, United We Spy, here.


Only The Good Spy Young

Author: Ally Carter
Series: Gallagher Girls, Book 4
Publisher: Lothian
Star Rating: 4/5
Date Read: January 17th to 19th, 2014
Read Count: 2
Review:
Life is getting a whole lot more dangerous for Cammie Morgan.

An ancient terrorist organisation who recruits young spies as double agents is after her. She doesn’t know why and neither does anyone else – or if they do, they’re not saying. But they need her alive. Cammie doesn’t know who to trust or where to go from here. She knows its up to her to find out the truth, but she’s not entirely alone. Her roommates are ready to help her spy, hack and steal their way closer to the truth. And then there’s Zach, who is hiding a whole lot of secrets himself. It seems everybody is.

Another great installment in the Gallagher Girls series. A favourite teacher has been exposed as a double-agent, a teacher with very powerful secrets regarding Cammie’s father. This is the storyline that I’m dying to find out more about. I want to know how he went missing and why and where is he actually? (I’m not buying the line that he’s dead). And Cammie’s connection – what do the mysterious Circle of Cavan want from her? I’m still not sure what they actually do. The suspense is killing me (how did I ever put this series down?) so I’m thinking myself lucky I have the other two books beside me. I’m really keen to find out where the story’s going to go.

And now after this point it is no longer a ‘Gallagher Girls Reread’ but simply a ‘Gallagher Girl Read’. I’ve reached the point where I last stopped!

Find my review of Book 1 of this series, I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You, here.
Find my review of Book 2 of this series, Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy, here.
Find my review of Book 3 of this series,
Don’t Judge A Girl By Her Cover, here.
Find my review of Book 5 of this series,
Out of Sight, Out of Time, here.
Find my review of Book 6 of this series, United We Spy, here.

Don’t Judge A Girl By Her Cover

Author: Ally Carter
Series: Gallagher Girls, Book 3
Publisher: Lothian
Star Rating: 3.75/5
Date Read: January 16th to 17th, 2014
Read Count: 2
Review:
The stakes are getting higher for Cammie and the other Gallagher Girls in Don’t Judge A Girl By Her Cover. Suddenly life is a whole lot more complicated than spying on cute boys and training for upcoming CoveOps assignments when Macey and Cammie get caught in a kidnapping attempt. Zach seems to turn up everywhere Cammie is (and even where she’s not supposed to be!) and she doesn’t know what’s going on. But her spy instincts won’t let her take no for an answer.

Unfortunately for Cammie, she’s starting to find out firsthand just how many secrets there are hidden in her world and not all of them she can know. Cammie is oblivious to the danger surrounding her in this book and continues to bend the rules. Considering her upbringing and her training, I completely understand this. She had received no information she was in any danger (mistake!) and when she needed answers, she tried to find them herself. The decision to sneak out of the school with Macey seemed silly when it was thought Macey was the one in danger – but just try telling two spies-in-training that they can’t do something everyone else is doing! Their actions, though something I would normally roll my eyes at and say ‘stupid!’, were completely in character.

It also seems that nobody gives these Gallagher Girls enough credit. “We know where Macey is.” “No you don’t, let us handle it.” And who finds Macey? The girls who know her better than anyone else! Silly adults. And they’re the ones who trained them!

Another enjoyable read from Ally Carter’s fantastic Gallagher Girls. Already got the next one beside me, keen to know where they go from here!

Find my review of Book 1 of this series, I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You, here.
Find my review of Book 2 of this series, Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy, here.
Find my review of Book 4 of this series, Only The Good Spy Young, here.
Find my review of Book 5 of this series,
Out of Sight, Out of Time, here.
Find my review of Book 6 of this series, United We Spy, here.


Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy

Author: Ally Carter
Series: Gallagher Girls, Book 2
Publisher: Lothian
Star Rating: 3.75/5
Date Read: January 15th to 16th, 2014
Read Count: 2
Review:
On my first read, I gave this book four stars. After my reread, I’m going to drop it just a smidge – to three point seven five. Don’t get me wrong – I still enjoyed it a lot! But I gave I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You four stars and this one just missed the mark of being given the same rating.

Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy shows the aftermath of Cammie’s disastrous relationship with civilian Josh, who at the end of the last book had his memory erased so that he can no longer remember the secrets of the Gallagher Academy that were revealed during his botched attempt to ‘save’ Cammie from her CoveOps assignment. He doesn’t remember that the Gallagher Academy is a school for spies, as well he shouldn’t. That kind of information is classified. He doesn’t belong in Cammie’s world. She knows this and knows that this semester, she has to be better. No sneaking around, she tells herself. She is going to be herself.

The quiet semester Cammie looked forward to after winter break is interrupted with the arrival of the Blackthorne boys. But why are they really there?

Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy is an enjoyable read, like its predecessor, full of secret operations, spying on boys and general teenage girl awkwardness. I see a little bit of myself at that age in all the characters – despite the fact that they’re spies-in-training at an undercover institute posing as a private school, they seem very real. Their reactions when faced with boy spies is cute and funny – they may be smart and they may be able to kill you in fifty different ways, but they are also teenage girls who don’t get out a lot. This one wasn’t quite as action filled as the one before it and it felt a little bit like it was setting up a storyline for something to follow (too bad I can’t remember what that is!). The joy of rereading – getting to find out all over again

Find my review of Book 1 of this series, I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You, here.
Find my review of Book 3 of this series,
Don’t Judge A Girl By Her Cover, here.
Find my review of Book 4 of this series,
Only The Good Spy Young, here.
Find my review of Book 5 of this series,
Out of Sight, Out of Time, here.
Find my review of Book 6 of this series, United We Spy, here.

 

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You

Author: Ally Carter
Series: Gallagher Girls, Book 1
Publisher: Lothian
Star Rating: 4/5
Date Read: January 15th, 2014
Read Count: 2
Review:
A few years ago I found myself in the predicament of having nothing to read. This can either be the best or the worst situation to find yourself in, depending on the circumstances. Mine was about the middle of the road. I was 14, had some pocket money and was wandering through the book department at Target (they have a somewhat limited selection). I chanced upon I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You, the first of the Gallagher Girls series. Fastforward to today, the sixth and final book has been released and I have bought the five books in the series I didn’t already own and am revisiting Cammie and her friends to see how it all ends.

There is one main word that comes to mind when I am describing this book: fun . I have always found The Gallagher Girls such an enjoyable read and I have narrowed it down to two predominant aspects. The first is that it takes place at boarding school (the Gallagher Academy). I have always wanted to go to boarding school, since I started reading stories where the main character goes away to school and has a roommate and goes to class where she lives and gets into mischief and has adventures. From Malory Towers to Hogwarts, I have always had an obsession with the idea of boarding school and always wanted to go to ‘see what it was like’, as I told my parents who never caught on to the idea. The second aspect is SPIES. Badass, kick your ass, teenage girl spies (in training). At the boarding school. Where they take classes such as Covert Operations and Protections & Enforcement. You can say it sounds far fetched all you like, but I think it sounds awesome and that’s why it appealed to my 14 year old self and why it still appeals to my 20 year old self today.

In this first installment, we are introduced to Cammie ‘The Chameleon’ Morgan whose mother is the headmistress of the Gallagher Academy and whose father was killed on assignment. It is not a normal life and Cammie is not a normal teenage girl, and neither are her friends. The school is an all girls school, with little opportunity for interaction with *gasp* those other kinds of humans….boys! So when Cammie meets one who thinks she’s just your average teenager and who is showing some interest in her, she’s way out of her depth. He can never know what she is. And yet, the promise of being normal draws her in and she is left with some tough choices to make.

I feel like my own summary of the book doesn’t do it enough justice. The dialogue between characters and also inside Cammie’s head was witty and funny, and I especially enjoyed her ‘real history lessons’ where a Gallagher Girl was involved in almost everything you know about and stuff you don’t. I loved her relationship with her friends and how important she realised it was. The gadgets were cool, the classes sound heaps better than mine and I found I enjoyed this just as much at 20 as I did at 14. Bear in mind when you do read this that it is the point of view of a fifteen year old, written for fifteen year olds, and be careful not to expect a literary masterpiece – and you might just enjoy it. The four star rating I first gave it still stands. Bring on book 2!

Find my review of Book 2 of this series, Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy, here.
Find my review of Book 3 of this series,
Don’t Judge A Girl By Her Cover, here.
Find my review of Book 4 of this series,
Only The Good Spy Young, here.
Find my review of Book 5 of this series,
Out of Sight, Out of Time, here.
Find my review of Book 6 of this series, United We Spy, here.