The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a fairly typical all-girls school. That is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE, the latest in chemical warfare in science; and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes computer class. So in truth, Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses, but its really a school for spies. Cammie Morgan is a second generation Gallagher Girl, and by her sophomore year shes already fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti).
But the one thing the Gallagher Academy hasn't prepared her for is what to do when she falls for an ordinary boy who thinks shes an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through a mall without his ever being the wiser, but can she have a regular relationship with a regular boy who can never know the truth about her?
Grade: D // Is that all? Seriously???
I picked this book up because of all the media hyper surrounding it—the Disney option and the New York Times bestseller status, not to mention the cute cover and interesting premise. Who hasn’t found themselves imagining what it would be like to be a secret government operative during an especially boring Physics lecture? Behold: the appeal of this book (to me, at least).
With all this in mind, why oh why was I so disappointed upon finishing it?
Because this book was subpar to its media attention. The writing, the characters and the subplot were average. Boring. I didn’t learn anything particularly new reading it, I wasn’t entertained, and I wasn’t blown away with Ally Carter’s prose. What’s ironic is, the setup that would’ve worked toward building the elements this novel lacked—such as character development, for starters—were all there. The girls had interesting (and heartbreaking) backgrounds. But those were for the most part ignored, except for some scenes where Cammie feels the loss that her friend could be facing and feels the loss of her own father, which I felt were the best parts in this entire novel.
Because of all the superfluous jokes and one-liners inserted in places that did not require the likes of them. (And usually in parentheses and followed by an exclamation point so the reader can feel the excitement!) The only comment I have of this is: Uncooked spaghetti is not as clever a weapon choice as the author seems to think it is...
Because of the underdeveloped relationship between Josh (is that his name? I can’t be bothered to check) and Cammie. I would’ve liked to see the beginning stages of first love instead of being told, after the fact, that they went to such and such movie or something equally nondescript. With a book based on the challenges of falling in love as a spy and having to lead a double life, one would think such details of the romance would be shared from time to time.
Because of the main character. No way in hell is she sixteen and no way in hell is someone that average, intelligence-wise, qualified to go to such a pizzazz school like Gallagher Academy. Oh, and, how was she able to fool the adults in that place even for a second? What does that say about the school we are led to believe is The Godsend of Security?
I’m not understanding what makes this as popular as it is. It’s not really funny and it’s not really bright. What gives? The only redeeming quality it has, in my opinion, is that it’s making me re-evaluate my verdict of The Squad: Killer Spirit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, which I am coming to realize is infinitely better.
If I had to describe this book in a word, it’d be: Lifeless. No real stakes and no stimulating qualities. Get it from the library.