Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover: A Book Review

I've tried out the right side but I just like my pictures more on the left. I hope you do as well.

Title: Don't Judge a Girl by Her cover
Author: Ally Carter
Genre: Action Adventure
Reading Level: 11 and up

When Cammie "The Chameleon" Morgan visits her roommate Macey in Boston, she thinks she's in for an exciting end to her summer break. After all, she's there to watch Macey's father accept the nomination for vice president of the United States. But when you go to the world's best school (for spies), "exciting" and "deadly" are never far apart. Cammie and Macey soon find themselves trapped in a kidnappers' plot, with only their espionage skills to save them.

As her junior year begins, Cammie can't shake the memory of what happened in Boston, and even the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women doesn't feel like the safe haven it once did. Shocking secrets and old flames seem to lurk around every one of the mansion's corners as Cammie and her friends struggle to answer the questions, Who is after Macey? And how can the Gallagher Girls keep her safe?

Soon Cammie is joining Bex and Liz as Macey's private security team on the campaign trail. The girls must use their spy training at every turn as the stakes are raised, and Cammie gets closer and closer to the shocking truth...

My Review: Ally Carter has added a strong book to her Gallagher Girls series. This is by far the best. Ally gives her heroine Cammie a unique and spunky voice. I love when she uses expressions like "Yes actual smileage!" and when she does her funny pros and cons bit of her spy life. Cammie is also smart without being on a genius level that will make girl unable to connect with her. Ally's newest novel starts the action right away in the first two chapters. The rest of the book plays out like a mystery with Cammie going over the "scene of the crime" a lot and making new discoveries every time. I really liked that about this series, because the spy conflict was real unlike in the first two when it was just the teachers testing the girls skills. Also in the first two books Cammie makes mentions of the girls having the ability to kill people with little more than a limp noodle. She doesn't mention that so often which is a bonus because although cute once it got annoying after a while. There is also more history of the Gallagher academy in this one, and the relationships dealt in this book are of the friendship and family variety instead of the romantic like in the first two. I must say I enjoyed that a lot. I really like Cammie and her friends. They are tough girls without being callous yet they still have the emotions of a regular girl, when they worry about their friends and family. There are boy issues here but they take more of a back seat in the narrative. Zach, Cammie's enigmatic spy love interest makes a reappearance and well, I like him. He's an interesting character and even if he and Cammie do not end up together (that seems the direction the author is taking.) I still think they could be really good friends. They both have mysteries revolving around their parents deaths and they seem to have a deep connection, and care for each other.

The only thing I didn't like was Cammies Aunt Abby. Yeah she was a cool spy aunt but she just seemed so cliche. I mean it just seems like in every book there's a cool aunt, and if she's a spy she is amazing and cool and hooks up with the hot teacher and has a bit of sibling rivalry with her sister. Maybe it's just me. Another thing is that Cammie tends to repeat herself in her narrative. I read "It could just be my overactive imagination." about 10 times. It might have been less but it sure felt like a lot. There were other phrases but other than that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Keep up the good work Ally. I can't wait for the next installment in your Gallagher Girls series and your new book "Heist Society".
Content: Some minor violence
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Recommend: yes, especially if you've read the first two "I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You" and "Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy"

Upcoming Reviews: "The Quilter's Apprentice" by Jennifer Chiaverini

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