Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Don't Let the Cheesy Title and Cover Fool You
It is so sad when horrible titles and silly covers happen to good books. After reading Heist Society, by Ally Carter, (another stupid title) I knew to look past the packaging with her Gallagher Girls series and give it a shot. But I am not going to lie, I never would have picked up a book called I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You... not without previous knowledge of the author's story telling prowess!
Cammie Morgan is a Gallagher Academy legacy, and her mother is the headmistress, but she is another kind of legacy, too. Both Cammie's parents were spies. In fact, the Gallagher Academy is a school for teen girl spies-in-training. The town where Gallagher Academy resides, however, thinks the Academy is for over-privileged rich girls. The girls' first mission is to keep the deep cover of the school and remember their legends (back stories) with the rest of the town.
On a routine Covert Ops assignment (tail an untailable faculty member), Cammie is noticed by a local boy. This wouldn't be so unnerving if Cammie wasn't considered the best "pavement artist" at the Academy. She is able to go completely unnoticed and blend into the background in any situation... so how did Josh see her? With a hilarious troupe of misfit young female spies, Cammie and her genius friends begin Covert Ops on Josh to make sure he isn't a Honey Pot (a person using attraction to derail a spy). But Cammie's star-crossed interest in Josh could lead to more trouble than they bargained for!
The first installment of the Gallagher Girls Series is really fun! It isn't the deepest story, or have some important lesson to be learned, but instead is just some good, wholesome, PG-13 rated fun! I can understand the critics of the series who are worried about the "action" of the story, but it is important to remember these girls are 15-16 years old. There isn't any real spy trouble at the academy (although I predict it might appear later in the series) because these are young girls in training. But the fun, silly happenings are still enough to keep a reader engaged and laughing.
The reading level is fairly low, the content is very, very mild, and the story is lots of fun. This is the perfect book for early middle school. I would recommend this for a wide range of students (although I don't think it would appeal to boys), including high skilled 4th graders all the way to 9th grade. It might even be suitable for a low-skilled 10-12th grader, but only if they are a little more immature than their peers. I can imagine this series might be too young for most older students. But if you find the right girl to read this series, you are going to have a happy reader!