The Le Teen Café Review Corner: I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

Title: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school-that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it's really a school for spies. Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real "pavement artist"-but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?

Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she's on her most dangerous mission-falling in love.


For those of you who haven’t heard, this is the first book in a series that’s attacking the universe of teen girls. No film or TV series yet, as far as I know, but I have high hopes for one in the future. This is the kind of book that even girls who think of reading as a chockingly boring pastime can get carried away in.
Now, the only reason I had a copy is because it came as a “free gift” in a magazine. (Seriously, the whole thing of calling gifts free- if they are gifts, of course they’re free!) I don’t usually go for gossipy, giggly, terribly-written lit. In a strange way, though, I do relish a little silliness sometimes, so I brought the book on holiday with me.

So, here is a list of characters and what you can expect from them.
Cameron/Cammie/”Chamelion” Morgan. Cammie is perfectly happy in the Gallagher Academy for geniuses and geeks, until she meets Josh.
Josh. The amazing, cute, hot, sweet guy. Every book needs one.
Bex. One of Cammie’s best friends. A Brit who has looks that everyone is jealous of.
Liz. The other best friend, a mini genius and maths+tests+homework-
Mr Solomon. Hot new CoveOps teacher.
Mrs Morgan. Cammie’s mother and headmistress. The kind, understanding and beautiful mother we hear about in movies.
Macey. New roommate, who comes out of her strop in the excitement of getting Cammie and Josh together.

The book starts with a clutch of normal girls in a, well, totally abnormal school- a girls’ boarding school for spies in training. A school where they are experts in fourteen languages by the time they’re in sophomore year, and have tests in “Covert Operations” which ask them to find out what Mr Moskowitz drinks with his doughnuts.

Whilst doing just this, Cammie Morgan magically awkwardly collides with a guy who immediately appears to her as an epitome “normal boy”, who, naturally, she has to lie to about her reason for retrieving a coke bottle from a bin, and who, naturally, she has to fall in love with.

Luckily, Josh is intrigued by this girl who has a cat called Suzie that likes to play with bottles (lie), who is “home educated- for, like, religious reasons” (lie). But she is completely in adoration of him, and a secret relationship blossoms. (Not a lie.)

Whether it’s over Josh’s belief that Cammie is a homeschooled out-of-townie who spends her summers in barns in Mongolia or not, Cammie is sitting on a rainbow. Amidst all the exhiliartion, Cammie finds herself guilty over making herself up, but there’s no way she can tell Josh the truth about why she’s studying phD-level chemistry- the Gallagher Academy is a secret to the outside world.

My first thought: close to crap. How freaking cliché can a writer get? Everything reeked of barely-hidden cheese.

Then I got further into the novel, and gosh, was I addicted! It was a fun and fast-paced lil story and I didn’t want to leave it when torn away. My copy now has a host of turned-down page corners and wrinkly sections where I dropped it in the bath; yes, I read it in the bath.

And my final thought? This book is special. Sure, I could say that about almost every book I read, but it’s true. Never again will I say popular books aren’t deep and all that. This book deals with in a way that should connect with you all. To be honest, our lives and emotions as young teenagers are pretty cheesy anyway. Plus, the whole Cammie and Josh thing is just sooo cute.

-Barista Sabita-

Image: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Disney-Hyperion)