Gallagher Girl series

Deer Reeder,

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Chronological book order is from bottom to top.

I read these quite quickly, so like the other bit of teen fiction I wrote about, I’m going to discuss the whole series instead of going through book by book.

How is it best to describe this series? Well, imagine a school full of teenage female James Bond’s, plus the best security system imaginable and you get the idea of what it would be like to go to the Gallagher Academy of Exceptional Young Women. The school is portrayed as one of the most selective schools for geniuses and is full of snobby rich kids. However, those who have a high enough clearance level know the academy for what it actually is; a school which specialises in the art of espionage. You know a school is going to be interesting when its moto is:

“We are the sisters of Gillian…..To learn her skills. Honour her sword. And keep her secrets…… To the cause of justice and light.”

Ally Carter writes the series in first person through the eyes of Cammie Morgan, daughter of the headmistress and a dead spy; and covers the last 4 years of her time at the academy (or it could be 3 but the American school system has never made sense to me, so it’s to work out what year means what age, etc.).

The first two books (I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You; Cross My Heart & Hope To Spy) are more standalone then the rest of the series, as there is not a particular ongoing mission like throughout the others. The books are more there to set the scene for what it’s like to go to that school and Cammie’s increasing want for normality when she falls for a boy called Josh. The antics that her and her three best friends get up to did make me laugh, as it took Facebook stalking of guys to a whole new level. Almost verging on creepy.

The other four books however, have an ongoing mission/situation which guides the rest of the narrative. Suddenly, Cammie is thrusted into the real and dangerous world of spy-hood before she even gets to graduate. It is clever of Carter to write the first two books based around “Operations” that, in the grand scheme of things, are very childish; and then shift in book three to operations that involve real life or death situations. It helps highlight the growth in character development as the girl’s head towards 18. Cammie and her friends go from only caring about exams and boys, to realising that some things are worth risking their lives for, especially if it was Cammie’s dad’s last mission.

Constantly, the reader is taught to reluctantly give over their trust to the various characters who have a tendency to be more then they initially appear; and, most importantly of course, is to learn that girls are tougher then their stereotype alludes to.

My favourite book is the fifth (Out of Sigh, Out of Time) for Cammie wakes up in the Alps not knowing how she got there or what has happened in the past three months! It has a Jason Borne feel to the book, as she spends her whole time retracing her steps working out what the F@#! happened and who knows more then they are letting on. Just like Borne, it was probably one of the worst times for her to have gotten amnesia. Especially, since she knows the answers to the puzzle but now just needs to remember them!

This series is a bullet dodging, ass kicking coming of age story with a slice of romance on the side. A great series for teens to begin their love for thriller books.

Recommendations. The Imperial series (starting with the Imperial Spy) by Mark Robson is set in a fantasy world and follows the life of the Emperor’s spy. Another suggestion (for the slightly older reader) is Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding. This one is quite a laugh and shows what havoc a citizen can course when getting caught up in covert affairs.

-The End-

Geek Girl series

Deer Reeder,

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Book chronological order is from the bottom to finishing the series at the top.

I’m just going to do something I haven’t done for this blog yet, and that is to review a series rather than an individual book. The reason for this is that it’s summer so I’ve got more time on my hands to lose myself in the fabulous world of books and it saves everyone time and effort as you don’t have to read 6 reviews talking about the same thing. How forward thinking of me!

Anyway, so the Geek Girl series, what to say…? Well, first off, I thoroughly enjoyed it actually. I haven’t read true young/teen fiction in a while and it was surprisingly nice to view the world from more innocent eyes. It always made me chuckle how the main protagonist, Harriet Manners, wouldn’t swear but would choose to say Sugar Cookies instead. Mind you, I don’t think the F word would go down too well within a book that has a recommended reading age of 11+!

In spite of this wonderful innocence I forgot and was repeatedly reminded of, what usually accompanies this characteristic; OH MY GOD, I have never read such a first person narrative from such a naive person! At points it almost had me screaming at the book saying “What are you doing? Why do you think that is a good idea?” Continue reading “Geek Girl series”