by Ally Carter
Gallagher Girls series; book I
This was one of the YA novels I found in a Taiwan airport book shop, I think I was overwhelmed with the idea of an English novel I knew about in Taiwan so I snatched it up. Read it in 2 sittings... stupid 4 hour flight delay! haha
Cammie is a Gallagher Girl, which means she attends spy school and can kill people with her bare hands. She is exceptional, yet can easily blend in with the back-drop, until one day, she meets Josh, an ordinary boy who thinks she is just an ordinary girl.
My Expectations: I adored the writing and style of Heist Society, and I’m a sucker for espionage-schools xD Had high hopes. Plus the cover is cute and I’ve heard a lot of good things about this series!
Delivery: Fell short in most categories :( But it was a fun read… I guess. More of an “easy read” or “light read” really.
Put-down-ability: easy read, hard to put down.. plus I read it during another flight delay. Yay for books! 4/10
This one just didn’t work very well for me because I had a few issues with characterization. Jumping right to the point, I just wanted to say how much I disliked the entire romance plot of the novel, Josh has no personality whatsoever and Cammie and her actions cued some headscratching. Cammie’s voice is vibrant and engaging, however her character wasn’t particularly relatable nor worthy-of-my-full-hearted-support. Particularly the scene at the pharmacy…
The spy school premise had such promise as well, but instead of a smart, unique idea it turned cheesy and awkward. The classes and gadget-mentioning felt forced and inserted to "make it cooler". I’m not really sure why it felt this way, however, so maybe it’s just me. For example, in Heist Society, the art thievery was kind of ‘out there’, however it was presented in a manner that made it sneakily charming. This tried but failed on the same count.
I never really got a feel for the supporting cast too, I’m sure they will be better developed in the future novels. The plot was weak because of the way it is centered around Cammie’s fascination with Josh, an aspect that I personally found disinteresting.
Parting Thoughts: Don’t think I’ll be continuing with this series, but I’m glad I tried.
Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable
7/10 – because I didn’t particularly love a lot about the novel apart from the fact that it is a quick, light read that is easy on the mind. Cammie’s voice in strong, but her character just wasn’t for me, nor was her love interest. I feel character development is undoubtedly going to occur more as the series progresses, along with a more concrete plot. Give this one a try if you want fun boarding-school-with-a-twist YA novels, recommended to teen girls! C+