Sunday, 22 August 2010

Review: Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

Title: Only the Good Spy Young
Author: Ally Carter
Series: Gallagher Girls (Book 4)
Genre: Teenage Spies
Publisher: Hachette Australia

Blurb from GG site:
"Cammie returns in Book 4 of the bestselling Gallagher Girls, but this semester danger is closer than she's ever imagined with the discovery of a traitor in the Gallagher Academy...

When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. She just didn’t know that life would start during her junior year of high school. But that’s exactly what happened two months ago when Cammie faced off against a mysterious organisation called the Circle of Cavan. Now even Cammie 'The Chameleon' can’t hide.

Danger has followed her to London where she discovers one of her most trusted allies has been labelled a double agent. The Gallagher Girls quickly realise that the Circle’s agents are closer than they’d feared -- maybe even within the Gallagher Academy’s own walls. Cammie and her roomates must call upon old friends if they want to find the traitor at their beloved school before it's too late..."

For those of you that haven't read the Gallagher Girls series, I absolutely recommend you to. The first books at least. But before that, I'll have to fill you in on what the storyline is all about:

Cammie Morgan is a spy-in-training, at the secretive Gallagher Academy For Exceptional Young Woman. Through out the books, Cammie encounters several dangerous situations, finding herself in need of her friends.

What I love most about these books is the light-hearted, kickass, spy missions the girls get up to. The tongue-in-cheek voice of the story is very appropriate for young readers, and gives the stories a fun edge. 
I also loved the romance between Cammie and Josh in the first book, and then the romance between Cammie and Zach in the second and third books, and the spy references make the series all the more enjoyable.

I don't know if it's just me though, but I found the fourth book in the series to be less captivating than the other books. I thought that there were too many strings hanging for the next book, and that this one didn't really go anywhere in terms of developing Cammie's realtionship with much of the cast. It is action-packed, but I found that it was too much like the other books in the series, which were comparatively more refreshing in nature.

It just felt like the same plotline done over, and that nothing too dramatic happened. It was just "the Circle wants Cammie, we have to protect her". But after a whole novel, we still don't get any answers.
However, I hope that the next two books in the series will be much better, and that they will attempt to tie up all the loose ends.

I still love Ally Carter's style of writing, and the way that she occasionally starts chapters with Pro vs Con lists, and mission details. Cammie really does come through as a character who has both Pros and Cons herself.
Ally Carter is working on the second book of another series, The Heist Society, and I cross my fingers in the hope that it proves to be as good as its predecessor.

On another note, the covers of the books are absolutely wonderful. I found out on Ally's blog that they tried to get the same model for each book, but was unsuccessful. I, however, thought that the reasoning behind this was to show how Cammie can really be a "Chameleon" and change her physical appearance. End message? The covers work well!

And the titles are very clever:
1. I'd tell you I'd love you, but then I'd have to kill you.
2. Cross my heart and hope to spy.
3. Don't judge a girl by her cover.
4. Only the good spy young.

If you'll notice, they are all based on cliches, yet the puns are very appropriate for the books. Thumbs up!

Okay, so I feel that I was too mean in this review - it was a great book, but was a little bit of a letdown from what I came to expect from Ally Carter. But the rest of the series are great, and please don't let this review of book 4 stop you from reading them.

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥  

●▬▬▬๑۩ Happy reading, Tina ۩๑▬▬▬▬●