Genre - YA
Length - ~280pages
Author - Ally Carter
Cammie Morgan looks like she goes to a private school for rich, snobby girls. What the school actually is is the Gallagher Academy, a spy-training school for girl geniuses. Her sophomore year at the school (yes, this is book one) seems to be going well - but even their new class, Covert Operations, doesn't teach her what she needs to know: how to speak Boy. Especially when said boy is sweet, funny, good-looking - and normal. Normal's the last thing Cammie is...
Absolutely fabulous. Like a really good YA, the scene is set quickly, the voice develops strongly, and the plot Starts Happening.
For starters, the whole premise. Yes, I admit, I'm wildly into secret and spies and assassins and societies and whatnot, so the idea of a secret spy school that trains girls only, and poses as a posh boarding school is tremendously exciting.
The voice is great, there's plenty of tension, and the ending isn't quite predictable. There's a great balance of 'real' teenageness and adult story-telling. I also adore the fact that this book is completely clean - no language, nothing worthy of more than a PG rating. For those of you that must know such things, the 'smush' is pretty much behind curtain.
Which is another thing I adore about this book: it's from the POV of a teenage girl, AND it avoids sappy romance and unrealistic portrayals of relationships. Those of you that know me well know that an absolutely HUGE pet peeve of mine is the unrealistic relationships that so much of the media portrays, aimed at teenage girls with their susceptability to sap (yes, myself included when I was a teen). It just breeds SO MANY ISSUES - but I won't go into that here. And just for the record, I've nothing against romance.
None, really - but it is a quick, light-hearted read, so if you need more meat in your stories this might not be for you. It's not dark or edgy :) It's also very definitely YA, so if you need stories with subplots, multi-POVs, and tangled, complex storylines, this isn't your thing.
If I was doing stars, it would have 5. As it is, I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You gets to be a pocket book - one that you carry around in your pocket until you finish it, because it's just. that. good. Mind, mine never went into my pocket, as I read it in one sitting, but yes O:)