July 15th, 2020
Last week, I reviewed Ally Carter’s series Heist Society. I actually read this series of Carter’s first, otherwise I never would have even tried The Heist Society. My sister was the one who recommended it to me. The covers have changed a few times, but the ones above were the covers when I read them, and I like them best. However, you know what they say: “Never judge a book by it’s cover.” The Gallagher Girls would also say Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover (that’s book three).
The premise of these books is pretty straight forward: The Gallagher Academy for Girls is actually a cover for a school that trains teenage girl spies. After all, who would expect a teenage girl of covert ops? These girls aren’t just tough, however (as Cameron says, I’d Tell You I Love You, but Then I’d Have to Kill You - that’s book one). They are also genius level smart - able to hack into secret government agencies, speak dozens of languages, and use photographic memory to retrieve information. A ridiculous premise, you say? Maybe. But it’s so much fun to read, and it’s written so believably, you won’t care. The main character, Cameron “the Chameleon,” feels like she could be us. Unseen, uninteresting, able to blend into the crowd. Because of that, we buy into the fantasy completely. I also love how the Gallagher Girls support one another. There’s no catty competition here. As a matter of fact, having your sisters’ backs is a main theme of the series.
I have also never read a YA series that included so many well developed adult characters. Cameron’s mom, Rachel Morgan, who runs the academy, her Aunt Abby who is former CIA and in the secret service, and her drop dead gorgeous teacher Joe Solomon all have story lines that you’ll get invested in. Especially Joe Solomon - *swoon*. However, these books remain a clean read and completely appropriate for even younger teens.
This is a series I would love to see made into a movie or a TV show, and since it’s published by Hyperion, which is owned by Disney, I’ve got my figures crossed that it will happen. Come on, Disney+, get on this! Just don’t make these into cheesy Disney Channel movies. They deserve better (and we grown ups won’t be so embarrassed watching them, lol).
One other thing: the main plot of the series doesn’t really get started until book two (Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy). The first is really just an introduction to this spy school and the girls who attend there. The first one is mostly cute and funny, but things get more serious in each book. Carter never abandons the humor or the age appropriate tone, however. It’s just that the stakes get higher. I honestly couldn’t put these down.
There are six books total, but I've only included the link to the first three below.
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I am a former English teacher turned homeschool mom of three who writes Christian romance novels on the side. You know, in my huge amount of spare time.