Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cross my Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter

Cross my Heart and Hope to Spy

by Ally Carter

I spent a pleasant evening reading this sequel to I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You

Every writer I read influences my style in some way, and Ally Carter's fun-loving parenthetical style has been a welcome addition to my compilation of voices (I sound schizophrenic when I say it like that).

To use her narrator's favorite break-down method:

Cross my Heart is A) easy to read, B) very "now" popular culture, and C) surprisingly addicting.

The books are about a spy school for girl geniuses that the local town thinks is a boarding school for stuck-up heiresses. Gallagher Academy is a world all its own, like Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, complete with textbooks like 101 Classic Covers and the Spies Who've Used Them, and classes like P & E, Protection and Enforcement instead of P.E. These little details immerse the reader in another reality, one where teenage girls are capable of more than simply taking care of themselves. They're protecting national secrets. Though there is danger and intrigue on every page, the romance is what left me feeling somewhat giddy. The way Ally Carter pulls this off is by keeping characters true to themselves in everything they do and say. Characters like Zach and Bex kept me laughing, and Cammie Morgan's first-person narration was never boring.

The plot was twisty enough without seeming forced, as some spy fiction does. I will definitely continue to recommend Ally Carter's books to my friends and family. I look forward to reading Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover and hope to see many more titles coming from Ally Carter in the future.

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