Sunday, September 12, 2010

Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover--Ally Carter

When I was a kid I loved Wonder Woman. I still do. That's why even though I blinked, I didn't really hesitate to drop $30 on a Wonder Woman action figure my daughter can actually play with. When I was a young adult (in the true sense of the word--in my 20s) I transferred that adoration to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And then when Buffy was gone I found Veronica Mars. Do you see a pattern?

I like strong girls.

Naturally then, I LOVE the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter (she *is* a YA Author You Need to Read, you know.) The first one was "I'd Tell You I Love You, But then I'd Have to Kill You", the second was "Cross My Heart & Hope to Spy". I don't why it took me so long to get to the 3rd one in the series, but I'll blame my children.

I thought that finishing up the Gallagher Girls series would be the perfect followup to the Hunger Games series... something fun and light and fluffy. I was wrong. It's still fun, but in "Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover" Carter has taken the series to the next step. It's not a light, fluffy, beach read. It's more real. In the first two books the biggest problem was boys. Sure, the girls were in spy school and had to learn how to, you know, be spies, but it was trying to figure out boys that really gave them headaches. In the latest books, the girls are dealing with real life espionage, kidnapping and danger on top of mixed signals from boys.

In the 3rd book in the series, Cammie and her roommate Macey are in Boston watching Macey's father accept the nomination for Vice President of the United States. They wind up the target of kidnappers and must use their special spy skills to save themselves. They spend the rest of their junior year trying to figure out who the kidnappers were and why they were targeted. What they discover surprises them.

Carter has added depth to the characters as well as beginning a story arc giving the girls an enemy and making their work more meaningful. There's lots of adventure, humor, suspense, and a little bit of romance making this a must read.
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