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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

Double Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Story

Double Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Story (Gallagher Girls, #5.5; Heist Society, #2.5)
by Ally Carter

Macey McHenry—Glamorous society girl or spy-in-training?

W.W. Hale V—Heir to an American dynasty or master thief?

There are two sides to every coin. Whether these two can work together is a tossup.

Born into privilege, Macey and Hale are experts at mingling with the upper class. But even if they’ve never raised an eyebrow at the glitz, neither teenager has ever felt at home with the glamour.

When Macey and Hale meet at a society gala, the party takes a dangerous turn. Suddenly they’re at the center of a hostage situation, and it’s up to them to stop the thugs from becoming hostile. Will Macey’s spy skills and Hale’s con-man ways be enough to outsmart a ruthless gang? Or will they have to seek out the ultimate inside girl to help? (goodreads.com)

Ok, so I have read (and I LOVE) the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter and I have not yet read the Heist Society books, but since this was a free eBook I thought I’d try it out.

This is a very quick read, being a novella and all. It also isn’t all that WOWing. I mean, it has all the elements you expect from the GG series, mystery, snarky dialogue, the fact that the teens figure out the situation, etc. I don’t know anything about the Heist Society characters, but I’d imagine they are similar. I couldn’t connect to Hale at all and I am sure that this is because I have no backstory on him so he was just sort of… there… to me.

I didn’t really expect much from the story because it’s hard to tell a story with twists and turns in a short format, so everything played out exactly as I thought it would. And as much as I love Macey as a character, I didn’t feel the Macey love in this story.

It was entertaining and it allowed me to read a book start to finish without putting it down, which is something I haven’t been able to do in a long time. It was what I needed at the time I read it – which was almost following the last GG book. I’m not entirely sold on wanting to try the Heist Society novels from this story. I don’t think I liked Kat all that much in the little intro to her I got. I thought that she and Hale seemed smug and not all that likeable? Is this the case?

I am glad I picked this up though and it was a pretty cute, quickie of a mystery. I think I’d have liked it more if it was a full-length mystery novel though. I like my stories to have some more depth, which you can’t really get in novella format (at least that I have experienced.)

I don’t feel like writing out all the titles of the GG  and HS series. This falls in-between those books, but there’s not much of a connection to any of the GG books themselves. I don’t think you need to read this to enjoy the full series themselves.

Out of Sight, Out of Time

Out of Sight, Out of Time (The Gallagher Girls, #5)
by Ally Carter

The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, her memory is a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and dirt under her nails. All she wants is to go home. But even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers as Cammie and her friends face their most difficult challenge yet. With only their training and a few clues to guide them, the girls go in search of answers on the other side of the world. But the Circle is hot on their trail and will stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer. (goodreads.com)

I always get this series when the books come out in paperback format, so I’m likely way behind the times here but…OH MY GODS THIS BOOK HAS ALL OF THE FEELS. The emotions! DEAR GODS! I was bawling – BAWLING! – before I even got through the first third of the book. Cammie was just so lost and damaged. I was..just… when she was in the bathroom with the scissors and her friends burst in.. I couldn’t hold back. I just cried for what seemed like hours (it was maybe 10 minutes) before I could continue on. The sadness and distress had been building from the first pages, but by golly, it all came to a smashing crescendo by that bathroom scene and I couldn’t stop the tears.

Out of Sight, Out of Time, wasn’t just an emotional roller coaster of sadness and loss, there was also this urgent, thriller of a mystery overlaying the entire mental breakdown. What happened to Cammie? Who can be trusted? Who keeps trying to kill her? Why does she need to die? WHAT IS GOING ON!?

This book is so epic with its mystery that I think it’s my all-time favourite of the entire Gallagher Girl series. This book has grown up, much like Cammie has since we first met her in the halls of GG Academy in book one. She’s a senior now and so much has happened in 5 books.

My heart was racing for much of this story and I could not put it down. I was feeling all of the feels while reading GG#5 and I couldn’t deal with anything else in life at the same time. The writing is excellent, the story is fantastic, the emotions are so real and vivid.

I have said this before but it’s worth repeating… this series is AMAZING! I wish this series existed when I was a kid. A school for spies! Danger! Mystery! Romance (in amounts I can stomach)! Not one iota of paranormal stuff, this is just plain ol’ mystery and intrigue at its best. A step up from Nancy Drew for those girls who want to have just that little bit MORE to their mysteries as they get older. I cannot wait to share these with my niece when she’s a little older and reading more. She’s only 6 now, so I have a while to wait – BUT! I will have a complete series to lend her when she gets there. Hooray!

I know Ally Carter is writing another series as well, and this one seems to be taking the back burner while the Heist Society books are being written (I have not read them yet – should I?) but I do hope the next Gallagher Girl novel is amazing and soon. I did find a cross-over novella in ebook format and was delighted to see that Kobo had it as a free download (yay!) so I got it. I am pretty excited to read about Macy and see what this Heist Society world is all about. I am a little worried I will compare it too strongly against the GG series so I haven’t picked it up yet. I’d appreciate thoughts from my readers if you have read both. Will I love it like this one, do you think?

Man, I love this series.

The Gallagher Girls series

  1. I’d Tell You I 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
  5. Out of Sight, Out of Time
  6. TBA – 2013?

Only the Good Spy Young

Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls, #4)
by Ally Carter

When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. What she didn’t realize was that she would have to face off against an ancient terrorist organization dead set on kidnapping her during her junior year. (goodreads.com)

With each book in this series I am reminded once again how much I simply ADORE THE GALLAGHER GIRLS! Fo’ realz.

It’s sad that I forget this from year to year. I think it’s because I am a year behind in reading the books because I wait for the paperback edition to come out before I buy it. I always forget how many lists and field reports Cammie writes and how much I love each and every one. They never fail to make me giggle.

The stories are getting much less fluffy-run-after-a-guy types to more action and mystery as the series progresses. There are many dangers and scary situations that Cammie finds herself a part of. I just looked back over my previous posts for the series and I find that I have been enjoying the books more as they progress. The plot is becoming more serious, in that people’s lives are at stake and I like that a lot. (Er, not that people’s lives are at stake, I mean. I like that the plots are becoming more serious and complex!)

Cammie Morgan remains one of my favourite YA female protagonists as I join her for the crazy missions and situations she finds herself in. She has her weak moments, but mostly, she’s a strong 17-year old girl who’s just trying to find the truth and make sure those she loves are safe. She happens to do all of this with a kickass sense of humour though and I think that’s what makes me love her all the more.

Even Cammie’s friends; Bex, Morgan, Liz, are so much fun. They each have skills they bring to the group and when the four of them put their minds together, watch out! You’ll laugh and be amazed at their brainpower.

Extra refreshing is the lack of love triangle. There was a brief flirtation with one back in the first and second books, but there’s been silence on that front for the last two books and I have to thank the gods for that! The Gallagher Girl series is a great mystery series that has enjoyable characters and tricky mysteries. The closest I have found to this in recent memory is Kim Harrigton’s Clarity series. These are two examples of books I would have devoured as a teen. I loved those re-vamped Nancy Drew Case Files, but Carter and Harrington have created series that just take Nancy Drew to the next level.

If you haven’t yet checked out this series, I suggest you find yourself a copy of the first book, I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You and get crackin’. This YA series is SO worth it. No paranormal, no love triangle (ok, eventually), lots of action, mystery and sass. What could you not love?

What I have not yet tried, myself, is Ally Carter’s Heist Society series. I am sort of worried that I won’t like it as much, or that I’ll constantly be comparing it to the Gallagher Girls, or worse, that it will be exactly LIKE this series, only with thieves. I’m going to remain a big ol’ chicken about trying new things in this case and focus on the GG series for now. Perhaps when this is done, and the Heist books are all out in paperback, I’ll try them out. Meanwhile, I’m tossing this back to you, Internet – have you read this other series? What say you on the matter?

The Gallagher Girls series

  1. I’d Tell You I 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
  5. Out of Sight, Out of Time
  6. TBA – 2013?

Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover

Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover (Gallagher Girls, #3)
by Ally Carter

This is me not buying books. Due to some personal financial suckyness I have a ban on buying anything that isn’t needed (ie, mortgage, food, electricity, dog food, etc). However I was allowing myself ONE purchase this month because I had just read the first book of Holly Lisle’s Moon & Sun series and I desperately wanted the second one. This is where you might be saying, “Um, Cat, this has nothing to do with Holly Lisle.” and you would be right. It doesn’t. This is what happens when you go to your preferred store thinking they have the book you want in stock and then get there and realized you read the information online incorrectly and you didn’t feel like walking to the next store and you needed a book for a waiting room.

So I picked up the latest Gallagher Girls book that was in paperback and I read it in about a day. I adore this series. I wish I didn’t have to be a year behind everyone else as I REFUSE to spend the insane amount of money on the hard cover (in Canada) and I hate hard covers anyhow!

Book 3 had a much more action-y feeling to it than the first two books. This time around we’re not chasing around a crush, we’re not breaking rules just to see a boy. There is a real threat here – the supposed kidnapping attempt of Macy, the Vice-Presidential candidate’s daughter and fellow Gallagher Girl. The book starts off with a narrow escape and lots of injuries from a campaign in Boston and it just gets more mysterious from there.

There is a whirlwind introduction and reunion with Cammie’s long lost Aunt Abby and since I didn’t think she would be sticking around after this book I wasn’t too upset that I could not stand her character. I actually guessed that her character would be the bad guy, but I was wrong on that count. Either way, I have had enough of her for one series.

The revelation at the end of the book made me kick myself for waiting a year for the trade paperback, so I will see if perhaps the University library has it in stock (the Education library that is) and on the very slim chance that my local library will have it (they are about 2-3 years behind in current English titles) I will borrow it and then buy it when it comes out next summer.

This series is plain fun to read. It has action and mystery and humour and enjoyable characters and it doesn’t hurt my head when I just want to escape my life for a while. I love the idea of a spy school for teenagers, I think it’s original and clever. And so far the books have not let me down.

The Gallagher Girls series

  1. I’d Tell You I 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
  5. Out of Sight, Out of Time 
  6. TBA -2013?

Cross my Heart and Hope to Spy

Cross my Heart and Hope to Spy
by Ally Carter

This is the second Gallagher Girls book and it didn’t catch me the way the first one did. It was still charming and funny in parts, but I didn’t find it as humourous. Honestly I am not sure why I didn’t like it as much, it was missing something. Maybe it was the lack of Josh. He was mentioned and showed up briefly, but I missed him. I missed the relationship that Cammie and Josh had.

Cammie Morgan has found herself in yet another Secret Spy situation. This time part of the school has been closed off and she and her friends plot to find out why. Turns out there are boys at the Gallagher Academy now as a part of an exchange. And one of the professors is not to be trusted.

I guess I just didn’t like the plot as much as book one. It was enjoyable and I read it in a couple of days (which is saying something since I was at Disney World when I was reading it – so it was good enough to read in its entirety while I was a the most Magical Place in the World!) and I will be buying/reading the next installment (in year, when it comes out in paperback).

This is a short review, sorry about that. But at least I got something up! 😉

The Gallagher Girls series

  1. I’d Tell You I 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
  5. Out of Sight, Out of Time
  6. TBA – 2013?