Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Book Review: Only the Good Spy Young

Author: Ally Carter
Title: Only the Good Spy Young
Description (source):  When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. What she didn’t know was that the serious, real-life danger would start during her junior year of high school. But that’s exactly what happened two months ago when Cammie faced off against an ancient terrorist organization dead set on kidnapping her.

Now the danger follows her everywhere, and even Cammie “The Chameleon” can’t hide.  When a terrifying encounter in London reveals that one of her most-trusted allies is actually a rogue double-agent, Cammie no longer knows if she can trust her classmates, her teachers—or even her own heart.

 In this fourth installment of the New York Times best-selling series, the Gallagher Girls must hack, spy, steal, and lie their way to the they go searching for answers, recognizing that the key to Cammie’s future may lie deep in the past. (product description)

Review source: RWA

Plot: This book is the fourth in a series, but that didn’t mean that I was lost – it’s a great standalone read as well (although I am now awaiting the next book in the series quite fiercely). The plot both advanced the overall series story line and had a self-contained episode, so there was a bit of closure, even with the cliffhanger ending.

Characters: All of the characters were well-written. Both main and secondary characters are believable, likeable (if they are supposed to be), and interesting. The love story is age-appropriate yet emotionally affecting.

Writing style: This was my first book by Ally Carter, and I have to say she is a whiz-bang writer. Funny, great at pacing, and keeps the tone just right throughout.

Audience: SLJ lists it as grades 6-10, and I’d say that’s right on, although I really enjoyed it and would venture to say that adults picking up the book would like it if they gave it a chance. Genre-wise, it’s mostly spy thriller, but with some romance, so girls would like it better than boys would.  Also, the cover is pink.

Wrap-up: I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did, but it shows the difference between a true YA author (like Carter) and an adult author trying to write YA (like the Sherrilyn Kenyon novel Infinity that I just finished). I’m going to be waiting to see how the series finishes up! 4.5/5*


  1. Sounds like fun! I've been having a great time reading YA books lately too. Speaking of books for middle school age -- have you read the Gregor books by Suzanne Collins? I think there were 5 of them. I had way too much fun reading those. Reminded me of those summers I was in a reading program at my library.

  2. I read the Gregor books when my son was younger-- he was the one who discovered them, and our whole family read & enjoyed them. In fact, I think I like them better than the Hunger Games books; the world was so neat, for one thing.