I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You -- Ally Carter
Almost sixteen-year-old Cammie Morgan attends the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. Civilians know it as a snooty and expensive boarding school for rich young troublemakers. It's not:
As we approached the massive, open doors of the Grand Hall, where Gilly Gallagher supposedly poisoned a man at her own cotillion, I involutarily glanced up at the electronic screen that read "English--American" even though I knew we always talk in our own language and accents for the welcome-back dinner. Our mealtime conversations wouldn't be taking place in "Chinese--Mandarin" for at least a week, I hoped.
That's right. The Gallagher Girls are spies-in-training. Cammie and her friends are fluent in fourteen different languages, they've done work with encryption, read Espionage Today in their spare time, use gadgets that would make Q jealous, have classes in Culture and Assimilation and Countries of the World (COW), but now, sophomore year, comes the big stuff: Covert Operations.
That being said, girls will be girls:
...I couldn't hear her over the roar of a nearby debate (in Korean) about whether Jason Bourne could take James Bond, and if it mattered whether it was Sean-Connery-Bond or Pierce-Brosnan-Bond.
And when Cammie meets an adorable boy in town, the team has to use all of the skills and technology at their disposal to:
A) make sure that he isn't actually an enemy agent trying to infiltrate the school
B) get Cammie on and off school grounds after curfew without alerting her mom, who just happens to be the headmistress
C) help Cammie keep her cover -- due to the prejudice the townies have against the Academy, she's pretending to be a girl homeschooled for religious reasons and
D) STILL pass all of their classes.
Way fun. Not a Deep Thoughts book by any means, but a great combination of Girl Power, Super Spy (and Spy Spoof), School Story, Making Friends with the Enemy, Star-Crossed Lovers, Coming to Terms with Grief, Fish Out of Water and Coming of Age. Even though the situation is outlandish, the characters are likeable, and there's realism in their relationships. I was really happy that Ally Carter kept surprising me -- I was never quite sure which way the story was headed (so many possibilities!), and I didn't have everything figured out and nailed down by the end, which, in a light-hearted rompy book like this, is a rare thing.
Recommended for fans of the Princess Diaries, etc.