Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Review: Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls, #2) by Ally Carter

Spoiler warning! This is the 2nd book in the Gallagher Girls series and this review will feature spoilers from the first book, I'd Tell You I Love You but then I'd Have to Kill You. You can read my review of that book here. You have been warned!
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter

Author: Ally Carter. Website|Twitter
Published: 5 August 2010 (Orchard)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 272
Amazon: paperback|Kindle
Waterstone's: paperback|e-book
Book Depository: paperback

Source: Bought

Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Cammie Morgan may have a genius IQ and attend the best school in the country, but as she starts the spring semester of her sophomore year there are a lot of things she doesn't know. Like will her ex-boyfriend even remember she exists? And how much trouble did she really get in last semester? And, most of all, exactly why is her mother acting so strangely?

All Cammie wants is a nice, normal semester, but she's about to learn her greatest lesson yet—that when you go to a school for spies, nothing is ever as it seems.

My Review:
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, and this book picks up not long after. Cammie has been summoned to the CIA and is under scrutiny for her actions with Josh last term. On top of that, something mysterious is happening at Gallagher Academy and Cammie and her friends try their best to get to the bottom of it.

There's a bit of recapping at the beginning of the book which I liked, and straight away I fell in love with Cammie's narration of the story all over again! As with all series like this, I was worried that the plot may become a bit repetitive. After all, the story is taking place in the same building with the same characters. Pretty quickly there's some mystery to the story though which had me hooked and put my fears to bed! And on top of that there's some new characters, including a few guys who become central to the plot. I felt the story felt just as interesting and fresh as the first.

Where the book was similar was the focus on CoveOps - Covert Operations class. The missions Cammie and her classmates must do have been stepped up a little which meant there was plenty of actions (love a good helicopter flight!) and I adored all the cool spy stuff. We get to see the wider spy world away from the school as well which I thought made everything a bit more exciting!

As well as the issue of Josh being raised throughout the book, I really liked Cammie's interactions with the new guy on the block, Zach. They bounced off each other quite well and it made for some interesting twists and turns. I felt like this book touched a bit more on Cammie's past as well when it comes to things like her dad. I love that there's that depth to her character and it feels like something that can be explored more in the future.

As always, the humour and the way the book's written are two of the reasons I really liked it. The inclusion of things like mission reports really mix it up when you're reading. Something I felt let the book down was maybe a slight lack of focus on Cammie's friendship group. I really like it when the girls are all together and they seemed to take more of a backseat this time. I had the same feelings about Josh who I was maybe expecting to see more of. Some of the plot points felt a little convenient as well.

The climax of the story had me hooked, and all the action and suspense throughout the book was fantastic. Overall I really liked this book, and would put it pretty much level with the first, so if you liked that then definitely keep reading the series!

Rating: 4*
What to read next: Don't Judge a Girl by her Cover by Ally Carter, book 3 in the Gallagher Girls series
Books like this: Finding Cassie Crazy by Jaclyn Moriarty

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