Spoiler warning! This is the third book in the Gallagher Girls series and this review may contain spoilers from previous books. You can read my review of I'd Tell You I Love You but then I'd Have to Kill You here or Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy here.
Author: Ally Carter Website|Twitter
Published: 6 January 2011 (Orchard)
Buy the paperback: Amazon|Hive|BookDepository
Buy the e-book: Kindle|Hive
Source: Borrowed from library
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
When Cammie "The
Chameleon" Morgan visits her roommate Macey in Boston, she thinks she's
in for an exciting end to her summer break. After all, she's there to
watch Macey's father accept the nomination for vice president of the
United States. But when you go to the world's best school (for spies),
"exciting" and "deadly" are never far apart. Cammie and Macey soon find
themselves trapped in a kidnappers' plot, with only their espionage
skills to save them.
As her junior year begins, Cammie can't
shake the memory of what happened in Boston, and even the Gallagher
Academy for Exceptional Young Women doesn't feel like the safe haven it
once did. Shocking secrets and old flames seem to lurk around every one
of the mansion's corners as Cammie and her friends struggle to answer
the questions, Who is after Macey? And how can the Gallagher Girls keep
Soon Cammie is joining Bex and Liz as Macey's private
security team on the campaign trail. The girls must use their spy
training at every turn as the stakes are raised, and Cammie gets closer
and closer to the shocking truth....
I really enjoyed the first two books in this series and with the last book - United We Spy - having just been released, I've bumped the rest of the books up my to-read list in an attempt to catch up! Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover sees the Gallagher Girls deal with Macey's rise to fame and the need for extra protection to her dad running for vice president. But will all the publicity put their school at risk, or more importantly, Macey's life?
This wasn't my favourite book in the series, but it was still an enjoyable read. The book jumps into the plot quite quickly which meant for some great action packed scenes early on. As it had been a while since I read the second book, I did have to go away and look up some of the things from the previous books I'd forgotten because I have a memory like a sieve. Once I'd done that, I was able to lose myself in the story again.
I liked that the book focuses around Macey because she's one of my favourite characters and she's central to the plot in this one. I think one of the things that threw me off a bit about Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover was how bleak the beginning was. Cammie and Macey go through quite an intense traumatic experience, and they both seem to suffer from a bit of PTSD. It made it a bit harder to get into the swing of the book because it wasn't the fun adventure I was used to. I liked that it showed the consequences of what happened to them though. I think where it started to put me off was when the moping was about guys. Cammie spends a lot of the book bummed out about Zach and it was getting a bit annoying by the end.
One of my favourite parts of this book was the introduction of Cammie's Aunt Abby. She's a totally cool aunt and a breath of fresh air compared to her more uptight mother. I really enjoyed her as a character and seeing the influence she had on Cammie. As always with this series, the central friendship of Cammie, Liz, Bex and Macey is one of my favourite things, and it was no different in this book. I just love how they're so comfortable around each other and their personalities bounce of each other so well.
The ending of Don't Judge a Girl was a real page turner. I enjoyed the dramatic climax and I was taken aback by how much I feared for the characters. It was quite emotional! I read this book mainly over the space of an afternoon, and it was an exciting quick read. It didn't quite live up to the other books for me and I had a few niggles, but I'm still looking forward to reading the next book. I've already put a hold on it from the library!
What to read next: Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter, the fourth Gallagher Girls book
Books like this: Insignia by S. J. Kincaid, Heist Society by Ally Carter