Book Review: “I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You” by Ally Carter (Gallagher Girls #1)

Title: I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1) (Click to add to your Goodreads!)

Available In: Hardcover (Library Binding), Paperback, eBook for Nook, eBook for Kindle, Audiobook.

Maturity Level: 13 +. Some kissing and light violence, but overall very clean.

You May Like This Book if: you enjoy fast-paced, light-hearted stories and/or if you’re a fan of Joss Whedon (the writing style seems very much influenced by his work, and there are plenty of Buffy references).

You May NOT Like This Book if: you’re looking for a serious spy novel ala John LeCarre.


Cameron Morgan is not your average private-school girl. Then again, Gallagher Academy is not your average private school—it’s a spy school, with a curriculum designed to turn out some of the best-trained surveillance agents in the world. So when she meets the incredibly normal Josh, she’s not quite sure how to proceed. Luckily, she has a team of very good friends there to help her sift through his trash, hack his computer, and arrange strategic meetings away from prying eyes. And along the way, Cammie just might learn something about love — and the importance of being true to oneself.

Overall, I thought this book was really fun. It’s a bit like Nikita meets Harry Potter meets Buffy. There are some very good messages twined up in the lighthearted narrative as well, making this a book that I’d recommend to any teenage girl (or, for that matter, any girl ever). The spy element was nicely handled, and I loved reading the descriptions of a typical day at a “spy school”. Throw in a whole load of Buffy references, and I am a very happy reader. It was also a wicked quick read, especially the last hundred pages or so—the sort of book you could finish in an afternoon if you had no interruptions. I’m looking forward to the next book—which, according to PaperBackSwap, is headed my way as of this morning—and I’ll also definitely be checking out Heist Society when I finish with the Gallagher Girls series.


  • Spy girls. Spy girls are always a plus.
  • Gallagher Academy is kind of like Harry Potter for spy girls. AWESOME~
  • Cammie’s mom. She’s awesome, and I love that her and Cammie have a very close relationship, which is not often seen in YA.
  • Bex, Liz, and Macey. They’re smart, sassy, and they’re great friends. What’s not to love?
  • CoveOps. I would totally take this class.
  • Short chapters make for a fast-paced read.
  • I really, really love the overall message, which is basically to stay true to who you are when you’re in a relationship, not true to what your partner might want you to be. Also, don’t ditch your friends. They’ll be around long after your BF has taken off.


  • Some of the “mean girls” in this book are pretty flat and stereotypical.

Favorite Scene (s)

  • Pages 87-90, when Mr. Solomon makes his point about what failure in a CovertOps mission would cost you. Very tense, very dramatic.
  • Josh driving a forklift through the wall on page 271.

Favorite Line (s): “Our lies come complete with Social Security numbers and fake IDS, and our truths cut like Spanish steel.”~pg 221 of Ally Carter’s I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You.

Star Rating on Goodreads: 4 stars.

Final Grade: A. Will probably reread, will definitely read next book in series.

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jesse @ Books 4 Teens
    Feb 25, 2012 @ 03:20:25

    Ooh! I have this on my shelf waiting to be read, I think I need to read it soon 🙂 And I hope you enjoy Heist Society – I personally loved it 😀


    • Em
      Feb 25, 2012 @ 19:14:31

      Do it. It’s such a quick read, and so worth it for the fun factor. And as for Heist Society, it seems like everyone I’ve talked to loves it. I’m going to see about moving it up in my to-read pile…


  2. adkwriter15
    Feb 28, 2012 @ 01:23:44

    I have been looking at these for ages! I just always thought the cover art made it seem like the book would be a little too middle grade for me. You and I seem to have quite the similar taste, so I might go looking for it! I keep meaning to get into PBS, too, but I never get very far. 😛


    • Em
      Feb 28, 2012 @ 02:32:35

      The cover art is very MG, but the story itself is all YA. 😀 And I have heard from reputable sources that book 2 is actually more awesome than book 1.


  3. Briana
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 12:32:45

    This series is like, my LOVE. ❤ I started reading the series when I was just a year or so older than Cammie. The first one was fun, the second one was wicked awesome, and then it just snowballed into this series of EPIC WIN. It just gets deeper and darker as time goes on. Yes. Ally Carter is, and probably be for a very long time, my favorite author. And yes. Heist Society is ALSO awesome. XD


    • Em
      Mar 10, 2012 @ 05:51:24

      I actually have book 2 on my to-read and will be starting it as soon as I finish Cinder. And yeah, Heist Society LOOKS awesome. :3


  4. Trackback: Book Review: “Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy” by Ally Carter (Gallagher Girls, #2) « easyreadinganddamnhardwriting

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