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Gallagher Girls #1

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You

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Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school—that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses, but it's really a school for spies. Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real "pavement artist"—but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?

Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she's on her most dangerous mission—falling in love.

284 pages, Hardcover

First published April 25, 2006

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About the author

Ally Carter

48 books15.3k followers
Ally Carter writes books about sneaky people and movies about Christmas. She is the New York Times Best-selling author of the Gallagher Girls, Heist Society, and Embassy Row series for teens as well as WINTERBORNE HOME FOR VENGEANCE AND VALOR for younger readers. Her books have been published all over the world, in over twenty languages.

She encourages you to visit her online at allycarter.com and embassyrowbooks.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 8,165 reviews
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,366 followers
August 12, 2016
Yes. I'm a full grown adult. Yes, I thought this was pretty freaking awesome! Don't laugh at me!! *scowls*

These are the kinds of books I turn to when I want something fun and silly; a change of pace. A high-school-drama-filled book that I can read and enjoy without the need to use my brain a whole lot. It doesn't claim to be a deeply significant story that will blow your mind with its complexity. It's a relatively straightforward plot, but with all kinds of shameless fun, plenty of humor, an adorable romance, and of course, cool gadgets. Welcome to spy school!

"Every time I caught a glance at the world around us, I saw another year of my life flash before my eyes."

Cammie, spy in training, is witty, smart, independent, yet clueless when it comes to boys. She's the perfect protagonist for this story. She got me laughing at her ridiculous antics and hilarious inner (sometimes outer) dialogue. Obviously, being a teenager, she makes plenty of dumb decisions especially when it comes to a boy she likes. However, her own logic is intelligent enough to make it rather amusing instead of annoying. Alongside Cammie we've got a truly fantastic cast of supporting characters who are well-rendered with relevant roles and loud personalities. Friends, family, teachers, classmates, outsiders; there's a big bunch of colorful characters which I think is the main reason why I enjoyed this rather fluffy plot so much.

The spy elements in the story are kept fairly simple. We do see the characters in spy-mode, but it's nothing that got me taking notes (yet. - Hey, you never know!). I found this book to be more of an introduction to the spy-school. We begin to uncover the secrets behind Gallagher Academy, which is thought to be a school for privileged elites, but instead, brims with magical possibilities and secret passageways. Oh, and martial arts training!! Boarding school stories are a guilty pleasure of mine. It's unfamiliar territory for me in my small town, nowhere, Canada; I find myself enchanted by their mystique. Since I know we've only just scratched the surface of this uncanny school, I'm particularly looking forward to digging deeper inside its walls, as well as its inhabitants. This first book in the Gallagher Girls series has a plot that concentrates more on the cute, though predictable, romance between the protagonist and an outsider who has no idea what he's getting into.

Strangely, with this said, regardless of how different both series obviously are, I kept being reminded of Harry Potter. The magical, secretive school, the large cast of sparkling personalities; evidently this series is quite a bit more frivolous and lighthearted (at least so far), but the vibe I get from it feels similar.

Fun and quirky, immature at times, implausible yet entertaining, I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You - which by the way I have to admit I love the titles in this series - is a delightful escape from reality. Yes it's written for young'uns, but damn it, I had fun too!

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Steph (Reviewer X).
90 reviews119 followers
June 19, 2008
I picked this book up because of all the media hyper surrounding it—the Disney option and the New York Times bestseller status, not to mention the cute cover and interesting premise. Who hasn’t found themselves imagining what it would be like to be a secret government operative during an especially boring Physics lecture? Behold: the appeal of this book (to me, at least).

With all this in mind, why oh why was I so disappointed upon finishing it?

Because this book was subpar to its media attention. The writing, the characters and the subplot were average. Boring. I didn’t learn anything particularly new reading it, I wasn’t entertained, and I wasn’t blown away with Ally Carter’s prose. What’s ironic is, the elements that would’ve made this novel a winner—such as character development, for starters—were all there. The girls had interesting (and heartbreaking) backgrounds. But those were for the most part ignored, except for some scenes where Cammie feels the loss that her friend could be facing and feels the loss of her own father, which I felt were the best parts in this entire novel.

Because of all the superfluous jokes and one-liners inserted in places that did not require the likes of them. (And usually in parentheses and followed by an exclamation point so the reader can feel the excitement!) The only comment I have of this is: Uncooked spaghetti is not as clever a weapon choice as the author seems to think it is...

Because of the underdeveloped relationship between Josh (is that his name? I can’t be bothered to check) and Cammie. I would’ve liked to see the beginning stages of first love instead of being told, after the fact, that they went to such and such movie or something equally nondescript. With a book based on the challenges of falling in love as a spy and having to lead a double life, one would’ve thought such details of the romance would be shared from time to time.

Because of the main character. No way in hell is she sixteen and no way in hell is someone that average, intelligence-wise, would be qualified to go to such a pizzazz school like Gallagher Academy. Oh, and, how was she able to fool the adults in that place even for a second? What does that say about the school we are led to believe is The Godsend of Security?

I’m not understanding what makes this as popular as it is. It’s not really funny and it’s not really bright. What gives? The only redeeming quality it has, in my opinion, is that it’s making me re-evaluate my verdict of The Squad: Killer Spirit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, which I am coming to realize is infinitely better.

If I had to describe this book in a word, it’d be: Lifeless. No real stakes and no stimulating qualities. Get it from the library.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,562 reviews860 followers
May 29, 2023
Posing as a fee-paying school for elite girls, Gallagher school is really an elite school for training female spies, run by former agents and with support services run by other former agents and spy agency service staff. It's one of the oldest female spy schools in the word, with their successful agents-in-the-field often called 'Gallagher Girls'.

What begins as a fun and innovative concept is kind of ruined by the entire premise of the main plot being student, and daughter of the headmistress, 'Cammie' (Cameron) Morgan using her spy skills to carry on an illicit relationship with one of the 'Townies', Josh! Still a most definitely fun-read, despite the focus on contradictory team romance, in a setting of strong independent young woman, learning the skills to protect the wider world. Sometimes it's just good to read a fun book! 7 out of 12, Three Stars.

2020 read
Profile Image for Jennifer Wardrip.
Author 6 books479 followers
November 7, 2012
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

Welcome to The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, an all-girls school located just outside of Roseville, Virginia. Anyone looking at this elite private boarding school would see just what The Gallagher Academy wants you to see--a preppy school for privileged girls, complete with a guardhouse and stone wall to keep the curious away from their precious charges. And they'd be right, of course, and yet they would be so very, very wrong!

Because The Gallagher Academy isn't exactly what it appears to be. It's an elite school, that's for sure, and the only boys who grace its grounds are the male teachers. After that, though, the similarities between The Gallagher Academy and every other elite boarding school in the world ends. Instead of math and reading, English and horseback-riding, the girls who attend this school take courses in Covert Operations, Ancient Languages, Countries of the World, Culture and Assimilation, and Protection and Enforcement. The Gallagher Academy is, in a word, a school for spies.

Cammie Morgan is a second-generation Gallagher girl--her mother, who also attended the school, is now the headmistress. Her two best friends, Liz and Bex, are both super-smart, and the best spies-in-training she knows (except for Liz's lack of coordination, but that's another story). Cammie has spent most of her life inside the walls of The Gallagher Academy, and now that another semester is starting, complete with new CoveOps teacher, hunky Joe Solomon, she's really looking forward to the new school year.

But then things start to get a little out of control. Mr. Solomon seems to know all about Cammie's missing-and-presumed-dead father. She meets a boy in town, Josh, who finally sees her, really sees her, like no one else ever has. After all, she didn't get her nickname, "the chameleon," for nothing. But now Cammie is balancing on a dangerous ledge--knowing that no one outside of the gates of The Gallagher Academy can ever know who she truly is, and wanting nothing more than to spill all of her secrets to Josh.

As lies tangle with truths, as first love duels with obligation, Cammie will need to learn exactly what it means to be a spy, her mother's daughter, and a young girl falling in love.

I'D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU, BUT THEN I'D HAVE TO KILL YOU is a wonderful, laugh-out-loud, action-adventure extravaganza. Filled with plenty of cool gadgets, intriguing teachers, and heart-pounding first-love moments to keep the reader interested, you won't be able to put this book down once you start. A true winner, and I definitely can't wait for a sequel!
Profile Image for Ivana - Diary of Difference.
560 reviews710 followers
August 8, 2022
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If you are looking for a refreshing Young-Adult read, with college unlike any other - this is the perfect book for you! I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You is the first book from the Gallagher Girl series, where we meet girls that go to a school for spies, and nobody except them, knows it.

The Gallagher Academy is a typical all-girls-school, except, instead of normal subjects, they learn advanced martial arts and chemical warfare studies, they have exams where they need to spy, or go unnoticed, or steal.

We meet Cammie Morgan, who happens to be the headmistress's daughter, and when she goes on a mission and gets noticed by a boy - everything changes and her life is suddenly everything but normal. She knows how to kill a man in seven different ways, and she can speak fourteen languages, but when a cute boy comes and says hi - she is definitely not trained for that. What's worst - he thinks she's just an ordinary girl, and she is falling in love with him.

Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through town without his ever being the wiser - but can she have a relationship with a regular boy who can never know the truth about her? Cammie may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she's beginning her most dangerous mission - falling in love.

I loved the writing style, and I loved something new and refreshing - it is a plot that I haven't read before, and I really enjoyed it. Sometimes when it felt a bit childish, I would remember I am not thirteen anymore, but even now at twenty-one, I got lost into this silly world of spy girls and the drama and love life of Cammie.

I liked Cammie - she is the type of girl that you would love to have as a friend, because she always makes you giggle with her silly comments. I also liked how brave and honest she was - not always honest though… Sometimes, she was too whiney for her own good, and making little things out of nothing, but then again, all teens kind of do that all the time, so it's acceptable.

I loved her friends - they were such a team, and always covering their backs. I loved how, even despite all their differences, they manages to fit right in and have their own impact to the group friendship.

Overall, quite an enjoyable read and I would definitely recommend it to you guys, if you love anything YA, or fantasy, or spy girls, or college related. I enjoyed this book, and I wish I read it way sooner. I can't wait to read the rest of the series as well.

Thank you to my friend and author, Michael Kott, that send me this book after recommending it to me, as Ally Carter is one of his favourite authors, and he enjoyed this book as well. Check out his book Piasa - it is amazing!

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Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,797 followers
May 25, 2017
This whole book was a buzzkill. I came for spies and bada*sery and instead got soul mates and puke-inducing cliches


I would most definitely consider this as middle school genre rather than YA bc it really lacks in the writing, the plot, and the characters. The writing is so juvenile and the humour is so forced im still cringing from exposure

The characters are annoying as frick man. I’d like to propose a new rule, the first being that a 14 year old should not refer to their spy teacher as ‘sexy’ or ‘smokin’’ bc that just made me retch into a bin

The only reason I read this book, is bc I made a deal with the devil, and she still hadn’t done her part of the deal but I’m forced to commit myself to the rest of this series and now im mourning over my existence

At least the books are short but im honestly praying that this series gets a whole lot better bc its so boring and mundane and PREDICTABLE as hell right now

Like honestly, there was SUCH an opportunity to twist the whole story around and make it 110% more interesting but nooooooo no one likes to listen to me

Maybe I would have appreciated this book more if I was 13 or 14 but current me is v v v unimpressed

1.5 stars bc I value our friendship
Profile Image for Maggie ☘.
534 reviews654 followers
March 12, 2019
*3.75/5 stars*

“You shouldn't judge someone until you've walk a mile through an underground tunnel in her uncomfortable shoes”

I had a tough time deciding on the final rating of this book: Most of the time, my enjoyment was on the 4 star level, but this book also isn't flawless and some parts begged for more logical 3 star rating. In the end, I'm going to give it lower 4 stars, because it was so much fun and an amazing introduction to a potentially kick butt series. I'm very excited to continue!

One of the things I enjoyed most about it was the setting of the secret spy school! The Gallagher Academy iself, the teachers and subjects - I found myself wanting to know more about each individual subject especially. I'm hoping we get to know much more about the classes in the sequels.

“If you can be still enough and common enough, then it's really easy to be invisible.”

Another pro of this book: Gallagher Academy is an all girls boarding school, so there was a lot of female friendship! Each girl has her own distinctive personality and it was simply fun to follow Cammie and the girls - attending espionage classes and taking on their new spy project involving The Subject of Cammie's interest.

“Did you say something Macey?' I asked, but she cut me a look that could kill. She reached into her bag, ripped off a sliver of Evapopaper, and scribbled:
'Can we study tonight? (Tell anyone, and I'll kill you in you sleep!)”

It was a lot of fun. Fast and easy read to get through quickly. But at the same time, the humour combined with some slightly more serious elements, which makes me hope for more action, intrigue and general kick assness in the sequels.

The romantic aspect of the book was just ok-ish. The romance wasn't the strongest point of the book, which I stated above, but nor was it a con either. Josh, alias, The Subject was rather bland character. Nice, normal guy, but very bland character overall. That's why I like the first half - and the very last part - of the book more than the second half. The second half was a bit too focused on the romantic aspect, understandably, but it just wasn't my favourite. Cute but ultimately forgottable aspect of the book for me.

Relating to that, there was the minor thing that made me cringe. How much the town kids disliked and dismayed the - supposedly rich - boarding school girls. Like Josh's friend, Dillon, hated them so much he even lowered to publicly harassing a girl, for no reason whatsoever. Because she was rich and priviledged to him. And I can also point out that he lives in a middle class american suburban neighborhood, which the heroine described as very nice looking. He is a privileged kid himself, so don't even start me on that one...
Him, and the other guys in his group, to not only disdain but outright mock and hate on the girls 24/7 was just such an unecessary element to the book. Not prevalent throughout, don't worry, but it was not my fave. Over the top unrealistic and fake, and honestly, nope.
<-- But this is about the only real con I have about the book, so safe to say it was a great ride anyway.

“Women of the Gallagher Academy, who comes here?" she asked.
Just then, every girl at every table (even the newbies) stood and said in unison, "We are the sisters of Gillian."
"Why do you come?" my mother asked.
"To learn her skills. Honor her sword. And keep her secrets."
"To what end do you work?"
"To the cause of justice and light."
"How long will you strive?"
"For all the days of our lives," we finished and I felt a little like a character in one of my grandma's soap operas.”



Cameron (Cammie) Morgan

Codename: The Chameleon

Info: Main heroine. Her mother, Rachel Morgan, is kick ass headmistress of the Gallagher Academy. Good at going unnoticed.


Rebecca (Bex) Baxter

Codename: The Duchess

Info: Only Brittish student of the Academy. Loves attention and danger. Beautiful. Good actress.


Elizabeth (Liz) Sutton

Codename: The Bookworm

Info: Studious. Smart. A clutz in the field. Loves taking notes.


Macey McHenry

Codename: nonexistent yet

Info: The newcommer. Seemingly perfect. Rich father. Lonely. Hard on the outside, nice on the inside *somewhere deep down*



Overall: a great start to a fun spy series, with boarding school setting, girl friendship and lots of promise.
246 reviews18 followers
September 5, 2007
I am a daydreamer—I think most readers are. As a freshman in high school, I had a recurring fantasy about being a spy. At the time, I was taking Russian classes (back when the Cold War was a recent memory) and spent hours imagining what life would be like if I’d been bred for espionage. What if I were fluent in fourteen languages? What if I could kill a man (or woman) with a ketchup bottle?

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter is my teenage fantasy come to life.

Cammie Morgan has an elite spy heritage. Her mother is a former spy, and her father died plying his trade. She attends Gallagher Academy, an all-female spy school, and knows over a dozen languages, several forms of martial arts, and the tango. Cammie is the epitome of female empowerment.

So, why did this young adult novel leave me disappointed?

I often had the sense that the book, the first in a series, is just a glorified screenplay. The action scenes—and there are several—do not play well on paper and seem better suited to the screen. In one scene, Cammie’s friend, Liz, dangles precariously from a rooftop: “She tried to hang on to a gutter, but slipped, and soon she was swinging off the side of the . . . house” (112). I couldn’t help but wonder if Carter envisioned a movie as she wrote these scenes.

I love young adult novels—and sometimes I worry I still have the mentality of a 13-year-old. This book, though, allayed my fears. One of Cammie’s teachers—Mr. Solomon—is a sexy former spy. I kept wishing for more of Mr. Solomon. I wondered if there was a possible romance brewing between him and Cammie's widowed mother. I cared more about his love life than Cammie’s. And that is not a good sign.

I am, officially, old.

Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,227 reviews2,058 followers
January 24, 2018
Cute, funny, entertaining, very definitely young adult but still well written and readable for an older age group.

I read this for a challenge and was glad I did, as it probably would not have been on my reading list otherwise and I would have missed out! For once, the girl was an individual who kept to her main target in life despite having to sacrifice some personal things along the way - that included her boyfriend.

The action takes place in a school which is reminiscent of Hogwarts only this time it is for spying, not magic. And all the pupils are girls. With extremely high IQs. It was all very interesting.

A fun read and one which I am just going to have to follow up. I now need to know what happens to Cammie and Josh next!!!
Profile Image for Sue (Hollywood News Source).
781 reviews1,594 followers
July 27, 2015
REREAD: July 2015

Since, I finished Gallagher Girls recently, certain things has been bugging. I simply have to read it. All I can say is I love it so much better now. And I could help but to chuckle darkly at what's about to come for them. Oh my sweet summer children.

Initial reading date: January 20, 2015

Gallagher Girls has been sitting in my kindle for a while and I actually tried reading it before, but I wasn't impressed with the writing.

The funny thing about it, I talk like the protagonist online and offline. I used a lot of exclamation points and unnecessary parenthesis. I didn't realized how annoying that is until I'm not the one who's doing it. The good thing is, I got used to it and it eventually got better. This is not a perfect book. There were some snubbing other girls part, but overall it is sweet and adventurous.  
Profile Image for Caryn.
44 reviews23 followers
June 26, 2008
I liked this book in the same way that I like the Princess Diaries movies (1 and 2). It's cute. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I giggle when it's witty. And when the lights come up (or I reach the back cover), there's a smile on my face.

Cammie "The Chameleon" goes to a spy school. I mean, how cool is that! Yes, at times, the plot is cringe-worthy (I mean, the basic conflict is the fact that she can't tell the perfect boy that she can throw him to the pavement from six different positions), but the dialogue is good, and you can tell that Ally really had a lot of fun with her concept. I think that's the key to young adult books: really falling in love with what you've created. Becoming so enamoured, so enthralled in the world your characters inhabit that it becomes a part of you, becomes the language in which you speak. Rowling did it (see Harry Potter), Riordan did it (see Percy Jackson), and Skye did it (see Leven Thumps).

And, let's face it. It would make a beautiful movie. Much of the humor is situational, which translates really well to the screen, and the story is short enough that there won't be any need to remove important plot points (can anyone say Order of the Phoenix?)

Disney. Please. Do it.

This is what summer reading is all about.
Profile Image for zoe.
205 reviews198 followers
November 25, 2016

“I suppose a lot of teenage girls feel invisible sometimes, like they just disappear. Well, that's me—Cammie, the Chameleon. But I'm luckier than most because, at my school, that's considered cool.-I go to a school for spies.”


"Learn Her Skills, Honor Her Sword, Keep Her Secrets"

Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is an all-girls school. To the outsiders, it is an elite school for spoiled snobs; to the insiders, a spy-school for the genius girls. The school trains its students in different fields including, Advanced Languages and Covert Operations! *HOW cool is that!*
The building is pristine; the faculty is gorgeous*cough* Joe Solomon*cough* (also trained and able but who cares, right?) ; the classes are fun!

The Plot
Cammie Morgon is a sophomore in Gallagher Academy.
Ask her to:
Speak 14 languages, ✅
Hack a computer, ✅
Crack security, ✅
Kill a person. ✅
With pleasure!

Dressing up, ❎
Meeting a boy, ❎
Go on dates ❎
Being Normal ❎


When she meets Joshua Abrams, a perfectly normal boy, she faced difficulties to have a relationship with him. So she and her friends decided to make him the subject of her new secret Covert Operation!

Cameron Morgon ; The Girl
Cammie is the Chameleon! She comes from the family of spies and goes to the school for spies where her mother is the headmistress. Her favorite class is CovOps. She is brave and loyal. She has the uncanny ability to go unnoticed, hence the name Chameleon!
Fun fact: She has an imaginary cat, Suzie!

Joshua Abram aka The Sweet Guy

Josh is a sweet boy. He is a normal teenager who goes to a normal school where he studies normal subjects with his normal friends. Umm.... there is nothing more to his character except he is a subject of Cammie's interests.

Rachel Morgon; The Mom
Cammie's mom and Gallagher's Headmistress, Rachel is described breathtakingly beautiful by Cammie. She is also the retired CIA officer. She is an excellent spy and a great mom! She is a very cool Mom!

Joe Solomon aka Teacher I'd Like To Kiss
Mr. Solomon is the new CovOp teacher. He is incredibly handsome! According to Cammie, he capable of making "James Bond feel insecure" and Indiana Jones look like a "momma's boy". He is also very tough on students and


Elizabeth Sutton aka The Genius
Liz is one of the smartest people on the Earth, has photographic memory the kind of character that makes you feel like a dumb or a loser!

Rebecca Baxter aka The Beautiful
Bex is confident, beautiful, has an English accent and is an excellent spy! (Don't look at me like this Gallagher academy is supposed to be for exceptional young women!)

Macey McHenry aka The Perfect
The new addition in the sisterhood of Gallagher girls, Macey fought hard to make her place in the trio and guess what? She won!! *surprise* Once an apple of discord is now the apple of their eyes!! She was rejected or dropped out of the fry-pan of every other school and fall directly into the fire of Gallagher's spool.

The four of them combined was a hurricane of awesomeness and fun!

This is the most underrated book I've read! I mean no damsel in distress, but heroes in heels?? What more can you ask for in a book??
Happy reading!
Profile Image for Mary Books and Cookies.
553 reviews406 followers
February 3, 2018
I had so much fun reading this! I already had the hugest smile on my face by page 2 and it didn’t leave until the very last page. It’s such a feel good, fluffy, downright hilarious book and I’m so upset right now that I don’t own the rest of the series. It’s the kind of book that can pull you out of a reading slump, that feels effortless to read and that just makes reading so much fun!

Cammie Morgan goes to the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, which sounds like a fancy school for rich kids, but is actually a school for spies. An all-girls school for spies. And Cammie is very good when it comes to spy stuff, but when she meets a boy, Josh, and pretends to be a normal girl for his sake, things get interesting and complicated.

The thing that I LOVE about this book is the focus that it puts on the friendship between girls. Despite the fact that Cammie’s adventures revolve around Josh, the heart of this book is the relationship between Cammie and her friends and her mother. I love how girl-centered this book is, because we need more books like this: books that show girls are kick ass, are smart, can be spies while being feminine and girly at the same time, are close with each other and have each other’s backs. The only other book that gave me the same feeling was Vampire Academy, because of Rose and Lissa’s friendship (speaking of VA, go read that series, okay?).

The writing is so so funny. It’s easy to follow, but alluring at the same time. I flew through this and I could have easily read it in one sitting, with enough time. It’s just all around fun, witty and it made me feel warm and fuzzy. If you’re looking for something contemporary and easy to read, look no further and give this book a try. You won’t regret it!

Favourite quotes:

“I think it’s kinda nice.’ And I did. my mom isn’t famous for her pies. No, she’s famous for defusing a nuclear device in Brussels with only a pair of cuticle scissors and a ponytail holder. Somehow, at the moment, pies seemed cooler.”

“The time for crying with your girlfriends about a broken heart is over chocolate ice cream
and chick flicks—not stun guns and bulletproof vests.”


To everyone who got this far, thank you for reading and have a wonderful day! Also, feel free to share your thoughts, comment or tell me anything :)

*silently crying because I don't have the next books in the series*
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.5k followers
April 14, 2017
This is one of those nostalgia books. They're not exactly high-class literature, but the Ghallager Girls are great fun.


It's about spies. Like that doesn't make everyone want to read a book. Yes, it's hokey and the concepts have slight wish-fulfillment going on. It's fun anyway.

Fast-paced and never boring. It's exactly the kind of fast-paced fun you need in your life. You'll never feel like putting this series down. It especially improves as it goes; this is really the worst book of the five I've read.

Fun characters. Liz is the smart one, a bit klutzy and super loyal. Bex is the danger-seeker. Macie is the heart-of-gold with a rude exterior. And Cammie is the chameleon.

Strong friendships between girls. Macie, Cammie, Liz, and Bex are the greatest foursome of all time. Their relationship especially develops over time.

Hilarious. This series is laugh-out-loud funny. Character dynamics, little lines here and there... it's all fun.
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
September 6, 2020
DNF @ 50%

I would have loved this book between the ages of 10 to 13.

There's absolutely no reason not to like this book. It's fun. It's cute. It has a likable MC. And it's adorably silly.
It reminds me of Spy Kids but less... for lack of a better word... dumb!

It's honestly a very likable book and I should have been able to finish it and even enjoy it had I had more patience and was not dead inside. But such adorable innocence is just not for me.
So this book will regretfully reside in my it's-not-you-it's-me shelf.

May you find joy and happiness with this fluffy spy delight!
Profile Image for chloe ♡.
394 reviews265 followers
April 2, 2020
i remember loving the gallagher girls books as a kid, but i could never keep track of which ones i've read and which ones i haven't because i didn't read them in order. i'm rereading the whole series right now and i'm so excited!
update: i just finished reading this!! the story was so cute and made me feel ~all the feels~. ♡
Profile Image for amanda.
43 reviews1,682 followers
December 30, 2021
Profile Image for Crystal Stine.
11 reviews4 followers
April 28, 2008
English 425 Submitter’s name: Crystal Alexander
Book Bank Book Bank subject: Romance

Reference information:
Title: I’d Tell you I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: First Hyperion Paperbacks Year: 2006
# of pages: 284 Genre: Romance
Reading level Interest level: 8th or 9th Grade
Potential hot lava: Has some references to violence but, not used as a weapon used as protection

General response/reaction: I love romance novels so I was really exited to read this book. I figured that it would be something that I actually wanted to read. The first few chapters were explanatory, then after that Cammie meats Josh and you learn how hard it is for her to struggle against wanting to be with him and wanting to be a spy.

Subjects, Themes, and Big Ideas: The theme of the book is Romance, about teenagers falling in love for the first time. But it also is about the girls of Gallagher Academy doing spy and secret CIA things. I really think that the big idea is being true to you while still being yourself and falling in love.

Characters: Cammie: aka the chameleon, she blends in well with average a person which makes her a great spy.
Bex: aka the Duchess, she is really strong and really smart, Cammie’s best friend.
Liz: aka Bookworm, has a photogenic memory, but writes down everything just to be on the safe side.
Josh: aka the normal boy, just your normal town kid, who Cammie falls for and spies on.

Plot summary: The girls at Gallagher Academy learn the basics of how to be a spy and work for the CIA. They don’t socialize with outsiders, all there friends come from spy families. When a new teacher comes to school he sends the girls on a secret mission, Spy on their teacher, see what beverage he prefers with his funnel cake. When the mission goes wrong and Cammie ends up being left behind she meets Josh (a Normal Boy), and though she tries hard to forget him, he keeps turning up. Can Cammie fall in love with him and still be a spy? The end of the book leaves you hanging and wanting more!

Strengths (including reviews and awards): The book has been picked up by Disney to be possibly made into a movie.

Drawbacks or other cautions: I really don’t see any drawbacks or cautions to this book. I think that it is a simple and enjoyable read.

Teaching ideas: I think that I would use this in a much younger classroom, maybe in home economics. I think that it would teach girls that falling in love is okay but you still have to be true to yourself.

Profile Image for Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls).
1,597 reviews3,487 followers
December 1, 2020
I've heard about this for what seems likes forever. I finally read the first book. Hmmm. Cute plot idea, but I despise the language. There was some sexual references that I don't think was necessary. Needs more spy stuff, less romance. No Spiritual Content, either, which I was expecting there to be none, so no shock there. I've heard that the second book is cleaner, so I'll probably read it, just to give the author another chance. Would I recommend it? No, not at all due to the mouths.
Profile Image for Janette.
Author 59 books1,827 followers
August 11, 2008
Darling book. Made me wish I could go to spy school.
Profile Image for Courtney.
33 reviews
June 20, 2010
It is actually really good. Not Twilight good, but it has a good story to it.
Profile Image for Jasprit.
527 reviews748 followers
March 5, 2012
2.5 stars

Ally Carter was an author who I came across last year when I picked up her Heist society series. It was a series which was cleverly written, humorous and a lot of fun. After thoroughly enjoying it, I thought I would check out her Gallagher girls series.

I'd tell you that I love you but then I’d have to kill you follows the story of Cammie who was bought up into a family of spies; not much is known about Cammie’s dad other than he lost his life at doing something that he enjoyed and had a natural talent for. Cammie’s mother is a retired CIA operative but now headmistress of the Gallagher academy; a school for spies which Cammie attends.

The academy is there to train up girls who have the natural talent, intelligence or have the spy “genes” running through their family. Cammie’s life is pretty closed off, she’s the last person to know anything despite her mum being head teacher of her school and she’s never had a boyfriend. The Gallagher girls aren’t really allowed to venture out of the academy unless they have prior permission to do so. Also on the outside world no one really knows what the Gallagher academy is really for. Most people assume it’s a boarding school for snobby rich girls.

When out training one day Cammie stumbles into a cute boy. Cammie finds herself stuttering and speed talking like she’s insane what is wrong with her? she’s a spy for god’s sake she knows how to speak in 14 languages but for some insane reason she finds herself blushing and unable to form a coherent sentence. Her best friends Bex and Liz decide that if she really likes this guy then they must conduct a special investigation to ensure he’s safe and doesn’t have a record. But the more time Cammie spends with him the more she realises she’s falling for him, but will he still like her when he finds out everything she’s told him is a lie? That she’s not homeschooled but a Gallagher girl? And her friends think that she is mixing up priorities, are the Gallagher girls and becoming a spy; everything she’s been brought up to do important or a boy?

So why the 2.5 stars?

I’d tell you I love but then I’d have to kill you was a funny humorous read and honestly that was the only reason I carried on reading the book until the end. The humour at times was a little immature for me and I think that’s another reason I didn’t enjoy it as much. I personally think that this would suit a much younger age group, I’m sure that if I was still in high school I would have loved this series but now? Not so much. I also found my attention wavering a lot of the time whilst reading this, this may be because I couldn’t really connect with the characters and also found the plot to be a bit predictable at times. I much prefer a story that keeps you on your toes and has some elements of surprise. I don’t think I will continue with the rest of this series. I know some of you may say how can you give up after just the first book? But I find that unless a book really keeps my attention I am more likely to continue with it, which this book didn’t really do.

Thank you NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for giving me the opportunity to read this book.
Profile Image for nicklein.
401 reviews77 followers
March 13, 2017
I've forgotten how addictive this series was! I'm so glad I decided to read this baby again. Everything about this felt really familiar. It's almost like coming home. Reading this the second time around didn't change how sassy and quirky everything was. I can't wait to meet Zach...again!

“Yes, my heart cried, but my brain spoke of a biochemistry midterm, seven chapters of COW reading, and two weeks' worth of lab reports for Dr. Fibs."

Legit proof that Cammie is my spirit animal!

Oh and I'm bumping it up to 5 stars!
Profile Image for Kelly Brigid ♡.
200 reviews283 followers
June 12, 2018
“The time for crying with your girlfriends about a broken heart is over chocolate ice cream and chick flicks—not stun guns and bulletproof vests.”


You know those books that are quirky, a little simple, maybe even childish, but you just can't help falling in love with? Well ladies and gentlemen, this is one of those books. I adored it! I admit, I was a bit skeptical over the cheesy title and cliché synopsis, but I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You was clever, cute, and overall a great read. I haven't laughed as much reading a book since The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The plot is fairly uncomplicated, but packed with ridiculous humor, snarky remarks, and a hilarious romance.

The Plot

“I suppose a lot of teenage girls feel invisible sometimes, like they just disappear. Well, that's me—Cammie the Chameleon. But I'm luckier than most because, at my school, that's considered cool.

I go to a school for spies.”

Cammie Morgan is in for quite a treat for her Sophomore year. Nothing is out of the ordinary as our protagonist is on a Covert Operations mission - blending into the crowd, tailing her target...etc. Cammie's a pavement artist; no one's notices her unless she wants them too. That is, until she meets Josh.

“Hey, Cammie... tell Suzie she's a lucky cat."
Have sexier words ever been spoken? I seriously think not!”

Hence, the start of a beautiful relationship...or maybe not. When you attend an all girl school for spies, it's not exactly easy to be in a relationship. Once Cammie's friends Bex, Liz, and Macy find out about her acquaintance with Josh, they assume he's a honeypot - aka a spy. Naturally, they decide to tap his phone, scavenge his trash, and survey his house. Great idea.

The Characters
“If he'd looked like a cross between Mr. Clooney and, say, one of the hobbits, I probably would have been far more capable of coherent thought.”


This is a very character-driven novel, so if you aren't particularly fond of Cammie, I would not recommend this book. I however, loved her. Her inner and outer dialogue cracked me up. I found it absolutely comical that despite Cammie's vast knowledge of languages, martial arts, and stealth, she is ultimately clueless in understanding boys.


Bex, Liz, and Macy.

“Did you say something Macey?' I asked, but she cut me a look that could kill. She reached into her bag, ripped off a sliver of Evapopaper, and scribbled:
'Can we study tonight? (Tell anyone, and I'll kill you in you sleep!)”

Their personalities were all unique and distinct, but I honestly found them all to be underdeveloped. However, their remarks and behavior (especially Bex) nearly make up for their lack of depth. The conversations in this book truly are outstanding.


Similar to Bex, Liz, and Macy, Josh lacks character depth, but he's supposed to be an average teenage boy, so his lack of depth is understandable...even though it was annoying. Nonetheless, his and Cammie's conversations were still enjoyable.

The Setting

The Gallagher Academy is practically the offspring of Hogwarts and Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing School. I'm really interested to discover the significance of all the hidden passages and chambers for the rest of the series.

What I Loved

- The characters were spectacular. They constantly kept me entertained - they're teenage girls, of course they're going to do some stupid things! Their anxiety, confusion, and complete ignorance of teenage guys cracked me up.

- The story line was a simple, yet lively adventure. What at first seems cliché'd, is surprisingly unexpected and incredibly amusing. Carter does a marvelous job of taking a relatively stereotypical concept, and putting a unique spin on it.

- The dialogue was marvelous. I loved all the references to movies and TV shows.

- The spy elements weren't at all arduous to understand. This is a Middle Grade book - I don't want to have a ton of confusing terms shoved at me. In my opinion, a book written for younger audiences shouldn't be over-complicated.

- The Gallagher Academy was an intriguing setting. I always like the idea of castles and manors filled with secrets.

What I Didn't Love

- The cover and title. I know, I know, don't judge a book by it's cover, but honestly, that's like saying don't eat a banana based on how brown it is. For the longest time I didn't read this book, purely because the title was pretty cheesy and the cover didn't look unique or very eye-catching.

- As I mentioned earlier, Josh and the supporting characters lacked any development, whatsoever.


The Verdict

Well, it was pretty fantastic.  Great characters. Great dialogue. Great story. I can't wait to read the rest of the books...oh yeah, I'm reading them all!  I definitely think I would have liked this series even more if I read it when I was in middle school, but it's still entertaining no matter your age, in my opinion.
Profile Image for Kačaba.
942 reviews220 followers
September 9, 2016
Tam, kde se Mission Impossible potkává s Barbie a Školou pro princezny.

Přestože o tom v knize nepadlo ani slůvko, podezírám školu Gi Ga, že má růžové zdi a krajkové ubrusy na stolech. O načechraných peřinkách nepochybuji. Ta škola bude místem, kde hlasitým prdem porušíte řád. Fakt tomu věřím. Smrdělo to kudrlinkama, pudlíkama a Hříšným tancem (ten myslím naprosto vážně). Ale špionážní machřinou ani náhodou.

Bandu naštvaných coolovních holek, co to dají špatňákům sežrat!

Bandu trapkyň, které řeší cukrkandloviny.

Když si k tomu představíte ještě neuvěřitelnou love story -- Holka špionka s převelmi tajnou identitou a kluk JOSH (ach, JOSH - úžasný a dokonalý JOSH), co nic neví. (Škoda, že není Jon.) -- zjistíte, že na suprové mise zde už nezbývá prostor. Zlomit srdce chvíli zabere. A slepit ho zpět taky.


Musím však uznat, že se to čte neskutečně rychle a dobře. Možná i chápu, proč jsou ostatní tak PAF. (Jen možná.)
A nebo... už jsem stará. Jej, pevně doufám, že mé dvanáctileté já by se mnou souhlasilo.

Občas mi ale obočí lítalo nahoru a dolů rychleji než Haltovi, frkala jsem častěji než kůň a pak jsem i přemýšlela, jestli to náhodou celé není myšleno jako parodie na jakýkoliv detektivní seriál... Ale i jako parodie by to stálo za krtinec.

Prostě... pokud chcete číst o cukříkovských blbostech, hurá na to.
V jiném případě... si dejte CHERUB (The Recruit). Školu pro dětské agenty, co za to stojí. PŘÍSAHÁM NA HOLÝ PUPEK.

PS: A slibila jsem Filipovi, ze pokud to precte, koupim mu dortik.
Profile Image for Morgan F.
512 reviews466 followers
June 26, 2010
Okay, I was never expecting much from this book, especially after I saw that it had been optioned for a film by Disney. But I was hoping for some James Bond/Cody Banks/Spy Kids action.

This book is about Cammie Morgan, a student at the elite Gallagher Academy, which is essentially an all-girl school for spies. Cammie is a pretty normal student at Gallagher, besides the fact that her mother is the headmistress, and she has a reputation for being "the Chameleon." Cammie knows fourteen languages and how to kill a man with a piece of uncooked spaghetti, but when it comes to boys, she's clueless. However, some boy advice will come in handy when she starts up a secret relationship with a normal boy- who thinks she is just a normal girl.

This book was cute. Nothing more than that. It had some humor, not enough to make me laugh out loud, but enough to keep the mood light. That's the thing, I thought this book was TOO light. I never really bought in to any conflict. Don't you think in a book about spies, there should be some bad guys? Essentially, this book is about a girl who meets a boy. The spy stuff is just kind of tacked on. Cammie seemed more like a normal girl than a genius. But she did have a level head on her shoulders. But of course, all her friends wer super-model gorgeous while she is average looking. And she is the one with the boyfriend. Right. The characters and plot were all just a bit bland for me. Not much action to speak of. That was a tad disappointing. But there was some genuine guy advice, which readers will appreciate.

I don't know. It's cute, light, and I'm sure tweenage girls will eat it up. I won't read the sequels though unless they fall into my hands.
Profile Image for Megan.
418 reviews385 followers
October 12, 2011
Just realized I never reviewed this one! Well, here it is....

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You is fluff. Pure brain candy fluffy fluff. It would be so easy to knock so many aspects of this novel but I won't because there is one thing which I absolutely loved about it ~ the girls in Ally Carter's spy school actually value academics and when the going gets tough, they choose integrity and personal values over boys. Admittedly, if the market was flooded with this type of YA lit, I would probably be singing a different tune right now. But considering how many YA books feature a girl giving up so much of her self to be 100% devoted to luv twu luv this was pretty refreshing.

If you can get past this story being narrated by someone who sounds as if they should be reading the voice on a children's cartoon, this is a great (and did I mention fluffy???) escape. Somewhere I read that this series actually matures a little with the girls so I'll be continuing this series. Again, it's fluffy and a little young, perhaps middle or even grade school. But it's brief and totally enjoyable without my brain having to be on :)
Profile Image for Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books).
592 reviews331 followers
March 15, 2017
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You was cheesy in the best way! I was really intrigued when I read the blurb and it was about teenage girls attending spy school! How cool! The book was light and fun, and was exactly what I wanted. There was action, romance, and friendship, and I felt like all of those things were done really well. When I picked up the book, I wasn't sure that I'd want to read the rest of the series, but now I definitely want to find out what happens next!
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