Review: I’d Tell You I love You, but Then I’d Have to Kill You

Written by Ally Carter

From Ally Carter’s website:

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.

The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a fairly typical all-girls school—that is, if every school teaches advanced martial arts in PE, chemistry always consists of the latest in chemical warfare, and everyone breaks CIA codes for extra credit in computer class. So in truth, while the Gallagher Academy might say it’s a school for geniuses what they really mean is spies. But what happens when a Gallagher Girl falls for a boy who doesn’t have a code name?

Cammie Morgan may be fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti), but the Gallagher Academy hasn’t prepared her for 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, and track him through a mall without him ever being the wiser, but can she have a regular 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 doing something riskier than ever—she’s falling in love.

Read this book if you love:

  • the invisible girl who is suddenly seen
  • amazingly smart girlfriends, all brilliant in their own way
  • contemporary spy schools for girls

My Review

What I loved.

I wish this book had been around when I was a teen / preteen.

I loved this book. It would make a great teen girls movie, but I’m not sure if its actually in the making or not. I found myself back laughing at the picture perfect wording of the book, which made me feel like teenager again. I’m glad there are books like this out there for younger girls. I was the kind of “too smart for my own good” girl in school and reading books way too advanced for my age, so I’m not sure what age exactly is appropriate for the readers. But I think I would have loved the idea of there being a place where smart was cool, and not just relegated to being the uncool nerd friend needed to solve problems for the hero. 

I would have loved to play with pulley-systems and learned what could be gleaned from searching through garbage. It would have inspired the girl in me who has become fascinated with shows like CSI, the Pretender, Profiler, Bones and Criminal Minds. If you have a smart and curious girl who loves knowledge and information, I would highly recommend you get her this book. 

I love that this book is written from Cammie’s perspective, and interspersed with reports for her school. There is so much humour and vulnerability.

What I didn’t love.

This book takes all the stereotypes of private schools and kind of amplifies them. The best friends, amazing as they are, are a bit trope-y, but Ally Carter does deal with this well as this is a seven book series. There is plenty of room for some twists and turns along the way.

My Analysis


1st, close past, Cammie.


External: Action – Adventure: Labyrinth
Global Values: Death / Life
Core Need: Survival
Core Emotion: Excitement

Internal: Worldview – Maturation
Global Values: Failure or Success
Core Emotion: Admiration or Pity
Controlling idea:  Sometimes you need help from your friends to know who has your back.


Violence: low, but there is fighting.
Gore: low.
Romance/Sex: flirting.
Series: Gallagher Girl Series, first in series.
Reality Clover: Realism

Reference Info: