Friday, October 16, 2015

Flashback Friday #1: Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls #2) by Ally Carter

Having taken up reading as a young child, I am in the dilemma where I have read far more books than I have ever taken the time to appreciate and write reviews for. Thus this corner is going to be where I take a moment to pick a book I've read when I was younger, reread it, and share my love and thoughts on it in an attempt to revisit some old gems.

Published: December 23rd 2008
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes&Noble / Book Depository
After staking out, obtaining, and then being forced to give up her first boyfriend, Josh, all Cammie Morgan wants is a peaceful semester. But that's easier said than done when you're a CIA legacy and go to the premier school in the world . . . for spies. Cammie may have a genius I.Q., but there are still a lot of things she doesn't know. Like, will her ex-boyfriend even remember she exists? And how much trouble is she really in after what happened last semester? And most of all, why is her mother acting so strangely? Despite Cammie's best intentions to be a normal student, danger seems to follow her. She and her friends learn that their school is going to play host to some mysterious guests--code name: Blackthorne. Then she's blamed for a security breach that leaves the school's top secret status at risk. Soon, Cammie and her friends are crawling through walls and surveilling the school to learn the truth about Blackthorne and clear Cammie's name. Even though they have confidence in their spy skills, this time the targets are tougher (and hotter), and the stakes for Cammie's heart--and her beloved school--are higher than ever. - Goodreads

Reading this brought back all of the memories of why I love this series so much. Why despite having read this for the first time five years ago, I still push it up to the top of my favorite books list all the time.

This book is my comfort food, and without fail, it always make me smile and swoon and laugh and a tad sad at times.

Cammie is one of my favorite girls ever, perhaps because of her endearing awkwardness, something I relate to quite well, and her honestly entertaining commentary and thoughts. She's natural, despite her impressive skills as a spy-in-training, and a normal teenage girl suffering from the lingering effects of The Subject (to prevent spoilers).

She has her own loyal crew of her friends: the charmer Bex, genius Liz, and versed in real-world Macey (who is one of my favorites surprisingly. Plus introduce us to Preston soon please.)

Friendships are a strong part of Ally Carter's books and I love that about her books. From Bex with her kick-butt attitude and fierce loyalty, to Liz with her sweet and optimistic outlook that never fails to make me smile, to Macey and her much-needed boy translations and her grounded cool, they're the best friends a girl could ask for.
I started to protest, to hang back and buy a few more seconds, but Macey grasped my shoulders and spun me around to see Bex. And Liz. Both of them were smiling.
And we can never forget the romance aka the first meeting between Cammie and my true love Zach, the kind of boy that makes you lose your cool and looks good doing it. I'm infinitely biased in saying this, but despite his smirky-ness I ABSOLUTELY love this guy. (But then again, I may have been slightly irritated and frustrated by him at first when I read it before.) He's charming, handsome, and for Cammie, the girl who is still figuring out the mystery of boys, confusing. He's not without his moments though, and I loved seeing the different faces he seems to have.
"You're the Gallagher Girl. You figure it out."
One of the shining points in this series for me is the touch of serious, heartfelt moments that dot the pages of the books. While they can be a bit fluffy at times, and charming and more cutesy than you'd expect from a spy book, the moments when a character drops their guard(which rarely happens when you're a spy-in-training), and you see them.
Or maybe crying is like everything else we do—it's best if you don't get caught.
If you've never read this series, I highly recommend it, for the wonderful experience that is sure to follow and you'll be wishing you were a Gallagher Girl along with the rest of us. :)

My Rating: ★★★

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