I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You | Ally Carter | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You | Ally Carter | Book ReviewI'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, Book 1) by Ally Carter
Series: Gallagher Girls #1
Published by Disney Electronic Content on September 2nd 2009
Genres: Young Adult, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Girls & Women, Action & Adventure, General, School & Education
Pages: 388
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781423132011

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.

After reading Also Known As by Robin Benway, I kind of decided that I would read any book ever about teenage girls who happen to be spies, of course, it just might take me awhile to get to those books. The other day when browsing my Kindle, I came across I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter, downloaded back when Netgalley had it as a Read Now to promote Heist Society. Friends, I keep getting tired of typing out the long title, but alas such is life. Anyways, I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You is the first book of the Gallagher Girls series and to me, kind of a mediocre read. It’s not terrible by any means, but I just did not think it was as good as Heist Society or Also Known As.

Cammie’s a legacy at the Gallagher Academy For Girls. This is not your ordinary boarding school though. You see, Gallagher Academy is a school that trains young ladies in the fine art of espionage. Alumni from the school go on to work jobs for the CIA, Interpol, and more. A lot is expected out of these girls — but even more is expected out of Cammie. Her mother is the headmaster of the school. Her father died in the line of spy duty. So, Cammie is expected to be near the top of her class. For the most part, she’s great at spying but she’s totally out of her league when it comes to interaction with a normal boy from town who she ends up really falling for — only he has no idea what Cammie’s true identity is and she has to stay focused on her cover story. As you can see, the potential is there for everything to blow up in Cammie’s face.

When I think about it, overall I liked Cammie, main character of I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter, but I don’t know that I would be rushing out to make her my BFF. First, she already has two awesome BFFs – Bex who is a straight boss and also English, and Liz, a tiny girl who is kind of sort of a genuis. Second, she breaks the cardinal rule of friendship and ditches her friends for a guy that she just met. I mean, come on, that is just not cool at all. Granted, I am pretty sure I did that too as a teenager, but looking back I cringe. I will say, I liked how great Cammie was at espionage. ALSO, her relationship with her mother was awesome to see — it was healthy and not antagonizing and her mom was actually pretty awesome.

The highlight of I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You, for me was the school. Like, the girls have lunch together and during lunch they are assigned a language and they can only speak that language during lunch. They are fluent in like every language ever. The girls also take classes like covert operations where they finally get to use what they learn in the field and get some hands on practice at being spies. The final exam is definitely a part to watch for when you read this. I loved how creative Carter got with her fictional boarding school.

However, this is where I think the mediocre comes in. The romance in this book totally falls flat. You see, Cammie meets a guy while she is out on a covert operations assignment named Josh. His big appeal is that he is normal and thus super different from her. To me, he was basically white bread – so, boring. And like there’s no chemistry or sparks and barely any kissing. There’s no tension. It’s nothing like Hale and Kat. I suppose the romance comes off as very twee and as something appropriate for those on the younger end of the YA spectrum.

I am not sure if I will continue the series or not. If you’ve read it, are the next books better than the first?

Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher


The Allure Of Books – “so much fun
Book Brats – “just as fluffy as marshmallow cream
Quinn’s Book Nook – “I enjoyed this book from cover to cover

Books by Ally Carter:
Heist Society
Uncommon Criminals

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I’ve read most of the Gallagher Girl books and I have to say that I absolutely enjoy how quick and light these reads are. I will tell you, that while it’s been a while since I’ve read I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You, but I definitely think that the books do get better. Romance isn’t a focal point to the books and it’s more about Cammie becoming a successful spy and having her friends and family always be there for her. And it’s funny you brought up Josh because I barely even remember him! I wouldn’t worry about him. 😉

  2. I felt the same way. I mean, I liked this book (seriously, the title is wayyyyy to long for us book reviewers), it was fun. But I enjoyed AKA so much more. And I agree, Josh is kind of boring. I did like how nice he was though. I mean, he wasn’t a bad boy. Of course, I do like those bad boys, too, but it’s nice to have an all around good guy as the love interest.

    Definitely more on the tween side, though 🙂

  3. When comparing this one to Heist Society.. yeah, it’s not NEARLY as good. But, I will say that the next book in the series is really a lot better, especially when new characters are introduced. I’ve read I think the first 3 or 4 (can’t remember how far I got in this series) and they actually really get better as the series goes on. Hopefully you’ll get to read the next one someday!

  4. I love stories with awesome schools and I think this sounds like a fun, light read, but I’ll probably try out the spy books you liked better first. I really only need so many of those and I think it makes sense to start with the best ones 🙂

  5. Ahh I’m in the same boat. I was kind of meh about this book and don’t really remember much but I heard it gets better! Apparently, she gets a new love interest and everything!

  6. I’ve always thought that the title of this book sounded to twee for me, but my sisters and cousin have enjoyed it. It feels like the kind of book that would be a fun, quick read for me if anything. The boarding school sounds kick-ass though! Who wouldn’t want to study to be a master at espionage?

  7. Oh, I hope you continue on with them! The first one was mediocre for me too, but the series gets MUCH better as it goes on!
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