Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Review: Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
Release date: 5th August 2010 (UK)
Publisher: Orchard Books
Cammie Morgan may have a genius IQ and attend the best school in the country, but as she starts the spring semester of her sophomore year there are a lot of things she doesn't know. Like will her ex-boyfriend even remember she exists? And how much trouble did she really get in last semester? And, most of all, exactly why is her mother acting so strangely?
All Cammie wants is a nice, normal semester, but she's about to learn her greatest lesson yet—that when you go to a school for spies, nothing is ever as it seems.
I was pleasantly surprised by my reaction to GG1, so as soon as GG2 arrived, I started reading. At first the youngness of the voice threw me, as it did with the first one, but again I quickly got over it and began to enjoy the story and the humour. Cammie and her friends are still dealing with the aftermath of the first book and it was good (but sad, of course) to see Cammie still suffering from what she'd been pretty much forced to do. Yet she was as tough and resilient as ever, just with a more hardened, cautious edge to her, the sort of edge you get as you grow up. I liked that.
The Blackthorne thing was of course fairly predictable, but I really enjoyed this twist to the story. I liked the idea that as good as these girls are, there were some that are better. I liked that they had a bit of a reality check. Zach was of course a favourite. I feel slightly inappropriate about how much I like him, but he was cocky and mysterious and at the same time really sweet. I liked how he was with Cammie, how you weren't really sure how much of it was genuine and how much was gameplaying (though I'm leaning towards the former). I loved how thrown Cammie and her friends were, how the idea of a boy just liking Cammie in that way was so alien. That despite all their language skills, and their advance knowledge and huuuge brainpower they have absolutely no clue when it comes to boys, and would prefer to think he had some nefarious purpose beyond just going on a date.The Josh/Zach standoffs were pretty good, I enjoyed them. Zach was pretty funny and Josh was pretty meh. I never liked him to begin with really.
As secondary characters go, I'm torn between liking the whole sidekick angle for Cammie's 3 roommates and wishing they'd have a bit more of a role. The plots are very Cammie-centric, which I LIKE, but I do wish the others were a bit more...relevant. I've read the synopsis for the next book though and it seems like I might be getting my wish, so I shan't complain too much!
This series is just a really fun, entertaining read. They're perfect contemporary fiction and I think the fact I've already ordered book 3 speaks for how much I like them. They've got that sorta feel-good factor (eurgh, I hate that phrase) that you get from reading something fairly light but not too fluffy.